coronavirus

20 New Coronavirus Cases in Illinois, Total Now at 66

One of the new cases reported Saturday is a woman in her 60s who resides at a long-term care facility in DuPage County

An additional 20 coronavirus cases were announced Saturday in Illinois, bringing the total to 66.

Eighteen of the cases were reported by state health officials at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

One of the new cases reported Saturday is a woman in her 60s who resides at a long-term care facility in DuPage County, health officials said.

Illinois Department of Public health officials are on the ground and working facility to identify all close contacts and protect the health and safety of all residents and staff, according to a news release.

Additionally, state officials announced the first cases in in central and southern Illinois. The individuals who tested positive are: a Woodford County resident in his 70s, a Cumberland County resident in his 70s, a woman in her 60s in St. Clair County and a woman in her 70s in St. Clair County.

At a news conference Saturday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker once again called on residents to stay home amid the coronavirus outbreak as an additional 16 cases were announced in the state.

Seven new cases were also reported in Chicago, as well as four in suburban Cook County, one in Kane County and one in Lake County, according to a news release. Two cases were announced in St. Clair County along with one case each in Cumberland County and Woodford County.

Also on Saturday, downstate health officials revealed that two patients contracted the coronavirus in Sangamon County. One of the patients was said to be critically ill and in intensive care at a hospital. The second patient was tested at an outpatient facility, officials said.

Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of these individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case.

In total, approximately 1,600 specimen associated with the coronavirus have been tested at Illinois state labs, according to Illinois Dept. of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Ngozi Ezike. More than 300 specimen were processed Friday alone, Dr. Ezike added.

Also on Saturday, President Trump announced the United States will broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to its list of affected countries.

March 13 briefing: Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that all schools in Illinois will close due to the coronavirus.

One day earlier, Gov. Pritzker announced all schools in Illinois, including Chicago Public Schools, will be closed until the end of March, as the number of cases continues to rise. Also on Friday, the Illinois Gaming Board announced all casinos will be closed for 14 days starting Monday.

The Archdiocese of Chicago also suspended all public church services and celebrations of Mass "in order to slow the spread” of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier in the week, Chicago and state officials announced the city's St. Patrick's Day parades and iconic river dyeing have been postponed amid coronavirus concerns.

If you've been shopping recently, you've seen it for yourself--long lines at grocery stores and maybe even scarcity when it comes to essential household items. People are trying to stock up so they can be prepared in case they're home for a long period of time or in case supplies run out. NBC 5's Regina Waldroup reports.

The postponement of the festivities come as several other major events around the city and U.S. were canceled or postponed.

Major League Baseball announced Thursday it canceled the rest of its spring training game schedule and delayed the start of the season by at least two weeks. The National Hockey League also said it is pausing its season, following the NBA in doing the same. The NCAA also announced the cancellation of the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments.

For a list of Chicago-area event cancellations, click here.

State officials have been urging people, particularly elderly residents, to avoid mass gatherings in the area.

Many passengers say they aren't worried, despite a State Department warning against cruise ship travel during the coronavirus outbreak.

Pritzker, who on Monday declared a disaster proclamation in the state, said he has demanded the state receiving more testing kits as soon as possible.

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