(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.)
As Illinois gets its first glimpse of what it will take to reopen the state, many are now looking ahead at their plans for summer and fall.
Will Lollapalooza and other major summer festivals in Chicago go on? Organizers weigh in.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (May 6):
Latinx Community Testing Positive at Higher Rate Than Any Group in Illinois
The Latinx community in Illinois is testing positive for coronavirus at a higher rate than any other demographic group in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday.
According to state data, nearly 60 percent of those identifying as Latinx who have been tested for COVID-19 have tested positive.
Pritzker noted that while half of those tested did not fill out their demographic information, 26,000 of those tested so far self-identified as Hispanic. Of those, nearly 16,000 have tested positive.
"That’s a positivity rate of 60 percent – more than three times our state average," Pritzker said.
The numbers are similar in Chicago, where officials reported a sharp rise in cases among the Latinx community.
Pritzker Condemns Racial Profiling, Other Forms of Mask-Related Discrimination Amid Pandemic
Calling the act of wearing a facial covering in public a “collective act of patriotism,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on state residents to not only wear masks while shopping, but also to report mask-related discrimination against minority residents.
During his Wednesday coronavirus press briefing, Pritzker said that a recent rise in racial profiling incidents related to wearing masks has to be stopped, and that store workers, police officers, and Illinois residents must guard against making dangerous assumptions about fellow community members.
“I want to call on the public to help us stop these hateful incidents by speaking out and standing up for others in your community,” Pritzker said. “If you witness or experience mask-related discrimination, or discrimination of any kind, please report the incident to the Illinois Department of Human Rights.”
2,270 New Coronavirus Cases, 136 Additional Deaths Reported in Illinois
One day after Illinois saw its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic so far, the state reported another 136 deaths and 2,270 confirmed cases.
As of Wednesday, the state's death toll from the virus neared 3,000 with 68,232 total cases. Of the total cases in Illinois, 4,832 individuals remained hospitalized, with 1,231 in intensive care and 780 on ventilators.
In the last 24 hours, nearly 15,000 tests were administered, bringing the total number of tests statewide to 361,260. That dropped the state's positivity rate below 19 percent Wednesday.
Lightfoot Says Chicago Will Propose City-Specific Reopening Plan
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she plans to propose city-specific guidelines for reopening during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lightfoot said her guidelines will "complement" Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's plan for reopening the state, which was unveiled Tuesday.
Pritzker said the state will reopen in five phases and on a region-by-region basis. Currently, Chicago, and the rest of Illinois, are in the second phase of that plan, though some regions could enter the third phase by the end of the month. (Read more on the plan here.)
No, Chicago Hasn't Peaked Yet, But Officials Still Believe a Peak is Near
Chicago health officials say the city still has not reached a peak.
According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, the city is still seeing a rise in cases, but a peak could be near.
"We're still at the stage where we're flattening the curve. We're not yet coming down," CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Wednesday.
Arwady said the city is still expected to peak in May, however.
"We are making progress, but we're far from out of the woods," Arwady said.
Chicago crossed a grim milestone earlier this week as deaths due to the coronavirus topped 1,000 citywide. So far, the city has reported more than 26,000 confirmed cases with 1,096 deaths since the pandemic began.
Pitchfork Music Festival Cancels 2020 Event
Pitchfork Music Festival announced Wednesday that it is canceling its 2020 event due to coronavirus.
The announcement was made on the festival's website. Pitchfork was expected to be held in Chicago’s Union Park July 17–19. Ticketholders will be contacted directly via email with full refund options, organizers said.
"It can be pretty daunting to think about the future of live music right now, but know that we are fully committed to bringing Pitchfork Music Festival back in 2021, if the public health situation allows for it," the fest wrote on its website. "In the meantime, we urge everyone to follow local health department guidelines. We are in this together, and, if we all do our part, we’ll celebrate next year in person."
Meanwhile, the group plans to host live streams to "use the full weight of Pitchfork to support musicians and the community around our festival."
"We’re not going anywhere—stay tuned, stay positive, and see you soon," the message read.
