4 more COVID-19 deaths in Illinois; Pritzker outlines worst-case scenarios

Illinois officials and Governor J.B. Pritzker speak at a press conference Tuesday afternoon

JB Pritzker moved Wednesday to give residents reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic a three-month extension to file their state income tax returns, aligning IL with the federal government's new summer tax-filing deadline.

Pritzker said that over 180 of healthcare workers are ready to come out of retirement and join the front lines to help fight this virus.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday that their are 250 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois. IL now has seen 1,535 confirmed cases of the virus and 17 total deaths.

"It takes all of us to counter this pandemic", Ezike said. "We won't fall into the trap of forgetting that these are people with families and friends who love them, and people who are anxious about them". The Will County Health Department has announced that their are now 30 confirmed case of coronavirus in Will County.

The state is rapidly preparing for an increase in cases in the coming weeks.

The state, of course, has intervened with its "stay-at-home" order, closing of schools, bars and restaurants, and various other measures.

As of Monday, roughly 57.4% of the state's 2,594 ICU beds were in use, while 28.4% of Illinois' 2,229 ventilators were in use, according to IDPH. The state has 26,000 non-ICU hospital beds, with 13,000 now available. As of noon, that brings the total cases in DeKalb County up to three, said Lisa Gonzalez, public health administrator. Those worst-case scenarios indicate the state could need an additional 4,100 ventilators.

"We're using a two-pronged approach to make sure a worst-case scenario does not become our reality", said Pritzker.

Now, more than 2,000 tests are performed daily at state-run labs, hospitals, commercial companies and drive-thru facilities, and at mobile testing sites set up by the Illinois National Guard and U.S. Department of Human Health and Human Services.

An NIU student in their 20s and a person in their 50s have tested positive for the coronavirus, the viral respiratory disease causing a global pandemic. The state expects to be testing more than 4,300 people a day in the near future.

Our economy will be revived, according to Pritzker.

The last prong of Pritzker's package includes a $14 million grant program for small bars, restaurants and hotels to assist in maintaining payroll and paying rent. "I am concerned that we may have to extend that deadline".

The governor said testing helps identify the spread of the virus. "We are in a city where COVID-19 is spreading in our neighborhoods".

While hospitals are now meeting the demand for beds and ventilators, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday outlined what could've happened had he not ordered people to stay at home, and closed schools, restaurants and bars to slow the spread of the virus. In such a scenario, current hospitals would be converted nearly entirely into COVID-19 response hospitals, while the repurposed facilities could house individuals who need hospital care for other reasons.

The state put out a call this week for former members of the medical community who have changed careers to consider coming back to the medical field.

"You can't have a livelihood without a life", Pritzker said.

IL is working to increase its health care capacity, Pritzker said, "so when we do arrive at that next phase we will have the capacity to meet that much greater need".



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