NOTE: As the coronavirus crisis continues in Chicago, this article will serve as a recap of our coverage from January through April 5. Check back for weekly updates going forward.
With coronavirus infections spreading around the globe, questions linger over the severity of the disease and what it means for areas seeing new cases.
The outbreak has led to the cancellation of major sporting events, festivals and more.
- For a full list of confirmed cases in Illinois click here.
- To watch the governor's daily coronavirus press briefings live, click here.
- Full list of canceled events in the Chicago area here.
For this week's latest updates, click here.
Here's a look back at coronavirus coverage since the pandemic began:
In Illinois and Chicago Area:
More Than 10,000 Coronavirus Cases Now Confirmed in Illinois After Another Large Spike in Positive Tests
With 1,453 additional cases of coronavirus reported Saturday, the state of Illinois has now exceeded 10,000 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began.
In all, 10,357 people have contracted the virus in Illinois. 68 of the state's 102 counties have reported positive tests.
The state also confirmed 33 additional deaths on Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 243 since the pandemic began.
Illinois Sees Biggest Single-Day Spike Since Coronavirus Pandemic Began
Illinois saw its biggest single-day spike since the coronavirus pandemic began Friday, with 1,209 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
That brings the total number of confirmed infections to 8,904 on Friday, health officials announced, with 210 total deaths. The deaths, which were reported in seven Illinois counties, mark an increase of 53 fatalities in the last day.
With 715 New Cases, Illinois' Coronavirus Total Reaches 7,695 With 157 Deaths
With another 715 cases of coronavirus cases in Illinois, the state's total number of confirmed diagnoses rose to 7,695 on Thursday, health officials announced.
Meanwhile, an additional 16 deaths in the last 24 hours lifted the total number of fatalities to 157.
Chicago Police Officer Dies From COVID-19
A Chicago police officer has died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, officials announced April 2. Marco Di Franco, 50, was a highly-decorated 21-year veteran of the force who worked in the narcotics division, CPD said. He contracted the virus the week prior and was hospitalized the weekend before his death.
He is survived by his wife and two children, ages 7 and 10. The death marks a first in the department, which as of April 1 reported more than 60 confirmed cases citywide.
Lake County Officials Investigating 11 Nursing Homes With Confirmed Coronavirus Cases
Eleven nursing homes in north suburban Lake County have been found to have multiple cases of COVID-19, health officials announced Wednesday.
Each home has at least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus, health officials said. A total of 62 cases have spread among the 11 nursing homes, with four of them resulting in death.
Aurora Extends Emergency Declaration to May 15
The City of Aurora announced Wednesday they would be extending the west suburb’s emergency declaration through May 15 to battle the spread of COVID-19
Should Everyone Wear Masks as Coronavirus Cases Spread?
Should you be wearing a mask if you leave the house during the coronavirus pandemic?
Changing guidance has led to renewed questions on the topic, as scientists say more evidence indicates the virus could be spread by asymptomatic people.
Illinois officials say they are reviewing whether or not they plan to issue new guidance surrounding face coverings for all residents.
"I would not discourage people from wearing masks," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday. "In fact I think that there's some evidence to show that they can be effective. We are constantly looking at things like whether you should wear masks, whether gloves are effective, how often you should be wiping down surfaces in your own home..."
Read more here.
Nearly 1,000 New Coronavirus Cases Reported in Illinois, Death Toll Now at 141
The state of Illinois reported 986 additional cases of the novel coronavirus on April 1, bringing the state's total number of cases to 6,980.
In addition, the state has reported that 42 more individuals have passed away as a result of the virus, bringing the death toll statewide to 141.
A total of 34 fatalities were reported in Cook County, including a man in his 20s and two men in their 30s.
In all, 56 of Illinois' 102 counties have reported confirmed cases of coronavirus. Massac and Vermillion counties reported their first confirmed cases of the virus on Wednesday.
City of Chicago Employee Dies From COVID-19, Mayor Announces
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday that a city employee has died from COVID-19.
Lightfoot declined to offer any information about the employee, but the death marks the latest fatality in what has been the epicenter of Illinois' coronavirus outbreak.
Cubs-Cardinals Series in London in June Canceled by MLB
Major League Baseball has canceled a two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The teams had been scheduled to play at Olympic Stadium on June 13-14.
More Than 900 New Cases, 26 Additional Coronavirus Deaths Reported in Illinois
Governor J.B. Pritzker's office has announced 937 new coronavirus cases in the state of Illinois, bringing the state's total of confirmed cases to nearly 6,000 since the pandemic began.
The governor also reported an additional 26 deaths connected to the virus, bringing the state's total number of fatalities to 99.
54 of Illinois' 102 counties are now reporting cases of the virus, with Ford and Ogle counties reporting their first positive tests in the last 24 hours.
Stay-at-Home Order Extended Through April 30
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has extended Illinois' "stay-at-home" order through at least April 30, saying that the state cannot afford to let up in the fight to contain coronavirus.
The order was originally supposed to end on April 7, but Pritzker has opted to leave it in place through the end of April. All schools in the state will also remain closed to in-person instruction as a result of the order.
134 Detainees at Cook County Jail Confirmed Positive for COVID-19
The Cook County sheriff’s office announced Monday that 33 more detainees at the Cook County Jail have tested positive for coronavirus, raising the total number of confirmed cases among detainees to 134.
Nine detainees have tested negative, and 20 staff members have also tested positive, the sheriff’s office said.
The jail has already released at least 400 detainees over the last week, as Cook County judges conduct case-by-case bond reviews in an attempt to lower the jail’s population and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Postponement of Most Criminal, Civil Cases in Cook County Circuit Court Extended
Cook County Circuit Court is extending its suspension of most criminal and civil cases through May and expanding the use of videoconferencing amid the growing COVID-19 outbreak.
Originally postponed until April 15, most court cases are now suspended until May 18, the office of Chief Judge Timothy Evans said in a statement Monday.
Evans also ordered the expansion of videoconferencing for all court proceeds deemed necessary or emergencies, officials said. All court hearings will be conducted via video no later than April 16. Currently, all detainees with bail hearings appear in court via video.
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office Monday announced its first case of an employee who was diagnosed with COVID-19.
The employee works at the Cook County Domestic Violence Court Building, 555 W. Harrison St., the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement. They last reported to work March 24.
Officials are tracking down anyone who may have been in contact with the employee over the last two weeks, the state’s attorney’s office said.
29 More Chicago Police Officers Test Positive for Coronavirus
An additional 29 Chicago police officers have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the department’s total number of cases to 50, a police spokesman confirmed Monday.
According to the Chicago Tribune, approximately six percent of the entire police department was on sick leave as of Monday afternoon. More than 800 employees of the department are out sick with many different ailments.
Stateville Inmate Dies From Coronavirus
An inmate at Stateville Correctional Center in suburban Crest Hill has died after testing positive for coronavirus, and at least 12 other men have been hospitalized because of the virus.
