(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.)
Illinois has reached a major milestone in the coronavirus pandemic: 1 million tested administered, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday.
This news came as health officials reported an additional 59 deaths and 1,156 confirmed cases of coronavirus, lifting the statewide total number of cases to more than 125,000.
Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she hopes to announce the reopening of the city's Lakefront "soon," with some major changes in place.
Additionally, Friday afternoon Pritzker said he was concerned about an increase in coronavirus cases following protests statewide.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (June 5):
Illinois Could See Uptick in Coronavirus Cases in 2-3 Weeks Due to Protests: Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker admitted on Friday that he's worried about an uptick in coronavirus cases in the next two to three weeks following recent protests statewide with many demonstrators apparently ignoring social distancing.
Pritzker said, if the cases were to significantly increase, the uptick would be reflected by a changed hospitalization rate in the next two to three weeks.
As in recent days, the state's positivity rate held around six percent Friday — well under the 20% threshold required to move onto Illinois' next reopening phase.
Illinois Surpasses 1 Million COVID-19 Tests
More than 1 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday.
“This milestone is the result of the incredible work of so many people behind the scenes in state government, in our National Guard, in our public and private hospital and healthcare systems all around the state – people who were willing to battle it out to build out a testing infrastructure that is accurate, efficient, and accessible,” Pritzker said in a statement. “And we’re still building – but I’m very proud to be one of the earliest states to hit this landmark.”
Illinois runs 11 community-based testing sites across the state where anyone can get tested at no cost, with no referral, regardless of symptoms. Those 11 testing sites are among the total of 279 sites available statewide.
Lightfoot Hopes to Reopen Lakefront 'Soon'
When asked about when the city's lakefront might reopen, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was hoping to announce new developments "soon."
"Well, we're hoping to get there soon," she said. "Obviously, the circumstances of this week have required us to focus our focus our attention on other issues, but I'm hoping to be able to announce the reopening of the lakefront relatively soon, with a plan towards safely minimizing crowding."
Lightfoot added that city officials have been working on a plan to have "some designated times for particular activities."
"We want to make sure that we get as many voices into the discussion as possible, but I'm hopeful that we'll be able to announce something very soon," she reiterated.
Pritzker Announces $1.3M in Grants to Downstate, Rural Businesses
Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced Friday the first round of grants awarded as part of the new Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program, created to support businesses who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
The first $1.3 million in grants have been allocated to 65 businesses like restaurants, salons, stores and more in 28 downstate communities. For a full list of recipients, as well as information on how to apply for any of the state's grant programs, you can visit the DCEO's website here.
Illinois Schools Can Hold In-Person Summer School Classes
Illinois' Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order Thursday allowing limited in-person instructions at both public and private schools this summer.
In March, Pritzker ordered all Illinois schools to close amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus and weeks later, he announced those doors would stay shut for the remainder of the academic year.
In accordance with Phase Three of the state's reopening plan and public health guidance, the number of individuals in one space will be limited to ten or fewer. Additionally, schools will be required to ensure compliance to social distancing guidelines "to the greatest extent possible."
Inside Argonne's High-Tech Effort to Crack the Code of COVID-19
Imagine standing in Chicago, and firing at a foot-square target in Seattle. That's the precision with which scientists at Lemont's Argonne National Laboratory are attacking the coronavirus on a daily basis. Phil Rogers takes you into their effort to crack the code of COVID-19.
Illinois Reports 929 New Coronavirus Cases, 116 Additional Deaths
For the third time this week, Illinois has reported fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, as the state recorded 929 new cases of the virus Thursday.
In all, 124,759 cases of the virus have been reported statewide since the pandemic began, with all but one county in the state reporting at least one positive case as of Thursday.
Authorities confirmed 116 additional deaths related to the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 5,736.
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