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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Sports events cancelled, large gatherings banned

Published: Thursday, March 12, 2020 06:05 PM

Today, Gov. Pritzker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, Cook County Board President Preckwinkle and health professionals spoke.

Among the news: Seven additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported, including:

  • 2 additional cases in Chicago, a woman in her 40s and her child.
  • 1 additional case in Kane County, a man in his 70s.
  • 1 additional case in McHenry County, a man in his 60s.
  • 3 additional cases in Cook County, two women in their 70s and a man in his 50s.

Key developments:

  • Gov. Pritzker clarified the Tuesday primary election will proceed as planned and encouraged voters to vote early or through mail-in ballots.
  • All major sports teams in the Chicago area have indicated to Gov. Pritzker they will cancel games or play without spectators until May 1.
  • The state, city and county have issued bans on gatherings of more than 1,000 people, and the executives are asking those who administer gatherings of greater than 250 people to cancel or indefinitely postpone such public gatherings.
  • At this time, CPS schools will remain open.
  • The governor urged schools to cancel assemblies and other gatherings of greater than 250 people.
  • Gov. Pritzker said he is working with state agencies on options for employees to work remotely.
  • Comcast will make free internet available to low-income households for 60 days.
  • Governor is closing the Thompson Center to the general public that doesn’t have business in the building.

Gov. Pritzker and health professionals called on the public to practice social distancing. Dr. Ngozi Ezike said as the state continues with containment efforts, they are asking for individuals to do their part to limit the virus’ spread by staying home when they are sick and postponing large events.

The governor said the state is still waiting on more coronavirus test kits, and criticized the federal government’s initial handling of the outbreak, particularly its move to prohibit companies from pursuing the development of test kits.

Other relevant information:

From the Secretary of State:

In-line with the governor’s closing of the Thompson Center to the general public, beginning today and for the foreseeable future, the Secretary of State's office is taking the following steps at the State Capitol:

  • Cancelling scheduled tour groups, association and lobbyist client days
  • Limiting groups, wherever possible, from accessing the capitol complex

The Secretary of State’s office is asking legislators to discourage constituents from visiting the capitol complex. Remind them there are a variety of electronic options to testify or stake out positions on their bills.

Trump’s travel ban:

Shortly after President Trump’s televised remarks on Wednesday regarding a “travel ban” the federal Department of Homeland Security posted remarks clarifying what it means.

The key point is that the ban on flying into the US is for foreign nationals who have recently been in a list of specific countries. For the immediate time being, it appears US citizens and their immediate family face no such restrictions, according to this statement.

The acting secretary for Homeland Security in this statement indicates he intends to follow up within 48 hours with additional restrictions “requiring U.S. passengers that have been in (the list of countries) to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.”

Of note, O’Hare would be one of those airports.


NCAA announced all winter and spring championships are being canceled. This includes the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

The Ohio governor is closing all K-12 schools for the next three weeks. The action did not apply to childcare centers.

Colleges and universities across Illinois and the country are extending spring breaks, cancelling courses and implementing online learning programs.

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – New directives include calling before visiting ER

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 04:45 PM

Yesterday Governor Pritzker said we expect to see new cases each day, and today he announced six new confirmed cases bringing the state total to 25.

One is from Lake County. The others from Chicago.

Other key developments regarding COVID-19:

  • The General Assembly canceled session next week.
  • The Capitol building remains open but Secretary of State White is prohibiting large groups and many groups have canceled rallies or trips.
  • The NCAA announced it will play the upcoming men’s and women’s tournaments without fans. Attendance limited to essential staff and family.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike asked that if people feel ill enough to go to the ER that they call ahead so they can be met at the door with the proper protective equipment to limit exposure inside the hospital or care facility.

IEMA Director Gen. Alicia Tate-Nadeau urged businesses and organizations to review absentee policies and building/facility cleaning practices. She also recommended schools cancel unnecessary travel. She made the same recommendation for canceling unnecessary business travel.

Gov. Pritzker said Chicago professional sports teams will be making decisions and considering all options.

The governor continued his criticism of the federal response, specifically pointing to decisions made that have resulted in states not having enough testing kits. The promised commercial lab involvement has yet to happen.

Pritzker said the state has been provided thousands of test kits by federal officials but needs hundreds of thousands.

“We need people to take this seriously,” the governor said, referring to President Trump.

COVID-19 Links

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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