Of those 12 men hospitalized, several have required ventilators, according to state health officials. A total of 77 detainees at the facility are currently experiencing symptoms and are being isolated at the prison.
Coronavirus Cases in Illinois Top 5,000 With 73 Fatalities
One day after Illinois saw its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, the state reported yet another climb, topping 5,000 confirmed diagnoses on Monday.
A total of 5,057 coronavirus cases have now been confirmed, along with 73 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. That marks an increase of 461 cases.
The newly-reported deaths included four people in their 60s and 70s in Cook County, a DuPage County man in his 60s, a Kendall County woman in her 60s and two Will County men in their 50s and 60s. Among those cases was a man incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center, health officials said.
Officials Aim to Convert Part of McCormick Place Into 3,000-Bed Hospital by End of April
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says that plans to convert part of Chicago’s McCormick Place into a care facility for individuals with the novel coronavirus are progressing quickly, and that the first 500 beds at the facility will be in place this week.
According to the governor, the first delivery of beds to the facility was made over the weekend. By the end of April, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois National Guard plan to have 3,000 beds available for patients dealing with COVID-19.
CPS Moves to E-Learning Amid Uncertainty Over When Classes Resume
Chicago Public Schools students will return to classes virtually on April 13, but just how long the e-learning plan will continue remains unclear.
The district was deploying thousands of new devices to help comply with new guidance from the state’s Board of Education.
The district has already extended its closure through April 20, beyond the statewide closures of April 7, with classes scheduled to resume April 21.
Whole Foods Employee at Chicago Store Tests Positive for Coronavirus
An employee at the Whole Foods Sauganash location on the North Side has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesman confirmed Sunday.
The employee, who works at 6020 N. Cicero Ave., is in quarantine, according to the Whole Foods spokesman, who declined to provide further information “out of respect for the privacy of our Team Members.”
Chef Rick Bayless Starts Effort to Help Laid-Off Chicago Food Workers
Celebrity chef Rick Bayless has launched an effort to help restaurant workers who have been laid off during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the award-winning Chicago chef's restaurants that's currently closed, Frontera Grill, will host an operation paying laid-off workers to make 30-pound boxes of food, including produce, bread and meat. The boxes will be available for pickup at restaurants throughout the city.
1,105 New Cases Confirmed in Illinois, Along With 18 Additional Deaths
Illinois saw a massive jump in confirmed coronavirus cases Sunday, with 1,105 new cases confirmed statewide.
Overall, 4,596 individuals in the state have tested positive for COVID-19.
The state also reported 18 additional deaths on Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 65 fatalities since the pandemic began.
Bond, Knox, Menard and Montgomery counties have all reported their first confirmed coronavirus cases, meaning that 47 of Illinois' 102 counties have confirmed cases of the virus.
First US Infant Death, 465 New Cases in Illinois
An additional 465 coronavirus cases were reported in Illinois on Saturday, including the death of an infant and 12 others, bringing the statewide total to 3,491.
The death of the infant, who lived in Cook County, was the first reported in the United States, state officials said.
Among counties reporting their first cases Saturday were Carroll, Fayette and Macon, increasing the number of counties reporting cases to 43.
In all, a total of 47 people have died from the coronavirus in Illinois.
488 New Coronavirus Cases Lift Illinois Total Over 3K With 34 Deaths
Illinois saw an increase of 488 coronavirus cases overnight, lifting the state total to 3,026 with 34 deaths as health experts warn the virus could soon consume Illinois and its hospitals.
The cases have been reported in more than three dozen counties across the state and patients range in age from less than 1 year old to 99 years old. Among counties reporting their first cases Friday were Bureau, Henry and Iroquois.
Chicago Stay-at-Home Order Could Last ‘Deep Into April,’ Mayor Says
Chicago's stay-at-home order could be extended until late April as health officials continue to work to contain the coronavirus and lessen its impact, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday.
When asked about the stay-at-home order during a teleconference with reporters, Mayor Lightfoot said, " I think that realistically we’re looking at something’s that’s going to stretch deep into April."
White House Health Experts Worry Cook County May Be Among Nation’s Next Hotspots
Health experts are concerned that Cook County could be one of the nation's next coronavirus hotspots as the U.S., and Chicago, continue to battle a rising number of cases.
When asked about the country's next hotspots during a White House press briefing Thursday evening, Dr. Deborah Birx, who is on the coronavirus task force, cited Cook County among the places health experts are watching.
"We are concerned about certain counties that look like they are having a more rapid increase," she said. "Wayne County in Michigan and Cook County in Chicago."
2,000 Chicagoans to Receive $1,000 Rent Relief Grants During Coronavirus Pandemic
A total of 2,000 Chicagoans will each receive $1,000 grants to help with rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday.
The city's new COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant program will assist residents who have lost their jobs or otherwise been impacted by the economic fallout from the pandemic, according to a news release.
Half of the 2,000 grants will be awarded through a lottery system, while the remaining grants will be distributed through local non-profit agencies. Chicagoans who are facing temporary financial hardships due to the pandemic can apply online at the city's Department of Housing Intake Portal and over the phone through community organizations.
More Inmates, Correctional Employees Test Positive for Coronavirus
At least 24 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus at the Cook County Jail, while a total of nine corrections workers have also tested positive for the disease.
According to a press release, nearly 90 inmates have been tested after experiencing flu-like symptoms. 63 sets of tests results remain pending at this time.
President Trump Approves Federal Disaster Declaration for Illinois
With the state dealing with a surge in new cases of the novel coronavirus, President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for the state of Illinois.
The declaration authorizes federal agencies to send additional financial resources to the state to help with a wide variety of challenges, including crisis counseling and purchasing medical equipment and supplies.
673 New Cases of Coronavirus Reported in Illinois, Along With 7 Additional Deaths
Officials in Illinois have repeatedly warned residents that coronavirus cases in the state would continue to rapidly rise, and that is what happened Thursday as 673 new cases of the virus were reported statewide.
In addition, the state reported seven more deaths as a result of the virus, bringing the statewide total to 26.
In all, 2,538 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state since the pandemic began.
17 Inmates Test Positive for Coronavirus in Cook County Jails
In a press release issued Wednesday, the Cook County Sheriff's Department says that a total of 17 inmates have now tested positive for COVID-19.
As of Tuesday, only three inmates had tested positive for the virus.
31 more inmates are still awaiting test results. Two inmates have tested negative for the virus out of approximately 50 tests conducted.
330 New Positive Tests Reported; 1,865 Positive Coronavirus Tests Now Reported in 35 Illinois Counties
The state of Illinois saw another jump in the number of positive coronavirus tests, with 330 new cases reported across the state.
That new case surge puts the state total at 1,865 since the pandemic began. Three new counties reported positive tests on Wednesday, with Douglas, Marshall and Morgan counties all reporting positive tests for the first time. A total of 35 counties statewide have now reported positive tests.
The state reported three additional deaths on Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 19. A Kane County man in his 90s, a Cook County man in his 60s, and a Will County woman in her 50s all passed away after testing positive for the virus.
