coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: More Chicago Streets to Close, School Guidance Released

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.)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker released long-awaited guidance for schools to return to in-person learning with new restrictions in the fall.

Meanwhile, five more Chicago streets are set to close this weekend to make space for outdoor dining as the city and state prepare to enter phase four of their reopening plans.

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (June 24):

Illinois Reports 715 New Coronavirus Cases, 64 Additional Deaths Wednesday

Illinois’ positivity rate on coronavirus test results ticked up slightly on Wednesday, as the state reported 715 new coronavirus cases and 64 additional confirmed deaths.

According to state health officials, the positivity rate over the last seven days moved up slightly on Wednesday, settling at 3 percent. In previous days that rate had been at 2 percent, but with a slight increase in positive tests over the last 24 hours, the number moved back up.

In all, 138,540 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Illinois, along with 6,770 deaths.

Illinois Not Planning to Require Visitors From COVID Hotspots to Quarantine, Pritzker Says

With other states implementing a mandatory quarantine on visitors from viral hotspots, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says such a move isn't being planned for Illinois, but he didn't rule it out for the future.

The governor said guidance from health officials and scientists has not yet indicated such a move is necessary in Illinois, as cases have continued on a downward trend.

"That's not something that we are looking at implementing right now," he said. "Going forward, if we got the advice to do it we might."

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said Wednesday they will implement a mandatory quarantine on visitors to their states from viral hotspots, part of a coordinated effort to sustain low local infection rates as coronavirus cases surge to two-month highs across nearly half of the country.

The quarantine applies to people coming from states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average, or with a 10% or higher positivity rate over seven days.

As of Wednesday, states over the threshold were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.

"New York and New Jersey and Connecticut have been through an awful lot," Pritzker said. "Really a tragic, tragic situation and I can understand why they might feel a need when they see other places on the rise and they're actually keeping the rates down."

5 More Chicago Streets Will Close for Outdoor Dining This Weekend

Five more Chicago streets are expected to close this weekend to make way for outdoor seating at area restaurants, Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office said Tuesday night.

The streets slated to close, per a statement from her office, include:

  • Balmoral Street – closed on both sides of N. Clark
  • Chinatown Square – adjacent to Archer Avenue from Wentworth to Princeton
  • Taylor Street – closed from Loomis to Ashland
  • Oliphant Avenue – closed from Northwest Highway to the first alley to the North
  • 75th Street – sidewalk dining areas from Indiana to Calumet

More details can be found here.

Shedd Aquarium Announces Reopening Date, New Safety Protocols

Chicago's Shedd Aquarium on Wednesday announced a plan to reopen its doors to visitors for the first time in months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Shedd will begin welcoming back members and sponsors on July 1, a spokesman for the institution said in a statement. It will then open to members of the public on July 3.

Several new protocols and requirements have been instituted at the aquarium for health and safety, the Shedd said. Those include a "highly limited" admission capacity as well as increased air filtration, cleaning and sanitation measures.

The Shedd will have new separate entrance and exit points, timed admission, social distancing requirements, circulation paths to encourage single-directional flow and will require face coverings for anyone over 2 years old.

More details can be found here.

Chicago Public Schools Evaluating Guidelines to Bring Students Back to Classrooms

With the state of Illinois unveiling new guidelines that could allow students to return to classrooms this fall, Chicago Public Schools says that it will work to develop its own rules and regulations to allow children to return to schools safely.

Chicago Public Schools officials say they are gathering feedback from parents, teachers and other staff to figure out the best path toward welcoming students back to the classroom later this year.

“Chicago Public Schools is eager to open its doors to students as soon as its safe to do so, and the district is gathering feedback from families to inform draft reopening guidelines for our schools,” CPS said in a statement. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our students, staff and families, and we remain committed to widespread engagement to ensure our plan for reopening supports the diverse needs of our entire school community.”

More details can be found here.

In-Person Learning Can Return to Illinois Schools Under New Guidelines

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday released long-awaited guidance for schools across the state as questions swirl over how instruction will resume in the fall.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday released long-awaited guidance for schools across the state as instruction resumes in the fall.

“Classroom learning provides necessary opportunities for our students to learn, socialize, and grow. The benefits of in-person instruction can’t be overstated,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Today ISBE, IBHE, and ICCB are issuing guidance that will serve as baseline public health requirements and expectations for the return of in-person learning this fall in P-12 schools and higher education, including all public school districts, non-public schools, colleges and universities. In close consultation with IDPH, infectious disease experts at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and other public health professionals, the guidance focuses on keeping students, teachers and families healthy and safe. It recognizes that Illinois is a diverse state, and school districts and institutions of higher education across Illinois will face unique challenges in how they’ll operate within their communities.”

The guidance will allow students to return to classrooms in the upcoming school year, but with changes. In addition, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will provide public K-12 districts in Illinois with 2.5 million cloth face masks.

How the guidance is implemented will depend largely on each individual district's plan.

Here's a look at the guidelines.

FDA Warns Consumers of Dangerous Chemical Found in Company's Hand Sanitizer

The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers of a potentially dangerous chemical that was found in numerous brands of hand sanitizer.

According to an FDA alert, the sanitizer was produced by the Mexican company Eskbiochem SA de CV and contains a chemical known as methanol, instead of the ethyl alcohol used in most hand sanitizer products.

The FDA does not specify where in the U.S. the product was sold, and hasn’t received any reports of anyone being sickened by the chemical, but warns that anyone who has been exposed to the chemical should stop its use immediately and seek medical treatment if they are experiencing any adverse health effects.

The following brands were impacted:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75 Percent Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04, 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80 Percent Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01, 74589-005-03)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer

More details can be found here.

Illinois Reports 601 New Cases of Coronavirus Tuesday, With 38 Additional Deaths

Public health officials in Illinois have reported 601 new cases of coronavirus, along with 38 additional deaths over the last 24 hours.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state has now confirmed 137,825 cases of the virus since the pandemic began. These cases have been reported in 101 of the state’s 102 counties, and have impacted residents all across the age spectrum, from under one year old to more than 100 years old.

In all, 6,707 deaths have been connected to the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

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