coronavirus

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: 1,465 New Cases, Easter Warning, COVID-19 Texts

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today

(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, more than 17,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, but in one Chicago neighborhood, the numbers paint a startling picture.

Meanwhile, Chicago police officers continue to be at risk of infection, with a second Chicago officer dying from COVID-19 complications in the same week the department laid to rest another one of its own, the first to pass away from coronavirus at CPD.

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (April 10):

2nd Chicago Police Officer Dies of COVID-19, Department Announces

A second Chicago police officer has passed away from coronavirus complications, the department announced Friday.

"This is the second member of the Department to be overcome by the disease and our condolences are with his family & sympathies to his CPD family," CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote on Twitter.

It marks the second death for the department, which announced its first coronavirus-related fatality on April 2, marking what was believed to be the first first responder death in Illinois due to the virus. That officer, 50-year-old Marco Di Franco, a highly-decorated 21-year veteran of the force who worked in the narcotics division, was laid to rest earlier this week.

Total Number of Illinois Coronavirus Cases Reaches 17,887 With 596 Deaths

With nearly three weeks left in Illinois' stay-at-home order, the state has reported at least 17,887 confirmed cases and nearly 600 deaths, officials announced Friday.

In addition to 1,465 new cases on Friday alone, 68 additional deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, health officials announced.

Officials Announce New Number for COVID-19 Text in Illinois

Beginning Friday, the Health Equity launched COVID-19 text messaging for Illinois. Residents can opt in for text messages by texting COVID (312) 500-3836. For Spanish, text COVIDESP to the same number.

Officials Urge Residents to Avoid Gathering on Easter Sunday

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike have spent this week pleading with residents and churches to avoid gathering on Easter Sunday as the statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect.

"I implore all Chicagoans and faith leaders to celebrate in any way you can as long as it is done separately and consistent with the stay-at-home guidelines," Lightfoot said in an address Friday. "It is imperative that this year we worship in a new way."

Earlier this week, both Pritzker and Ezike had similar warnings for churchgoers.

"Please, let's stay home. I'm a woman of faith, I miss being at church, Bible study prayer groups, the laying on of hands. This is not the time we don't want to hurt the people that we're intending to commune with," Ezike said. "Please stay a minimum of six feet away from each other, wear a face mask, wash your hands frequently, but congregation church meetings is ill advised at this time. Find a way to do the services electronically. The testing of our faith produces perseverance and let perseverance finish this work. We know the strategies that we've employed, are working. Let's not stop now. Let's be all in Illinois. We are going to get to the other side of this pandemic and all be able to celebrate whatever faith we celebrate together soon."

Member of Chicago Mayor's Extended Staff Tests Positive for COVID-19

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday that a member of her extended staff had tested positive for coronavirus.

The staff member was experiencing mild symptoms and "they appear to be doing quite well," Lightfoot said.

"This is just the latest sobering reminder of how this disease can impact really everyone," she said.

Lightfoot Visits McCormick Place With 1,750 More Beds Complete at Alternate Care Facility

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot visited the city's McCormick Place Friday, which has just completed the second phase of its transformation into an "alternate care facility" to house coronavirus patients.

Lightfoot toured the building to see additional progress made on construction since she and Gov. J.B. Pritzker visited the site one week prior.

"I want to stress just how remarkable it was to pull this all together in a short amount of time," she said. "Studies will be made about just how fast this project came together."

Illinois Driver’s License Expiration Dates Extended Due to Coronavirus Crisis

Expiration dates of Illinois driver's licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations and more will be extended even further due to the coronavirus pandemic, Secretary of State Jesse White announced Friday.

White said in a statement that his office had filed emergency rules extending the expiration dates for the various documents for at least 90 days after Driver Services facilities reopen. He had previously extended the deadline for 30 days.

State Farm Announces $2 Billion Rebate For Auto Insurance Customers

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company on Thursday announced a $2 billion rebate for their customers to help them through challenging financial times during the coronavirus pandemic.

State Farm said the rebate, part of its Good Neighbor Relief Program, will appear as a credit on customers' auto policy, and customers don't need to take any action to receive it.

Chicago’s West Ridge Neighborhood Has Illinois’ Highest Coronavirus Case Total

Chicago's West Ridge neighborhood has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The diverse middle-class neighborhood on the far north side of Chicago is reporting at least 272 confirmed cases, many of them under the age of 30.

It’s still unclear on what’s caused the outbreak in the community. 

17 More Chicago Police Department Employees Test Positive for COVID-19

Chicago police announced 17 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of cases in the department to 151.

Of the cases, 144 are officers and seven are civilian employees, police said. Four officers who previously tested positive have recovered and are back on duty.

A funeral was held Thursday for the first officer in the department to die of complications from the coronavirus.

Judge Orders Cook County Jail to Do More to Halt Spread of Coronavirus

A federal judge in Chicago Thursday ordered one of the nation’s largest jails to take prompt action to stem the potentially catastrophic spread of the coronavirus, including by ensuring that its more than 4,000 detainees have access to adequate soap and sanitizer.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly also mandated that Chicago’s Cook County Jail test all inmates as soon as they show signs of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and that it suspend the use of small holding pens to process new inmates.

Family of Cook County Jail Detainee Who Died of Coronavirus Sues Sheriff, County

A federal lawsuit filed by the family of the first detainee at Cook County Jail to die from complications of COVID-19 alleges the county violated his constitutional rights by shackling him to a bed while he was battling the virus.

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