Chicago Mayor Issues Warning During Warmer Temps
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she's prepared to shut down Chicago's lakefront as crowds of people flock during warmer weather despite a stay-at-home order in effect in the state.
"Under no circumstances are you allowed to congregate, and do not let the warming weather let your guard slip -like today," she said.
Wednesday was Chicago's warmest day since a stay-at-home order took effect in Illinois Saturday.
Lightfoot reminded residents that people should only be going outside "briefly" and preferably in their own neighborhoods.
Third Inmate at Cook Count Jail Tests Positive for Coronavirus
Cook County officials announced Tuesday that a third inmate at the county jail has tested positive for coronavirus. A second corrections officer has also tested positive for the virus.
Officials say the inmate is currently hospitalized because of the illness.
An additional 24 inmates who were experiencing flu-like symptoms have been tested, but results are pending.
Control Tower at Midway International Airport Re-Opens After Positive COVID-19 Tests
The air traffic control tower at Chicago's Midway International Airport has re-opened a week after three FAA air traffic technicians tested positive for the coronavirus.
While the tower was closed, flights operated on a "one in, one out" basis, and hundreds of flights were canceled each day while the closure was in effect.
The tower has now been completely cleaned, according to the FAA.
Pritzker Says Illinois Needs 38,000 Additional Hospital Beds to Deal With Coronavirus Outbreak
During a press conference Tuesday, Governor J.B. Pritzker spelled out the state's plans to deal with a coming influx of patients battling the novel coronavirus.
Pritzker said that the state needs approximately 38,000 more hospital beds to cope with the virus, and said that a "stay-at-home" order will help to limit the number of new cases requiring hospitalization.
The governor said that over 60 hospitals have already constructed triage tents to help with an overflow of patients, and more are adding the tents with the help of the Illinois Emergency Management Administration.
250 New Cases, 4 Additional Deaths Reported in Illinois
Officials in Illinois confirmed 250 additional cases of coronavirus in the state, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,535 since the pandemic began.
Officials also confirmed four more deaths, including a Chicago resident in his 50s, two Cook County residents, both in their 60s, and a DuPage County resident in her 90s.
Coronavirus cases have now been confirmed in 32 Illinois counties, with Grundy County reporting its first positive test on Tuesday.
Chicago Reminds Residents They Must Still Pay Parking Meters During Stay-at-Home Orders
Despite Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's announcement that the city will not be collecting debt for things like city tickets as residents are urged to stay indoors during the coronavirus outbreak, the city wants residents to know they must still pay their parking meters.
"While the city's [sic] is prioritizing safety-related violations, that doesn't mean we're not enforcing parking meter violations altogether," Kristen Cabanban, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Finance, said in a statement.
CTA Offers One-Time Credit for Passes Not Used During Coronavirus Outbreak
Did you buy a Chicago Transit Authority pass and then not get to use most of it due to the COVID-19 outbreak? The CTA has created an offer for riders stuck in that situation.
With many people working from home, commuter travel has been down during the pandemic. As a result, the CTA is offering one-time credit for active passes that are no longer getting used.
The transit agency spread the word via an email from Ventra Chicago and detailed how riders can take advantage. Anyone with active seven-day and 30-day passes can receive a prorated credit. The prorated amount is based on when the pass was last used. The credit would be added to the person’s Ventra account.
236 New Coronavirus Cases Reported in Illinois, Bringing Statewide Total to 1,285
State health officials say that 236 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed statewide, bringing the state's total to 1,285.
In addition, health officials reported three additional deaths on March 23, bringing the state's total fatality count to 12 as a result of the virus.
State officials say 31 of Illinois' 102 counties have now reported positive tests, as Monroe County was added to the list Monday.
Public Defenders Call for Release of Detainees
Cook County public defenders want "vulnerable people" detained at the Cook County Jail released in an effort to "protect their health" during the coronavirus pandemic.
The group of public defenders filed an emergency petition seeking the release of several groups of people currently at the jail who are vulnerable to infection, like older people or those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those confined on misdemeanor charges, among others.
CPD Officers, Cook County Correctional Officer Test Positive for Coronavirus
Chicago police announced on March 22 that three more members of the department had tested positive for the coronavirus: a detective and two officers, bringing CPD's total number of confirmed cases to four.
Police do not believe that the cases are linked to the first case of a CPD detective testing positive for the illness, and said that the second and third who tested positive were in "good spirits." The fourth, a South Side patrol officer, was announced separately hours later.
Meanwhile, a Cook County correctional officer tested positive for the disease Sunday. The officer was working at the residential treatment unit at Cermak Hospital, and anyone who came in contact with him has been advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.
A priest in suburban South Holland also tested positive for the illness, and the Archdiocese of Chicago is cautioning anyone who may have come in contact with the priest to self-quarantine.
296 New Coronavirus Cases Reported, Bringing Illinois' Total to 1,049
Nearly 300 new cases of novel coronavirus were reported by state officials on March 22, bringing the state's total to 1,049.
In addition, officials revealed that three more individuals have died after testing positive for the virus. A Cook County man in his 80s, a Chicago man in his 80s, and a McLean County woman in her 70s were among those who died after testing positive for the virus.
At least 30 counties across the state now report coronavirus cases.
168 New Coronavirus Cases in Illinois, Bringing Total to 753
An additional 168 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Illinois, health officials said Saturday, increasing the statewide total to 753.
The news comes as the state also reported one more death associated with the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to six. The newly-reported death is a Cook County man in his 70s, health officials said.
As of Saturday afternoon, patients ranging in age from 3 to 99 years old, have been reported in 26 counties.
Illinois Governor Issues Stay-at-Home Order
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced a statewide stay-at-home order aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.
The order is expected to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and continue until the end of April 7. Schools will also remain closed in the state until that date, Pritzker said.
"We know this will be hard and we're looking for every tool we have to get through this crisis," Pritzker said.
In addition, the governor ordered municipalities to halt all evictions and directed additional resources to help homeless residents. School districts will continue supplying meals to students who need them.
Meanwhile, all Chicago parks and libraries will be closed while the order is in effect.
"I want to say to be clear, this is not a lockdown, it's not martial law," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "There's absolutely no need to change your normal purchasing habits. Please, the grocery stores will remain open and stocked. So please be mindful of your neighbors and do not hoard. Remember, this is the new normal, for now."
Lightfoot Extends Chicago Public Schools Closure to April
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on March 19 that Chicago Public Schools will remain closed for much of April.
The mayor, in an address to the city Thursday, extended the closure of city schools from March 30 to April 20, with classes set to resume on April 21.
"We need to give parents and guardians plenty of advance notice about this reality and the ability to plan," she said. "CPS and the city will continue to support you in the ways that they have through these early days of the school closures."
3 New Deaths Reported, 422 Total Coronavirus Cases Now Confirmed in Illinois
Coronavirus cases in the state of Illinois are continuing to rise, as 134 new cases were confirmed on March 19, bringing the statewide total to 422.
