coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Navy Pier Begins Reopening, Property Tax Concerns

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.)

Major summer events have already been canceled this week across Chicago, but many parts of the city and state are still reopening.

And that comes with its own set of challenges.

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

Chicago Infant Died of COVID-19: Autopsy

An autopsy has confirmed that COVID-19 infection contributed in the March death a 9-month-old Chicago boy, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Wednesday.

Joseph Myles died of human coronavirus NL-63 and COVID-19 induced viral pneumonia, the medical examiner’s office said. His family reported that he had a history of cold and cough.

Myles was pronounced dead March 23 at Mercy Hospital after a family member found him unresponsive, the medical examiner’s office said.

Illinois Reports 625 New Cases of Coronavirus, 78 Additional Deaths Wednesday

For the second time in three days, the state of Illinois is reporting its lowest single-day increase in coronavirus cases since late March, as 625 new cases were reported Wednesday, along with 78 additional deaths.

The single-day increase is the lowest since March 30, when 460 people were diagnosed with the illness, according to statistics from the Illinois Department of Public Health. In all, 129,837 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Illinois since the pandemic began.

With the 78 additional fatalities reported Wednesday, the state now stands at 6,095 coronavirus-related deaths.

28 More COVID-19 Deaths in Cook County

Another 28 people died of COVID-19 in Cook County, officials announced Wednesday.

The newly confirmed fatalities bring the county’s toll to 4,120, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

On Tuesday, Illinois health officials said the COVID-19 death toll in the state climbed to 6,018. So far, 129,212 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Illinois.

Western Golf Association Urges Illinois Governor to Allow Caddies on Golf Courses

The Western Golf Association is appealing to Gov. Pritzker to allow caddies to resume their traditional job duties.

Throughout the Chicago area, there are 75 golf clubs with caddie programs. That means a lot of people are hoping Illinois decision makers reconsider the current ban on traditional caddying, especially during a financially challenging time.

Winnetka to Open Beaches This Weekend

The Winnetka Park District announced Wednesday that beaches will open to the public on June 13, but Beach Season Passes will be be required.

Pritzker to Give Update on Emergency Relief for Childcare Providers

Gov. J.B. Pritzker will join state and local leaders in Illinois to discuss te Child Care Restoration Grants program aimed at providing "emergency relief to childcare providers."

He is expected to make two appearances on the matter in Illinois, one in Moline and one in Rockford. Check back for updates on when and how to watch live.

Chicago Announces Fund to Pay Undocumented Immigrants, Others Left Out of Federal Coronavirus Relief

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday a new fund that will give $1,000 per household to Chicago residents - including undocumented immigrants, college students and more - who were excluded from federal coronavirus relief payments that were distributed earlier this year.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the federal government in mid-April began making payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans who have a social security number and earned less than $75,000 per year based on their 2019 tax filing. Millions of undocumented immigrants, many who pay taxes using what’s known as a taxpayer identification number, were among those excluded from this relief program.

More than 300,000 Chicago residents, including undocumented individuals, mixed-status families, dependent adults, college students and more, were left out of the federal aid program, Lightfoot said.

Navy Pier Begins First Phase of Reopening

Nearly three months after Navy Pier closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the iconic Chicago attraction began to reopen on Wednesday.

The first phase of Navy Pier's reopening plan includes public access to outdoor spaces, restaurant patios and select attractions, the Pier said.

“Following Navy Pier’s longest closure in recent history, we, along with the rest of Chicago, are anxious to reopen our spaces and safely welcome guests back to the Pier over the next few months as we work collectively to restore our local economy,” said Marilynn Gardner, Navy Pier president and CEO. “We recognize that our new reality is now accompanied by new standards, and as the People’s Pier, we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure the health, safety and comfort of all who visit the Pier."

Here's what will be open and available.

Will County Jail Reports First Case of COVID-19 Among Inmates

The Will County Jail has had its first inmate test positive for the coronavirus, the sheriff’s office announced.

The inmate was brought to the Adult Detention Facility on Sunday for a “non-bondable offense,” the Will County sheriff’s office said. Per standard procedure during the coronavirus pandemic, he was quarantined in a cell after passing his medical screening, and was scheduled to stay there for 14 days.

The next day, however, the man had an “unrelated medical emergency” and was taken to a local hospital, the sheriff’s office said. He was also tested for COVID-19, and came back positive.

Expect Long Lines as Drivers Flock to Emissions Testing Sites

Drivers should prepare for long lines at emissions testing sites in Illinois.

Most of the Illinois Air Team Testing locations reopened June 1. The facilities in Markham and Waukegan are still closed as they are currently operating as drive-thru coronavirus testing sites.

Drivers waited in a line that stretched around the block Tuesday in Skokie with an EPA staff member directing traffic.

In order to reduce traffic congestion, vehicle registration deadlines have been extended without penalty for at least 90 days. The EPA recommends drivers stagger their testing based on their registration expiration dates

Caravan Protest at Chicago Taco Bell Calls Attention to Working Conditions

Workers at a Chicago Taco Bell location held a caravan protest to call attention to complaints they’ve made about the working conditions at the restaurant.

Workers at the Lincoln Park restaurant say they have filed at least two public health complaints about conditions they say pose an “imminent danger” after multiple employees tested positive for coronavirus.

“They aren’t taking this seriously at all,” George Williams, who works at the location, said. “The first one that had (coronavirus), she came back in no more than a week at most.”

Lightfoot Says Property Tax Increase on the Table as City Faces $700M Budget Shortfall

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she could not rule out an increase in property taxes as the city faces a major budget shortfall due to the economic fallout from coronavirus.

Lightfoot said April numbers project the budget could fall $700 million short of plans.

"That 's a sobering number and presents a sobering challenge," Lightfoot said during a press conference Tuesday.

The announcement comes as the city canceled plans to host the Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza, Air and Water show other major summer events that also bring in revenue.

"While this budget shortfall is grim, what would have been worse is if we had seen more people die ... if we hadn't sheltered in place," Lightfoot said.

And with the city is still not fully reopened, the numbers will likely continue to rise.

Among the plans to address the shortfall, Lightfoot said the city will use $100 million to refinance savings from the beginning of the year, ID additional refinancing savings and look for further savings in city departments, including reprioritizing hirings for 2020.

But still, that won't keep a property tax increase and staff layoffs from remaining in play.

"I can't take it off the table, but it is truly the last thing I want to do," Lightfoot said.

The news comes as the city prepares for a second surge in cases following days of massive protests that saw large crowds gathered to protest the death of George Floyd.

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