(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.)
Many in Illinois began receiving their coronavirus relief payments in their bank accounts Wednesday.
But who is eligible and how much could you receive? Details below.
Meanwhile, a new mask requirement in a Chicago suburb has put even stronger restrictions for those heading outside during Illinois' statewide stay-at-home order.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (April 15):
22 Residents at Suburban Nursing Home Die From COVID-19 Complications
Officials at the Symphony of Joliet nursing home say that 22 residents of the facility, as well as a staff member, have died after contracting COVID-19.
According to officials, 16 other residents have the facility have also contracted the virus, and all are currently being treated for the illness.
All residents of the nursing home who did not contract the virus have been moved to other homes in an effort to limit the spread of the disease, according to officials.
Pritzker Considering Requiring Masks in Public Places During Coronavirus Outbreak
With some municipalities already requiring residents to wear face coverings at Illinois businesses, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said expanding the requirement across the state "might be seriously important for us to consider."
Pritzker, along with state and federal officials across the U.S., have already recommended face coverings for people who have to leave their homes, particularly to go to places like grocery stores, but only some locations have issued requirements.
"I think it's a something that when I look at the mitigation measures that we should be contemplating and making adjustments to, that is one that I think might be seriously important for us to consider, you know, in the period going forward," Pritzker said. "Look, anything that we can do going forward, that will protect people and at the same time make it more likely that we can have slightly, you know, different conditions for stay-at-home, better conditions, is a good move."
Illinois' Total Number of Coronavirus Cases Climbs to 24,593
Well into Illinois' third week of a statewide stay-at-home order, the state has reported 1,346 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 24,593 since the pandemic began.
In addition, 80 peopled died from the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 948 statewide.
Chicago Mayor, Health Officials Say Curve is Flattening in the City
New data suggests the curve of coronavirus cases in Chicago is starting to flatten, Chicago health officials and the city's mayor announced Wednesday, but "we're not out of the woods" just yet.
As the city nears the fourth week of a statewide stay-at-home order, officials revealed cases are doubling every 12 days, compared to every two to three days one month earlier.
Lightfoot said the new data indicates mitigation efforts like social distancing and the closures of several city businesses, trails, events and more "have been effective."
But officials stressed - the crisis in the city is not over and more needs to be done before stay-at-home guidelines can be lifted.
In a press conference Wednesday, Lightfoot outlined four things needed before such restrictions can be lifted. Click here to read more.
2nd Chicago Firefighter Dies From COVID-19: CFD
The Chicago Fire Department is mourning the loss of a second firefighter who died after testing positive for COVID-19 as the department continues to grapple with the new reality of protecting the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
Edward Singleton, a 55-year-old longtime member of the department, passed away from complications due to an infection, the department said Wednesday.
”It is with a heavy heart that I announce the loss of a second dedicated member of the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) family due to complications from COVID-19," Chicago Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II said in a statement.
Singleton, who joined the department in 1987, was most recently stationed at Midway Airport. He was a husband and father of two adult children.
Coronavirus Relief Payments Begin Appearing in Bank Accounts
Millions of Americans are eligible for "economic impact payments" as a result of the recently passed $2.2 trillion stimulus bill and some began seeing those checks appear in their bank accounts Wednesday.
Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.
Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.
For more on your check, click here.
Chicago Blackhawks Cancel 2020 Convention Due to Coronavirus
The Chicago Blackhawks announced Wednesday they are canceling their 2020 convention, which was set to be held in the city at the end of July, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The team was expected to hold the 13th annual convention July 24-26 at the Hilton Chicago but canceled the event "as the National Hockey League continues to evaluate the future of the 2019-20 season."
The team said refunds for hotel room deposits or convention passes will be processed automatically by the Hilton Chicago, Ticketmaster or Chicago Blackhawks Ticketing.
Skokie Business Employees, Customers Must Wear Masks Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Beginning Thursday, all individuals visiting businesses in suburban Skokie will be required to wear cloth face coverings.
According to the village’s website, Mayor George Van Dusen signed an emergency directive Tuesday requiring the wearing of masks “while working at or patronizing a business open to the public.”
The emergency directive includes grocery stores, restaurants, hardware stores, financial institutions, pharmacies, group homes and more.
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