In addition, three deaths have been reported across the state. According to Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Will County resident in his 50s, a Cook County resident in her 80s, and an out-of-state resident in her 70s who was visiting Sangamon County have passed away after being diagnosed with the virus.
Chicago Orders Sick Residents to Stay Home or Face Citations
Chicago residents experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus are now required to stay home in an effort to stop the disease, city officials announced March 19 as part of a public health order signed by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady.
Under the order, any resident diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms cannot leave their place of residence, go to work or attend any group settings. Sick residents will be allowed to seek "essential services," such as clinical care and obtaining medicine or food.
Anyone who violates the order could face citations from CDPH, officials said, though they did not specify what those citations would include or how they would be enforced.
Chicago Police Department Confirms Case of COVID-19
A member of the Chicago Police Department tested positive for the coronavirus, the department announced March 19. Few details were released about the case, but spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the person would remain at home until medically cleared and that the department was working to identify potential contacts who may have interacted with the person.
2 ER Doctors at Rush Oak Park Hospital Test Positive
Two emergency room doctors at Rush Oak Park Hospital tested positive for the coronavirus and were quarantined at home, a spokesman for the hospital system said March 19. One doctor had not been seeing patients for several days prior, while the other may have had patient and peer contact, the health system said in a statement, adding that it was likely the cases were community transmitted.
Brookfield Zoo to Close Through April 30
Brookfield Zoo closed its doors on March 19 through April 30 to slow the spread of coronavirus. Animal care specialists and veterinary staff will continue to care for animals at the zoo during the period, officials said.
Most Chicago Public Library Locations Closed
The Chicago Public Library is closing 61 of its locations starting March 23 amid the coronavirus outbreak. Only 17 branches will remain open starting Monday, as well as the Harold Washington Library Center, Sulzer Regional Library and Woodson Regional Library, Chicago Public Library officials announced Wednesday. Full list, hours and details here.
Archdiocese Limits Funerals to 10 People
The Archdiocese of Chicago on March 18 limited funeral attendance to 10 people as the coronavirus continues to spread. Those 10 attendees must be immediate family members and are required to stand at least six feet apart with no physical contact, the new restrictions dictate.
2nd Chicago Fire Department Member Tests Positive for Coronavirus
A second member of the Chicago Fire Department tested positive for coronavirus, fire officials announced March 18, saying CFD was alerted to the case by a "local health care facility" and that the patient was being treated at a hospital. The member is on "the EMS side of things," a CFD spokesman said, adding that officials believe the person did not contract the virus through the job.
2 Cases Confirmed in Lincoln Park Condo Building
The Regal Loft building, located in the 1700 block of West Diversey Parkway in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, posted a sign on March 17 informing residents that the building had two confirmed cases of COVID-19. The note said the building was being disinfected twice daily and asked all residents to self-quarantine.
DuPage County Officials Confirm 46 Coronavirus Cases at Long-Term Care Facility
A total of 33 residents and 13 staffers have been diagnosed with coronavirus after testing was completed at a long-term care facility in DuPage County, health officials confirmed Wednesday.
Every resident and staffer at the facility was tested for the virus, according to county health officials. There was no word on the condition of the individuals who tested positive.
Oak Park Residents Ordered to Shelter in Place Beginning Friday
In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, residents in suburban Oak Park are being ordered to shelter in place beginning Friday, March 20. The order will run through at least April 3, according to officials.
There are numerous exceptions to the order, which came after the village's mayor declared a state of emergency.
Officials Confirm 128 New Coronavirus Cases in Illinois, Bringing Total to 288 Statewide
The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed 128 new cases of the novel coronavirus statewide Wednesday, bringing the total to 288 cases confirmed since the start of the outbreak.
State officials say that two new counties have reported cases, including Kendall and Madison counties, with 17 Illinois counties now reporting cases of the virus.
A long-term care facility in DuPage County is reporting 20 new cases of the virus, bringing the total number of individuals with confirmed coronavirus cases to 42. Of those 42, 30 are long-term residents, and 12 staff members have also contracted the virus.
Cases have been reported in individuals as young as 9 years old and as old as 91, according to officials.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to Give Televised Address From City Hall Thursday
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to give a televised address about coronavirus Thursday.
The mayor is expected to address residents from her office in City Hall at 5 p.m.
DePaul Faculty Member Tests Positive for COVID-19
A DePaul University faculty member has tested positive for coronavirus, the university announced Wednesday.
The faculty member was last at the Chicago school's building at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. on Sunday with another person not associated with the school who also tested positive for the virus.
"For precautions and the safety of the community the building at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave., including the Chicago Public Library branch and AMITA Sage Medical, will close today, March 18, to allow for cleaning," the university said in a statement.
55 New Coronavirus Cases Bring Illinois Total to 160 in 15 Counties
Fifty-five new confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Illinois, health officials said Tuesday, lifting the state total to 160 cases in 15 counties.
Among them are 22 at a DuPage County long-term care facility, the same location where a woman had tested positive over the weekend. The new cases at the facility include 18 residents and four staff members, all of whom are in isolation, officials said Tuesday.
“Residents in nursing homes are our most vulnerable population and we are doing everything we can to protect them," Ezike said. "We may see cases in other long-term care facilities, which is why it is so important that we all do our part to reduce possible exposure in the community to those who go in and out of these facilities as they provide care to resident.”
First Coronavirus Death Reported in Illinois, Governor Announces
The first coronavirus-related death has been reported in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday.
The patient was a Chicago woman in her 60s with an underlying condition, Pritzker said. The woman was not a nursing home resident and had been diagnosed earlier this month.
"More than this just being our first case this is someones loved one, someones child, someones parent, a vital part of our community," Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the woman as 61-year-old Chicago resident Patricia Frieson. A records review will be conducted Wednesday.
Indiana Reports 2nd COVID-19 Death
The Indiana State Department of Health announced Tuesday the state's second death from COVID-19.
The patient was a Johnson County adult over the age of 60, who had previously been hospitalized. The department did not release any additional information on the case.
Pritzker Mandates All Gatherings of 50 People or More Be Canceled
At a news conference on March 16, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that mandatory gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled in accordance with new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This was a difficult decision, but it's what the medical experts and the scientists tell us we must do," he said.
12 New Coronavirus Cases in Illinois, Total Now at 105
An additional 12 coronavirus cases were reported in Illinois March 16, bringing the total statewide to 105.
Both Peoria and Will counties reported cases for the first time, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Additional cases were reported in the City of Chicago as well as Champaign, Clinton, Cook, Cumberland, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Sangamon, St. Clair, Whiteside, Winnebago and Woodford counties.
Gov. Pritzker Orders All Bars, Restaurants to Close to Dine-in Customers
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Sunday ordered all restaurants across the state to close to dine-in customers starting at the end of business Monday through March 30.
Delivery and drive-up options will remain open, state officials said.
Number of Illinois Coronavirus Cases Climbs to 93
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 29 new coronavirus cases Sunday, increasing the total number in the state to 93.
