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Published: Sunday, March 22, 2020 03:30 PM

The latest from today’s briefing:

There are 296 new confirmed cases including an infant. (Total statewide: 1,049)

There have been 3 additional deaths. (Total statewide: 9)

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike cautioned that we are still learning much about COVID-19.

For instance, it is unknown at this point if a pregnant woman can pass it to her fetus during pregnancy or delivery.

General testing remains a challenge but the state is working to increase capacity by working with hospital facilities and medical researchers to develop their own testing capacity.

“Unfortunately the number of cases will continue to increase as will the number of deaths,” Ezike said.

Her advice to the public was to take preventative measures to avoid becoming sick and avoid infecting others.

Responding to a media questions, Gov. Pritzker said they are NOT asking anyone for papers to prove they are essential employees out and about.

The governor urged people to remain optimistic and look for opportunities to assist.

He pointed to Chicago’s Koval Distillery and 28 Mile Vodka Company in Lake County, both switching to make hand sanitizer to help.

Local TV medical-drama productions such as Chicago Med and Chicago Fire donated their supplies of personal protective equipment.

“Hope is all around us,” Pritzker said.

Those interested in volunteering can go to:

There is an email set up for anyone who has PPE and would like to donate: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Red Cross is also in need of blood donations, as many public blood drives were canceled.

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – First cases outside Cook County

Published: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 02:31 PM

Governor Pritzker announced there are 8 new cases, including the first outside Chicago: one in Kane County and one in McHenry County. Information is included below in the IDPH press release.

Yesterday, the governor cautioned that more cases are anticipated. Today, he repeated that and said we are to the point where we will likely see additional cases each day forward.

The state’s emergency operations center (EOC) is up and running to coordinate efforts.

The governor expressed growing frustration with the federal government’s inability to provide resources, specifically the promised testing capacity through commercial labs that he keeps getting told day after day is about to come on line but hasn’t. He also criticized the federal government’s decision to not utilize the test widely used in Europe and Asia.

The governor and public health officials urged the general public to take steps now to limit the spread. Specifically, they said wash hands frequently, clean shared surfaces, stay home if you feel sick and reconsider attending large gatherings. The more that is done now, the greater the chance of limiting future spread of the virus.

State-controlled senior and nursing homes will screen visitors for illness and restrict access.

Health officials repeated that senior are most at risk and the risk increases with age.

It was also recommended that people with underlying health conditions take the necessary steps to make sure they have the prescriptions and supplies needed to be healthy. The goal is to minimize interaction with health care facilities so they can deal with the virus.

Asked about the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the governor said there are ongoing conversations with the mayor’s office and an announcement regarding a decision could come tomorrow (Wednesday).

The state’s total for confirmed cases is 19, but several of the initial cases have recovered and gone home.

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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