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Illinois COVID-19 cases surpass 10,000, including 243 deaths

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and state officials speak at a press conference Saturday afternoon in Chicago | Photo: Illinois Information Service.

State officials said that coronavirus cases have jumped by over 1,400 within the past day, bringing Illinois’ total to over 10,000 and 243 dead.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said at his daily press conference Saturday that the state continues to work during the stay-at-home order.

“This is a really, really hard time, financially and emotionally, for adults and children alike. Please know that we in state government are working hard to support you in every way possible,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker added that state workers are continuing to respond to reports of alleged child abuse and neglect, looking after people with disabilities and ensuring veterans receive care.

“All of our actions have centered around a singular focus: protecting our most vulnerable residents and doing everything possible for their health and their wellness,” Pritzker said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the state’s COVID-19 total has reached 10,357 cases and 243 deaths. The number of people tested so far is at 53,581, data shows.

On Friday, Pritzker held his daily press conference at McCormick Place in Chicago where he announced that phase one of outfitting the convention center into an alternate facility had been completed.

Pritzker said that there are currently 500 beds in McCormick Place and by the end of April there will be 3,000 beds.

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Crews are also working to convert to temporarily reopen Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park, Advocate Sherman hospital in Elgin and MetroSouth Health Center in Blue Island so they can be utilized as field hospitals.

The four temporary facilities will used to support existing medical infrastructure. Coronavirus patients will be directed to existing hospitals and if they have mild symptoms they will be transferred to one of the four alternative facilities, Pritzker said.

Data provided by the governor’s office shows that 935 ICU beds and 2,049 non-ICU hospital beds are being used by coronavirus patients in the state as of Friday.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike said on Thursday that she spoke with a man and woman who were the third and fourth coronavirus cases in Illinois and they are doing great.

Ezike also said that the state is seeing clusters of cases in essential businesses.

“We’re also starting to see clusters of cases in essential businesses. And although these businesses need to continue operating, they must take steps to protect employees and customers,” Ezike said.


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