The five following counties reported cases for the first time: Champaign, Clinton, Sangamon, Whiteside, and Winnebago counties.
Other areas with cases include Chicago and Cook, Cumberland, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, St. Clair, and Woodford counties.
Navy Pier Closing to Public Monday Due to Coronavirus
Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier will close to the public from Monday, March 16, through Thursday, April 2, “out of an abundance of precaution,” pier officials said, as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Chicago Officials Announce New Restrictions for Bars, Restaurants Selling Alcohol as Coronavirus Cases Rise
Chicago officials announced Sunday new restrictions for businesses that sell liquor to have less than half of their regular maximum capacity and in addition, cap entrance to 100 people as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continue to rise.
Indiana Reports 4 New Virus Cases Bringing Total to 19
State officials on Sunday announced four new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number statewide to 19. The new COVID-19 cases involved residents of Hamilton and Marion counties, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. State officials said 11 Indiana counties now have cases.
‘Disaster Proclamation’ To Be Issued for All of DuPage County Due to Coronavirus
At a press conference Sunday, President of DuPage Health Dept. Sam Tornatore announced that a 'Disaster Proclamation' will be issued effective Monday after a woman tested positive for coronavirus in the suburban county.
20 More Cases Reported in Illinois, Total Now at 66
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. Two additional cases were reported in downstate Sangamon County.
One of the cases reported Saturday is a woman in her 60s who resides at a long-term care facility in DuPage County.
Cook County to Postpone Most Court Cases
The majority of civil and criminal court cases in Cook County will be postponed for 30 days starting Tuesday, according to Chief Justice Timothy C. Evans.
No jury trials in criminal or civil matters will begin in the 30 days. Individuals who have been summoned to jury duty from March 17 through April 15 should not report for jury duty.
Judges will hear cases of child abuse or neglect in which the state seeks protective custody of a child. Individuals can also seek orders of protection during the 30-day period.
Emergency requests in civil matters will be permitted, according to the news release.
All Illinois Casinos to Close Starting Monday
Illinois' 10 casinos will be closed for 14 days starting Monday, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.
"The public health of patrons, casino employees, IGB staff, and others is of paramount importance," according to a news release from the gaming board. "The board is continuously monitoring developments and will update licensees and the public as frequently as possible."
14 New Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed in Illinois, Bringing the Total to 46
An additional 14 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Illinois, health officials said Friday, bringing the state's total to 46. Of the 14 new cases, nine are in Chicago, four are in Cook County and one is in Lake County, Illinois health officials said. The ages range from the 20s to the 90s.
All Illinois Schools to Close Over Coronavirus, Governor Announces
All schools in Illinois, including Chicago Public Schools, will be closed until the end of March as the state continues efforts to combat a growing number of coronavirus cases, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday.
The governor said all public and private schools in the state, including Chicago Public Schools, will close beginning Tuesday and stay closed through March 30.
Archdiocese of Chicago Suspends Mass Beginning March 14
Public mass will be suspended beginning on the evening of March 14, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced. The churches will remain open for prayer "during a timeframe best determined by each pastor." Weddings and funerals scheduled for March 14 can continue as long as they have fewer than 250 people.
Televised and online masses will be broadcast by parishes able to do so.
Archdiocese of Chicago Announces System-Wide Closure
The Archdiocese of Chicago announced a system-wide closure of Catholic schools, effective March 16. This decision applies to all Catholic schools in Cook and Lake Counties operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago.
"Catholic schools not operated by the archdiocese will make decisions individually," the archdiocese said. "This decision extends to all regular operations of our Catholic schools, including all extra-curricular activities, social events and other school-related gatherings."
City Colleges of Chicago to Start Spring Early, Move to Remote Learning
City Colleges of Chicago will use remote learning for most classes after spring break, which will now start one week early for students. Spring Break will begin March 30 and run through April 12.
"After Spring Break, adult education and applied learning classes will continue to take place on our campuses, but classroom space will be re-configured to practice social distancing," the announcement read. "Our colleges will be open after the break, and students and faculty will be able to use our computer labs, libraries and other resources for teaching and learning, as needed."
Several Chicago Museum Close to Public
Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry and Adler Planetarium will all be closed to the public over the coronavirus outbreak, the institutions announced Friday.
The Shedd Aquarium will remain closed until March 29 and will "continue to assess and monitor updates daily from health officials," the aquarium said in a statement.
The Museum of Science and Industry announced that it will be closed beginning March 14 through April 6, planning to reopen April 7 but will continue to monitor the outbreak.
The Adler Planetarium will be closed indefinitely beginning March 14, the institution said in a statement. All events at Adler thorugh May 1 will be rescheduled or canceled.
The Field Museum will be closed from March 14 through March 29. All programs are also postponed.
Student at St. Margaret of Scotland School in Chicago Tests Positive for Coronavirus
St. Margaret of Scotland School and Parish on Chicago's Far South Side was closed beginning Friday after a student tested positive for coronavirus.
The Chicago Department of Public Health informed school officials Thursday evening that a student had tested positive for the virus amid the global outbreak, according to a letter posted on the school's website late Thursday. The school is located at 9833 S. Throop St. in the city's Longwood Manor neighborhood.
The student in question also attended the school's mass at St. Margaret of Scotland Church on Thursday, the letter reads.
7 New Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed in Illinois, Boosting State to 32
Illinois has seven new confirmed cases of coronavirus, health officials announced Thursday, bringing the state's total to 32.
The new cases include:
• 40s - female
• Youth - male
• 70s - male
• 70s - female
• 70s – female
• 50s - male
• 60s - man
Health officials said they are still investigating the travel histories of the newest cases and any potential contacts.
Of the 32 cases in Illinois, 29 percent are travel-related, 44 percent are due to contacts with a coronavirus patient and the remaining cases "do not have a clear connection and could be the result of spread in the community," IDPH said.
PGA TOUR Cancels PLAYERS Championship & Upcoming Events
"It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship," the official statement read Thursday evening. "We have also decided to cancel all PGA TOUR events – across all of our Tours – in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open."
Aurora Halts All Water Disconnections for Next 30 Days
Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin announced today the City of Aurora has temporarily halted disconnecting water service at any Aurora residence and business due to non-payment.
Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle Canceled
The Shamrock Shuffle, Chicago's unofficial start of running season, was scheduled to step off on March 22 and announced it was canceled Thursday evening. Registered runners will receive a refund for their entry fee, will receive an update within 7 to 10 business days. Plans are already being made for the upcoming annual race expected to take place Sunday, March 21, 2021.
Pritzker Recommends Ban on Gatherings of 250 People or More
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced a ban on all large gatherings of 1,000 people or more in Illinois as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise.
Pritzker also asked that all gatherings of 250 people or more also be postponed amid the outbreak.
The ban will be in effect until May 1.
Chicago Public Schools Staying Open Amid Coronavirus Concerns
Chicago Public Schools will remain open amid coronavirus concerns, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday, even as schools in other parts of the Chicago area decide to close or implement e-learning.
