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

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.

Cancelations:

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.

COVID-19 Links

Illinois.gov

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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