Illinois is Already in Phase 2 of Reopening. Here's When Phase 3 Could Begin
Illinoisans first learned details on how the state will reopen in phases during the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, but it turns out, that reopening plan has already begun.
The state is in the second of five phases outlined by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and phase three could begin in the coming weeks.
The earliest any location can begin entering phase three will be May 29, Pritzker said, though it remains unclear which regions might be able to do so.
"We have to figure out how to live with COVID-19 until it can be vanquished – and to do so in a way that best supports our residents’ health and our healthcare systems, and saves the most lives," Pritzker said.
In order to enter phase three, a region must see "the rate of infection among those tested, the number of patients admitted to the hospital, and the number of patients needing ICU beds" begin to stabilize or decline, the plan states.
Illinois Will Reopen on a Region-by-Region Basis. Here’s How the State is Broken Up
As Illinois continues its phased plan to reopen, the state has been divided into four major health regions with 11 sub-regions, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday.
Pritzker says the plan will operate on a "region-by-region basis" and can be updated as the situation across the state develops.
The health regions are based on the Illinois Department of Public Health's divisions and have been in place for years, Pritzker said.
More coverage of the 'Restore Illinois' plan:
- Read the full Restore Illinois plan here.
- See a complete breakdown of each of the five phases in the plan
- Find out which businesses can reopen and when
Lightfoot Stay-at-Home Merch Now Available for Purchase, With Proceeds Going to Charity
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has launched an online merchandise store for a good cause. T-shirts and stickers are now available with a cartoon version of the mayor with the "Stay home, save lives" slogan. The artwork on the merchandise resembles the viral memes of Lightfoot created by Chicago artist Mike Noren. The shirts are $30 and stickers are $8, but all proceeds will be donated to virus relief funds.
Schaumburg to Give Out Free Masks to Residents
The Village of Schaumburg will be giving away thousands of masks for free this week to residents of the northwest suburb as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Village officials said the distribution will take place weather-permitting from Wednesday through Friday in the parking lot of Boomers Stadium, located at 1999 S. Springinsguth Rd.
The distribution will be divided on those three days by age and last name, officials said. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, only seniors ages 65 and older will be given masks.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, residents with last names beginning with the letters A through L were asked to pick up masks. In the same time frame on Friday, residents with last names beginning with the letters M through Z can pick up their masks.
Chance the Rapper to Recognize Chicago Teachers
Chicago's Chance the Rapper will host "The Twilight Awards" this week, a special awards show recognizing teachers for "showing dedication, originality and creativity in helping their students thrive."
The show will take place live on Instagram at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for Teacher Appreciation Week. Chance also announced he will donate $300,000 directly to 10 teachers and schools on behalf of Box Tops for Education.
Wednesday's show is expected to feature Chicago Public Schools teachers.
Chicago Mayor to Provide Update on Efforts to Mitigate Racialized Outcomes of COVID-19
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to hold a press briefing with the Chicago Department of Public Health Wednesday to address "the latest efforts by the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team to mitigate the racialized outcomes of COVID-10 in Latinx communities."
The briefing is set to be held at 1 p.m. CT and can be streamed live in the player above.
Lollapalooza Offers Update For Fans
Lollapalooza organizers, in an email to fans, addressed the future of the Chicago festival as questions linger about whether coronavirus will postpone or cancel the popular city event.
A decision is coming, organizers said.
"As a reminder, we remain in touch with our partners in the city of Chicago about this year’s Lollapalooza," the email read. "As the festival is still several months away, we are taking careful consideration to work through our options. We are confident that we will have enough information to make a definitive decision about the path forward by the end of May. Chicago is our home, and we will continue to remain optimistic about Lollapalooza 2020. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to listen closely to government and public health leaders and stay safe."
22nd Employee Contracts COVID-19 at Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
Another employee at the Cook County Circuit Court clerk’s office has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the overall total to 22.
The latest employee to test positive was assigned to District 3, located at 2121 Euclid Ave. in Rolling Meadows, and last reported for work on March 20, according to a statement from the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
The person did not begin to show symptoms of coronavirus until over a month after their last day at work and is self-quarantining at home.
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