"At this time, CPS will remain open," Lightfoot said, noting the district is taking action to keep students and staff safe as COVID-19 cases in the city climb.
CPS will begin scaling back large-scale school events, Lightfoot said, as well as issuing spring break guidance and instituting a mandatory policy on short-term closures for schools with confirmed cases.
Annual James Beard Awards Moved to Summer
The James Beard Awards will be moved to summer 2020.
The postponement includes the James Beard Media Awards (originally scheduled for Friday, April 24, in New York City), the Leadership Awards (Sunday, May 3, in Chicago), and the Restaurant & Chef Awards (Monday, May 4, in Chicago). As of now, the nominee announcement will be made on March 25 from Philadelphia as scheduled.
Indiana Bans Gatherings of More Than 250 People
The state of Indiana has banned non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced March 12, in an effort to "reduce the spread of novel coronavirus" in the state. As of Thursday, 12 Indiana residents had tested presumptively positive for COVID-19.
“This is a time when we must do all we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect our most vulnerable populations and reduce their potential to acquire or spread this virus,” said Holcomb in a statement. “While some actions are drastic, now, not later, is the time to act.”
Major Sporting Events Canceled
NCAA tournaments canceled, NHL suspends season, MLB halts spring training and delays Opening Day amid coronavirus outbreak. Full list here.
The Chicago White Sox said it is working with the MLB to address logistics and scheduling adjustments.
"While we look forward to the timely return of the game we love, we also recognize that at times like these, baseball is simply a game," the team wrote.
The NBA had earlier announced it was suspending its season after two players reportedly tested positive, but the Chicago Bulls tweeted on March 12 that no player had reported experiencing symptoms.
Adler University Says Member of Chicago Campus Being Tested, Campus Closed Pending Results
Adler University said a member of its Chicago Campus was being tested for COVID-19 and is in isolation.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the Chicago Campus has been closed until results of the testing are known," the school said in a statement. "Should the results come back negative, campus will re-open and normal operations will resume. Should the results come back positive, a deep cleaning of campus will take place. When our students, faculty, and staff return, they will be returning to a well-prepared, clean, and safe campus."
Meanwhile, classes were canceled through March 15.
"By the end of the weekend, we will assess whether or not it is safe to return to campus. If not, starting Monday, March 16, all classes at the Chicago Campus will be conducted online. Over the weekend, online classes will continue as per usual and weekend residency classes will move to Zoom," the school said.
IHSA Cancels Winter State Tournaments
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced that it has canceled its remaining winter State Series postseason tournaments, which include Boys Basketball, Scholastic Bowl, Drama & Group Interpretation, Music, Debate and Journalism, over concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loyola University Chicago to Transition to Online Learning, Sends Students Home
Loyola University said it will suspend face-to-face classes and transition to online/distance learning beginning March 13 and continuing through the end of the semester. Final exams will be "handled remotely." In addition, residential students are "expected to leave campus as soon as possible and go home for the semester." Residence halls will close by the end of Thursday.
University of Chicago Announces It's Moving to Remote Learning
The University of Chicago is moving to remote learning for undergraduate and graduate classes for the entire spring quarter beginning March 30.
"Extensive preparations are in process under the Provost’s leadership, and we will provide detailed guidance over the next week about remote teaching," the university said. "The University is fully committed to supporting the education of all students throughout the Spring Quarter. The College, schools, divisions, and departments will work closely with all undergraduate and graduate students to ensure that they continue to receive a transformative education."
DePaul University Tells Students to 'Prepare Not to Return for Spring Quarter'
The university issued a statement saying no final exams for Winter Quarter classes will take place on campus, that for the time being, all university-sponsored events are postponed or canceled until further notice and that "classes will be delivered remotely during Spring Quarter and the remainder of Spring Semester for the College of Law. Campuses will remain open to faculty and staff, and operations other than in-class instruction will be expected to continue.Students who live in residence halls should prepare not to return for Spring Quarter."
University of Illinois Suspends Face-to-Face Course Instruction at All Campuses
After Spring Break, the university announced the campus will suspend face-to-face course instruction starting Monday, March 23. "Students are expected to attend classes in-person as normal on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13," the school said in a statement Wednesday. "All international travel on university-sponsored business for faculty, staff and students is prohibited from March 16 until further notice."
Northwestern Extends Spring Break, Announces Remote Learning For Upcoming Weeks
Northwestern schools operating on a quarter system are extending Spring Break by one week, according to a statement released Wednesday.
"When classes resume, beginning April 4, they will be conducted remotely for at least three weeks," the statement read. "Classes that do not lend themselves to remote instruction will be addressed separately. University leaders will reassess the situation by April 17 and decide then whether to continue remote teaching or to return to in-person instruction by April 27. We will provide additional guidance on the transition to remote classes in the days to come. A website outlining essential resources for teaching has been established and will continue to be updated."
Dundee-Crown High in Carpentersville to Close School, Cancel Activities
Superintendent Fred Heid issued a statement Wednesday evening stating that out of precaution of a possible COVID-19 case exposure at Dundee-Crown High School, the school will be closed for the rest of the week. This includes all after school activities starting Wednesday through Sunday.
"At 11 a.m. this morning, District 300 was contacted by the Kane County Health Department regarding a possible case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure at Dundee-Crown High School," the statement read. "A student who attends Dundee-Crown and their family have been told to self-quarantine by the McHenry County Health Department while they await test results for another member of their immediate family. As an additional precaution, the student and their family members were also screened for COVID-19 today. We expect to receive an update regarding their test results on Friday or Saturday."
Biden Cancels In-Person Event in Illinois, Changes to Virtual
Joe Biden will no longer hold "large crowd events" in Illinois and Florida, his campaign announced Wednesday. Instead, the events will become "virtual events."
6 New Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed in Illinois, Lifting State to 25
Illinois has six new confirmed cases of coronavirus, health officials announced Wednesday, bringing the state's total to 25.
The majority of the new cases were reported in Chicago and Cook County, though a Lake County man in his 50s was also diagnosed, health officials said.
Health officials said they are investigating the new cases' travel histories, exposures and close contacts.
All new cases are in isolation, either at home or in an area hospital.
Prudential Building Says Employee Tested Positive for COVID-19
An employee who works for a tenant in One Two Pru has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a spokesman for Sterling Bay said in a statement. Building management said the person fell ill on March 5, went home and was tested and diagnosed in the late afternoon on March 10.
"The employee has not returned to the property since feeling ill last Thursday," a notice to tenants, obtained by NBC 5, read.
It remains unclear if the person diagnosed is among the 19 cases already announced in Illinois. Sterling Bay said it "will continue to aggressively clean" the building.
Chicago Postpones St. Patrick's Day Festivities
Chicago's St. Patrick's Day parades and the city's iconic river dyeing have been postponed amid coronavirus concerns, city officials announced Wednesday.
