CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and health officials held a daily briefing to give an update on coronavirus in Illinois on Thursday afternoon.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced seven more cases in Cook, Kane, and McHenry counties, bringing the state’s total to 32.
The new cases include:
- a woman in her 40’s in Chicago
- a child in Chicago
- a male in his 70’s in Kane County
- a woman in her 70’s in Cook County
- another woman in her 70’s in Cook County
- a man in his 50’s in Cook County
- a man in his 60’s in McHenry County
Officials say the child is in good condition, and has not been admitted to the hospital.
The IDPH says approximately 29 percent of Illinois’ cases are travel related, and another 44 percent are from direct contact with a person previously confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.
Citing new guidance to prevent community transmission of the disease, Pritzker has asked all Illinois sports teams to cancel all sports games or play without spectators until May 1st.
Pritzker said he is asking that all community events that involve 200 people be cancelled until May 1st, and is mandating the cancellation of events that will attract 1,000 people.
Pritzker warned that the State of Illinois will break up events of more than 1,000 people who are in direct violation of his order.
The government is not yet issuing an order to close schools, but is “strongly advising” that schools cancel any event that involves more than 250 people.
Businesses that can have workers work remotely are recommended to do so, Pritzker said.
“The guidance I am issuing today is for the entire state of Illinois. We have seen what works and what doesn’t work from other countries around the world – especially in the earliest days of community spread of this virus. Don’t be fooled into thinking your community is immune,” Pritzker said.
The State of Illinois and is issuing the following guidance:
- The State and City are mandating all large-scale events exceeding 1,000 individuals be cancelled for the next 30 days. The City of Chicago will be enforcing this ban.
- Additionally, the State and the City are encouraging that community events of 250 people or more should be cancelled or postponed until May 1. This includes personal and social events. Residents should use good judgment about canceling events in their own communities.
- For events less than 250 people, residents should closely consider who is likely to attend the event and, if it includes vulnerable populations, strongly consider canceling.
- All major sporting events with large spectator crowds should be cancelled until May 1. This should include school and college events as well as major league sporting events. The Governor has spoken with the owners of all the major sports teams in Illinois and they are in full support of these measures to protect the health of their fans and will cancel all games until May 1.
- At this time, the City and the State do not recommend that school be cancelled. While schools will remain open, local jurisdictions should develop their own local guidance.
- The State of Illinois is working closely with school districts around the state on their own guidance and policies, and currently recommends schools do not hold large assemblies, including sports with spectators exceeding 250 people. While every school district is different, the State encourages school administrators and faculty to make responsible decisions, guided by recommendations from the CDC and the state, that are in the best interest of the health and safety of their students.
- Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is issuing guidance for cancellation of events of 50 people or more and has cancelled sports. CPS will also restrict access to school buildings to essential personnel, and limit district-sanctioned trips beyond city limits.
- Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system has collaborated with CDPH to issue its own unique guidance, which includes cancellation of events of 50 people or more and suspending sports until further notice. CPS will also restrict access to school buildings to essential personnel, and limit district-sanctioned trips beyond city limits.
- The Office of the Governor will remain open and operating, as we are fully committed to ensuring that the government will continue to serve the people of Illinois during this time.
- The Office of the Governor is working closely with all state agencies to ensure essential services will continue to be provided, while taking steps to protect the health and safety of state workers.
- The James R. Thompson Center will be closed to people who don’t have business with the state in the building for the foreseeable future, beginning Monday. The essential government functions that the people in this building perform will continue during this time.
- City Hall will remain open, and there is no plan to cancel meetings of the City Council for the next week. However, the City is strongly recommending, in accordance with guidance from CDPH and the CDC, that residents view next week’s meeting via livestream instead of in-person to ensure City business moves forward safely and efficiently.
BUSINESSES AND WORKPLACES
- The State encourages businesses across the state to take advantage of teleworking capabilities.
- Every business that can have employees work remotely should consider doing so immediately.
- For those who cannot, we encourage employers to take proper precautions to keep individuals safe in the workplace. This includes reminding staff to stay home when sick or with a fever; considering a plan for teleworking where feasible; remaining flexible on leave policies; and promoting robust mitigation approaches, such as hand washing, cleaning, and offering hand sanitizer. The City is also developing an addendum to its sick leave policies, as well as guidance on teleworking for employees.
- The election will proceed as scheduled on Tuesday, March 17. This is a fundamental function of government, and the state is committed to making sure the election proceeds with as little disruption as possible.
- Local jurisdictions are encouraged to expand hours for early voting over the weekend to reduce the number of people who would need to vote on Election Day.
- Voters who have not already submitted a vote by mail application can pick up a vote by mail ballot through Monday at their local election offices.
- The State and the City continue to focus outreach efforts for those most vulnerable to severe illness from the coronavirus, our elderly and immunocompromised residents.
- Individuals who fall into these categories should take extra caution when attending gatherings of any size and avoid exposure to large groups of people whenever possible.
The state has
implemented new staffing procedures and strict guidelines restricting visitors
at state-operated long-term care facilities and is also working closely with
private nursing home and assisted living associations on the adoption of