Illinois Coronavirus Updates: 1K New Cases, Mask Donation, Warm Weather Concerns

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis this week

(NOTE: Daily press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the player above. Check back for updates.)

Across Illinois, coronavirus cases continue to spread despite weeks of a statewide stay-at-home order.

With estimations the state will reach a peak this month, patient influx threatens to overwhelm Chicago and Illinois hospitals, prompting officials to begin extreme preparations to help relieve some pressure from healthcare facilities. Meanwhile, a lack of protective gear and testing power has prompted a war of words between Illinois' governor and President Donald Trump.

State and city officials worry warming temperatures expected this week could lead to a rise in outdoor gatherings and violations of the stay-at-home order that could hinder efforts made to slow the virus' spread.

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis for April 6:

Illinois Reports More Than 1,000 New Coronavirus Cases, 33 Additional Deaths

The state of Illinois has reported more than 1,000 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the state's total number of cases to 12,262 since the pandemic began.

In addition, the state has reported 33 additional deaths, bringing the state's total number of fatalities to 307 as a result of COVID-19.

In all, more than 70 of Illinois' 102 counties are now reporting cases.

McDonald’s Donating 1 Million Masks to Illinois, Company Announces

McDonald's will donate one million N95 masks across Illinois as the state battles a growing number of coronavirus cases, the fast food chain announced Monday.

The masks will first go to first responders and healthcare professionals "in our home city and state where critical protective gear is in short supply," McDonald's said in a release.

Of the one million masks, 750,000 will be distributed in Chicago, where the company's global headquarters is located, and another 250,000 will go to the rest of the state.

There are countless videos online that can help you learn to make your own cloth face mask to protect against the coronavirus, but there’s a lot more to it than you might think. We’ll walk you through how to make an easy no-sew mask and what you need to know about using a mask to stay safe.

Chicago Opens Shelters for Newly Homeless in Coronavirus Crisis

Chicago has opened shelters at five new locations to house the homeless as the city grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city’s homeless numbers are expected to rise after a state-imposed stay-at-home order forced more people out of work. Lisa Morrison Butler, head of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services, said the nation’s third-largest city is working on “decompressing” shelters that are typically full.

Illinois Bans Activities at State Parks Amid Virus Outbreak

Illinois has barred all activities at state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas and historic sites in another move to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Colleen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, said in a statement that hunters and anglers aren't allowed to receive refunds on state-issued permits or permit transfers due to administrative guidelines under the state wildlife code.

Employees at 2 Chicago Target Stores Test Positive for Coronavirus

Target announced this weekend that employees at two of its Chicago locations have tested positive for coronavirus.

According to the company, one employee at the store's South Loop location and an employee at a Near North location tested positive for the virus.

Both employees will continue to be paid as they recover from the virus, the company said in a press release.

Lori Marie Key, a nurse at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Michigan, sings "Amazing Grace" during a shift change.
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