The downtown Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade, which was set for Saturday, as well as Sunday's South Side Irish Parade and the Northwest Side parades will not step off as a coronavirus outbreak continues to bring more cases in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. The annual dyeing of the Chicago River will also be rescheduled "to a later date," city officials said.
Full list of canceled events across the area.
Notre Dame Suspends In-Person Instruction, Study Abroad Programs
In a letter to students, Father John Jenkins said that beginning March 23 and continuing through at least April 13, "all in-person classes will be suspended, to be replaced with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options." All classes will also be canceled the week of March 15 "to allow faculty time to make the adjustment to on-line instruction."
The university has announced plans to end all study abroad programs and will be bringing students and staff home as soon as possible, the school announced.
Naval Station Great Lakes Suspends In-Person Graduation Ceremony Over Coronavirus Fears
Amid coronavirus concerns, the Navy’s boot camp in north suburban Chicago will prohibit guests from attending graduation ceremonies.
Naval Station Great Lakes will continue holding graduation ceremonies, but “out of an abundance of caution,” guests won’t be allowed to attend starting March 13, the U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command wrote in a Facebook post.
Instead, guests can view the ceremonies live-streamed online.
8 New Cases Bring State's Total to 19
Two of the eight cases are outside of Cook County, including one with ties to Lake and McHenry Counties and one in Kane County, health officials said.
The cases include a teenage resident of McHenry County and a woman in her 60s from Kane County.
The two cases outside of Cook County may be cases of community spread, health officials said, warning that "we're likely to see additional cases each day forward."
"Neither have a travel history to affected countries or close contact with a known COVID-19 case based on our preliminary investigations, but the investigations are still ongoing," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The other six cases in Cook County include:
- A man in his 70s
- A woman in her 60s
- A woman in her 40s
- A man in his 40s
Two other cases were reported in Chicago and involved two men in their 40s.
The cases were all said to be in stable condition and in isolation.
2 New COVID-19 Cases in Indiana Boost State’s Total to 6
Two more people in Indiana have been sickened by the coronavirus, boosting the state's total cases to six, health officials said March 10.
Indiana University to Teach Remotely
Indiana University said after its spring break ends on March 22, students on all campuses will be taught remotely. They expect to resume "face-to-face teaching" on April 6.
"Students are encouraged to travel home, if possible, during this time period," the university said in a message to students. "For this two weeks, course work will continue via virtual online teaching. We are investigating how to accommodate classroom activities that typically include laboratories or other in-person interactions, and specific guidance will follow. IU campuses will not close, and residential halls and dining will remain open."
Several Chicago-Area Schools Close Due to Coronavirus Concerns
At least four schools in the Chicago area were closed on March 10 over an uptick in confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Schools include Resurrection College Prep High School in Chicago, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in the Lake View East neighborhood, Vaughn Occupational High School also on Chicago's North Side and Loyola Academy in Wilmette.
Resurrection said classes will remain canceled March 11 after someone in the "school community" had contact with a coronavirus patient. Vaughn Occupational High School will remain closed for the week after an aide tested positive for the virus.
Health Officials Announce 4 Additional Cases in Illinois
Four additional cases of the coronavirus were announced on March 9, bringing the state's total to 11.
The new cases involve two women in their 50s and 70s who are relatives of a Chicago Public Schools aide diagnosed on Friday. The women are not connected to the school the aide worked at, however, health officials said.
The third case is a woman in her 50s, who is from California but traveled to Illinois. The fourth case is a woman in her 70s who returned earlier this month from an Egyptian cruise linked to COVID-19 cases.
All four women were in good condition and in isolation, health officials said.
Governor Issues Disaster Proclamation
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a disaster proclamation, joining 13 other states across the nation that have announced similar measures.
The disaster declaration, Illinois' version of a state of emergency, is the first step toward obtaining federal funding to help with the outbreak.
Health Officials Confirm 7th Coronavirus Case in Illinois
Health officials believe a Chicago man who was diagnosed with coronavirus is the first community-transmitted case of the virus in the city.
The resident, a man in his 60s, is currently hospitalized and is in serious condition, according to health officials.
Officials say that the man has not traveled to any countries impacted by coronavirus, and that he has no connection to any other existing cases.
Meanwhile, Loyola Academy canceled classes on March 9 after officials at the private high school in north suburban Wilmette learned that a student and the student's family had contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. School administrators learned about the contact Sunday evening, the school said in a message posted on its website that same night.
"On the evening of Sunday, March 8, we were made aware that a current Loyola Academy student and the student’s family had contact with an individual that public health officials report has tested positive for COVID-19," the message reads. "Health officials are awaiting final confirmation from the CDC. This individual has not been on Loyola’s campus at any time. The Loyola student was in class through Friday, March 6. The Loyola student and the student’s family are now under a 14-day quarantine and are not manifesting symptoms of COVID-19."
It was not immediately clear to which case the school was referring.
Missouri Woman With Coronavirus Flew Into O’Hare, Took Train From Chicago
A Missouri woman who recently tested positive for coronavirus took an Amtrak train from Chicago to St. Louis after returning from a study abroad trip to Italy, officials confirmed in a statement March 8.
The 20-year-old woman, who is from St. Louis County, flew into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on March 3 on a return trip from Italy, where she was studying, according to officials.
After staying the night in Chicago with a friend, the woman then got onto an Amtrak train bound for St. Louis on March 4.
According to St. Louis public radio, the woman called the St. Louis County coronavirus hotline on March 6 to report that she was experiencing a high fever and a cough. She then tested positive for coronavirus, making hers the first case of the virus in the St. Louis area.
In a statement, Amtrak says that they are “working in close contact” with officials to determine their next steps.
CPS Aide Becomes 6th to Test Positive for Coronavirus
A Chicago Public Schools aide has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, state and local officials said at a news conference March 6.
The patient — a Chicago resident in her 50s — is a special education classroom assistant at Vaughn Occupation High School on Chicago's North Side, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
The woman, who remains hospitalized in stable condition, recently disembarked from the Grand Princess cruise ship in California, where 21 people on board tested positive for the coronavirus.
After returning home, the patient went to her job at Vaughn Occupational High School, a specialty school for students with special needs and disabilities. The unidentified employee reported to Vaughn the week of Feb. 25, and was last present at work on March 2.
CPS Supt. Janice Jackson announced classes at the school will be canceled while the investigation continues.
5th Case Confirmed in Man Who Flew to O’Hare After Travel to Italy
A man who flew to Chicago's O'Hare Airport this month after traveling to Italy has tested positive for coronavirus in Illinois, state health officials announced March 5.
The patient is a "Cook County resident in his 20s" the Illinois Department of Public Health and Cook County Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The patient, a junior at Vanderbilt University, was treated at Rush University Medical Center. He told NBC 5 he had been studying abroad in Italy when the outbreak hit and the students in his program were recalled to the U.S.
Inspired Home Show Cancels Major Event in Chicago
The Inspired Home Show, a large annual convention that brings around 60,000 people from around the world to Chicago's McCormick Place, was canceled amid coronavirus fears. Several other events in the city have also since announced cancellations.
