(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.)
Could students continue an e-learning program into the fall?
Parents and kids may want to prepare for the possibility, according to Illinois' governor.
Plus, a viral weekend gathering now has Chicago's mayor issuing a stern warning.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (April 27):
Judge Grants Restraining Order to Block Extended Stay-at-Home Order: Reports
A judge has reportedly ruled against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, issuing a restraining order over the extension of the state’s stay-at-home order, putting the statewide plan in jeopardy.
Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney ruled against Pritzker's executive order, granting a restraining order to temporarily block the stay-at-home restrictions set to take effect Friday, according to local reports.
"We are certainly going to act in a swift action to have this ruling overturned," Pritzker said in his daily coronavirus press briefing Monday.
The ruling comes after Republican State Rep. Darren Bailey of Xenia filed a lawsuit in Clay County Circuit Court claiming Pritzker has exceeded his authority and is violating the civil rights of the state’s residents. Pritzker on Thursday extended his stay-at-home order through May 30 as the highly contagious COVID-19 continued to infect thousands in the state.
"Enough is enough!" Bailey said in a statement. "I filed this lawsuit on behalf of myself and my constituents who are ready to go back to work and resume a normal life.”
Pritzker said he plans to issue new public health directives until the suit is resolved.
Lightfoot Sees Baseball Returning This Summer in Chicago, but Without Fans
More than a month has passed since the Major League Baseball season was set to begin, but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she can “envision a world” where players will return to the diamond this season.
The MLB season, currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, was supposed to begin in late March, and although it seems extremely unlikely that play will begin any time soon, Lightfoot expressed some optimism on Monday.
“We've had ongoing conversations about what (opening the season) might look like,” she said. “We're obviously a ways away from that, because we haven't seen the level of cases decline on a consistent basis. We're still seeing them rise. But can I envision a world where a baseball might return to Chicago this summer? Yes. Is it likely to be without fans? Probably.”
Coronavirus Cases in Illinois Climb to 45,883 With Almost 2,000 Deaths
Illinois' total number of coronavirus cases climbed to 45,883 Monday with 1,980 in the last 24 hours, health officials announced.
There were also 50 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities associated with the virus in the state to 1,983.
The increase in cases comes as the state also raises the number of tests being conducted statewide. More than 200,000 people have been tested across Illinois since the pandemic began.
As of midnight Monday, the state reported 4,672 hospitalizations associated with the virus. The number marks an increase of 73 patients from one week earlier. At the same time, 34 percent of the state's ICU beds were occupied.
Of the 4,672 hospitalizations, 763 are currently on ventilators, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
Officials Want to Vaccinate All of Chicago for Coronavirus When One Becomes Available
When a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, health officials want all of Chicago to be vaccinated.
Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner Allison Arwady said Monday officials are "building our plans to vaccinate the whole city of Chicago."
The news comes as the city on Monday launched a first-of-its-kind health app for residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
The "Chi COVID Coach" will give residents the opportunity to pre-register for vaccine dissemination once it becomes available.
"Though a vaccine may be many months away, CDPH is already taking steps to prepare for mass vaccination," the mayor's office said in a release. "Because of this feature, everyone is encouraged to sign up, whether symptomatic or not."
Illinois' Modified Stay-at-Home Order Begins Friday
Illinois' stay-at-home order will look a bit different beginning Friday.
The modified order, which includes a mask requirement and also allows some businesses to begin reopening, will take effect May 1 and continue through May 30.
For a list of changes click here.
Illinois May Be Able to Ease Social Distancing Guidelines by May 19, Projection Says
Illinois may potentially be able to ease up on social distancing guidelines by late May, a new projection says, provided strict containment strategies for the coronavirus outbreak are put in place.
The projections come from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which classified social distancing guidelines as government-mandated restrictions on mass gatherings, stay-at-home orders, as well as closures of businesses, schools, non-essential services and more.
The IHME found that social distancing guidelines in Illinois could potentially be relaxed beginning around May 19. That finding is based on when the IHME's model predicts infections will drop below one per 1 million people.
According to the Chicago Tribune, IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a media briefing Friday that potential "opening dates" are likely to change as more information becomes available - noting in particular that whether deaths drop sharply after peaking, or plateau, is a key variable in projections.
Chicago Launches New COVID-19 Health App in Chicago
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to hold a press conference Monday afternoon to announce the launch of a new coronavirus health app.
It's called the Chi COVID Coach Health app. The app, which was built with Google and MTX, will allow the Chicago Department of Public Health to "communicate directly with Chicago residents who may be COVID-19 positive or experiencing symptoms, providing them with important information and guidance," according to the mayor's office. It app will also give residents the opportunity to pre-register for vaccine dissemination once it becomes available
Free Coronavirus Testing Site Opens at Hospital on Chicago’s West Side
The first no-cost coronavirus testing site on Chicago's West Side opens Monday, allowing anyone to be tested for free, regardless of symptoms.
The testing site is at Loretto Hospital, located at 645 S. Central Ave. in the city's Austin neighborhood. It will offer both walk-up and drive-through testing for free, officials say.
It is open to the public, for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or who believes they may have been recently directly exposed to someone with the coronavirus. All healthcare workers and first responders can also get tested at Loretto Hospital, with or without symptoms.
Judge Blocks New Illinois Workers’ Compensation Rule for Essential Employees
A judge has blocked a new Illinois workers' compensation rule granting benefits to any employee deemed essential who contracts COVID-19, even if working from home.
Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John M. Madonia issued a temporary restraining order Thursday blocking the rule following a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association this week against emergency amendments adopted by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. More than two dozen business groups supported the lawsuit.
Pritzker: Illinois Students and Teachers Should Prepare for E-Learning Use in the Fall
Illinois school districts should begin preparing for the possibility of using E-Learning practices this coming fall, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on Sunday.
During Sunday’s daily coronavirus press briefing, Pritzker said he was unclear whether Illinois students and teachers would use E-Learning or be physically present in classrooms next school year.
“I would prepare for both because it is so unclear,” Pritzker said. “Without knowing the answer, E-Learning is an important thing for us to develop.”
Mayor Lightfoot Condemns Large House Party Reportedly in Chicago
A video showing a massive house party that reportedly took place on Chicago’s West Side has prompted strong reactions from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who on Twitter blasted partygoers for putting everyone around them in danger.
“I have seen the video which shows what appears to be a house party taking place inside a Chicago residence,” the mayor tweeted. “What was depicted on the video was reckless and utterly unacceptable.”
The video, posted by Facebook user Tink Purcell, showed hundreds of people at the party (warning: the video contains graphic language and has not been edited), and had been shared more than 60,000 times and been viewed more than 1.3 million times as of Sunday evening.
“While most Chicagoans are doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reckless actions like these threaten our public health and risk erasing the progress we have made,” Lightfoot wrote in a follow-up tweet. “We will hold those responsible accountable. I am asking everyone to be in this together.”
Lightfoot also asked residents to submit any anonymous tips to cpdtip.com and urged Chicagoans to stay home.