Previously Diagnosed Cases in Illinois
Among the state's first four cases were a woman in her 70s and her spouse, a man in his 70s, who tested positive in a Chicago suburb, the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a release.
Health officials said both patients were in "good condition" and in isolation at their home. The man was previously being treated at Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights.
Authorities have not yet determined how the pair contracted the virus, believing it may be a case of community transmission.
In January, two Chicago residents, a husband and wife, became the first two patients in Illinois to be diagnosed with the coronavirus. The wife had recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, to care for a relative.
Tom Panocha and his wife were treated at AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates and have since made a full recovery.
In an exclusive interview with “NBC Nightly News,” Panocha said the virus didn’t affect him much, adding that it was less strenuous on his body than the flu.
Last month, Illinois became the first state to conduct its own tests for the coronavirus, allowing for quicker results. Since then, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has requested that hospitals across the state implement additional testing to "improve surveillance for COVID-19." He also planned to add two more labs in central and southern Illinois that will test specimens this week.
The Illinois Department of Public Health launched a statewide hotline for the coronavirus "to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case," Pritzker said. That number is 1 (800) 889-3931.
NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago have prepared a guide of all contact information for Chicago-area and northwest Indiana health departments, as well as contact information for the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois. You can find local resources here.
National and International Updates
NOTE: For the latest information, click here.
House OKs $2.2T Rescue Package for Virus-Ravaged Economy, Health System
Acting swiftly in an extraordinary time, the House rushed President Donald Trump a $2.2 trillion rescue package, tossing a life preserver to a U.S. economy and health care system left flailing by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gatherings Limited to 10 Under 15-Day CDC Coronavirus Guidelines
For the next 15 days (beginning MArch 16), Americans are urged to limit social gatherings, to avoid unnecessary travel and to stay indoors as much as possible, according to new federal guidelines announced to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
During a Monday afternoon press conference, President Donald Trump urged all Americans, including the "young and healthy," to avoid unnecessary exposure by staying indoors.
Americans are urged to limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people, to continue their education at home, to avoid discretionary travel and to avoid bars, restaurants and food courts, according to the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Trump Declares National Emergency Over Coronavirus
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in order to open up billions of dollars in direct relief to Americans affected by the coronavirus. Trump called on all U.S. hospitals to activate their emergency preparedness plans. Trump said he was also giving Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar emergency authorities to waive federal regulations and laws to give doctors and hospitals “flexibility” in treating patients.
Trump Bans Foreign Travelers From Europe, Except UK, Over Coronavirus
Taking drastic action on March 11, President Donald Trump announced he is cutting off travel from Europe, except the United Kingdom, to the U.S. for 30 days beginning at midnight on Friday.
WHO Declares Outbreak a Pandemic
The World Health Organization declared Wednesday the global COVID-19 outbreak is now a pandemic.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who heads the U.N. agency, said the WHO is “deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity” of the outbreak. He also expressed concern about “the alarming levels of inaction.”
The U.S. government's top infectious-disease expert warned that the worst is yet to come.
With cases in the U.S. now topping 1,000 and the number of deaths climbing to 31, lawmakers and health officials set up containment zones and sought to limit contact with those who might be infected.
What can you do to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
"It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed."
The World Health Organization said protecting yourself from coronavirus is similar to preventing other types of infections:
"Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs," the WHO said. "Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing."
The Illinois Department of Public Health also weighed in with specific ways to "help prevent the spread of coronaviruses and protect yourself from becoming infected":
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
"There are currently no vaccines to protect against human coronavirus infection," the IDPH wrote online. There also are no specific treatments. To help relieve symptoms, the IDPH recommends:
- Take pain and fever medications
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Stay home and rest
The CDC currently recommends that if you think you are sick as a result of the coronavirus, stay at home, except to get medical care. If you notice symptoms and lived in — or have traveled to — an area with a coronavirus outbreak, or have had close contact with someone who lives in or has traveled to an area with a coronavirus outbreak, or if you have had close contact with a person who has been infected, the CDC recommends that you call a medical professional.
Calling a doctor in advance will help them prepare for your visit and prevent the spread of the virus to other people. The CDC also recommends that you avoid mass transit, ride-sharing services and taxis, and that you quarantine people and pets in your home as soon as possible.
Should you get a face mask?
Fear of the spreading coronavirus has led to a global run on sales of face masks despite evidence that most people who aren't sick don't need to wear them.
Many businesses are sold out, while others are limiting how many a customer can buy. Amazon is policing its site, trying to make sure sellers don't gouge panicked buyers.
Still, the CDC doesn't recommend that people wear masks to protect themselves from the virus. The CDC says people infected — or those showing symptoms such as fever and shortness of breath — should wear masks to avoid spreading it to others. Health care workers also need masks, the agency says.
Regular surgical face masks are not effective in protecting against the coronavirus. A more specialized face mask known as N95 respirators are thicker than surgical masks and are fitted to a person’s face to keep out any viral particles.
What about your finances?
The coronavirus outbreak caused a sudden drop in global stocks last week, leading many to worry about money that millions of people count on for things like retirement or buying a home. But financial experts say it's important not to panic.
Craig G. Bolanos Jr., the CEO of west suburban-based financial planning company Wealth Management Group, spoke to NBC 5 News Today on Monday as many investors worried about what would happen to their money in the week ahead. Public health crises can lead to economic loss when lots of people change their daily habits, Bolanos said.
"We're worried about people no longer traveling," Bolanos said. "We're worried about people no longer going about their daily lives and all of a sudden that has a ripple effect through the overall economy."
Bolanos pointed to previous declines in the market that were related to global health outbreaks such as SARS in 2003, MERS in 2012, Ebola in 2014 and Zika in 2016. Each dip was followed by a recovery.
Bolanos had specific advice for investors at different stages. Click here to read more.
What if you're traveling?
Many coronavirus cases so far have been in countries that are popular tourist destinations. This scare has prompted a 60% jump in insurance policies sold in the United States in the past month, according to InsureMyTrip.
If you have booked a flight, hotel, tour, or other travel arrangements and you’re now nervous about traveling, here’s what you need to know about how your travel insurance will and won’t cover you.
Doctors recommend adhering to federal travel restrictions and doing what makes you comfortable.
Most travel agencies say that people should check with the CDC when deciding on travel plans. The CDC provides information on postponing or cancelling travel. The CDC issues travel notices based on three levels: Watch Level 1, Alert Level 2 and Warning Level 3. Currently there are no travel warnings for domestic traveling.
What are the symptoms?
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, symptoms reported so far include:
- mild to severe respiratory illness
- difficulty breathing
How close are we to a cure?
The short answer: possibly more than a year away since a vaccine cannot be developed overnight given that the process is intensive, time-consuming and regulated.
Testing a vaccine has to proceed in stages -- not only to make sure that it indeed works but to make sure it is safe to use on people. This is a process that can take months, if not over a year, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health.
While there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019, research and work is currently underway in hopes of developing one.