December 2, 2021

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Coronavirus In Illinois: March 21 Update

This article originally appeared on the Across Illinois Patch

ACROSS ILLINOIS — The number of Illinois coronavirus cases stood at 753 as of Saturday afternoon, with patients in at least 25 counties, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Six people have died from the coronavirus in the state, health officials report.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued an “immediate stay-at-home order for the state of Illinois” Friday during his daily press conference to address the coronavirus epidemic, saying it was the “inescapable conclusion” after consulting with experts, including epidemiologists and mathematicians, to predict the rate of infection and mortality in Illinois.

The order takes effect at 5 p.m. Saturday and ends April 7. Schools will remain closed until April 8.

A Cook County man in his 70s was the latest person in Illinois to die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Illinois’ first coronavirus fatality came Tuesday when a retired nurse in her 60s who had asthma died from the illness. On Thursday, the governor announced the death of a Will County man in his 50s, a Cook County woman in her 80s and a Florida resident who was visiting Sangamon County. Public health officials announced the death of a Cook County woman in her 70s Friday.

“Unfortunately, we do anticipate additional deaths,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

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The National Guard “will be working to support efforts to set up mobile testing units,” along with planning for the weeks and months ahead, including expanding the state’s healthcare capacity by refitting and potentially reopening closed hospitals.

“We have to flatten the curve,” Pritzker said. “We are working day and night considering every option.”

Meanwhile, Attorney General Kwame Raoul vowed to crack down on instances of price gouging, saying his office has received more than 100 complaints involving items such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and sprays and face masks.

In suburban Cook County, the coronavirus outbreak resulted in what a woman believes was a nasty prank. A shopper at a Jewel-Osco store said a man approached her in the parking lot Wednesday night, telling her to “call the CDC” and saying he “might have coronavirus” before rubbing his hands on her face and arm.

Malls and stores continue to shut down, as towns rally around businesses by starting up Facebook pages listing carryout offers and deals from local restaurants. One suburb is temporarily allowing beer and wine sales with to-go orders.

Wednesday night, Oak Park became the first Illinois town to issue a shelter-in-place order. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered anyone who is sick to stay home, and extended school closures until April 20.

And a nursing home in Willowbrook said confirmed cases of coronavirus at the facility have jumped from 22 to 46 since Tuesday.

Nationwide, there have been almost 11,300 confirmed coronavirus cases and 157 deaths as of Thursday afternoon.

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Here’s what’s happening with coronavirus in Illinois:

Ex-Doctors Called To Action As IL Coronavirus Death Toll Hits 6

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said health care licenses would be extended through September and new licenses would be expedited.

Illinois Cannabis Industry Deemed ‘Essential’ During Coronavirus

Marijuana dispensaries remain open during the governor’s ‘stay at home’ order and new rules are in place for medical cannabis patients.

Coronavirus: Mayor Extends CPS Closures Through April 20

Mayor Lori Lightfoot extends CPS closure through April 20, orders sick people to stay home and announces fund for small business loans.

Prosecutors Stop Pursuing Drug Charges Due To Coronavirus Threat

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced it will not prosecute “low-level” narcotics offenses and will review all other charges.

Malls Temporarily Shut Down As Coronavirus Fears Loom

The malls plan to be closed until at least March 30.

Coronavirus Emergency Loans Offered To Illinois Small Businesses

Amid a massive spike in applications for unemployment benefits, eligible workers can now apply immediately thanks to a new executive order.

Blood Donations Encouraged Amid IL Coronavirus Crisis

According to Red Cross, blood donations are facing a serious shortage.

Coronavirus Test Made Illinois Company Wins FDA Emergency Approval

Abbott is ramping up production in an effort to provide 1 million tests a week to hospitals and labs by the end of the month.

46 Coronavirus Cases Confirmed At Nursing Home

The first case at the nursing home was confirmed Saturday.

Oak Park Issues Shelter-In-Place Order After 2 ER Doctors Test Positive For Coronavirus

Two emergency room doctors at RUSH Oak Park Hospital have tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to media reports. The news comes a day after Oak Park Public Health Director Mike Charley issued a public order that requires residents to shelter in place starting on Friday.

State, national coronavirus numbers

Illinois:

Nationwide

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 15,219

  • Deaths: 205

  • Jurisdictions reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)

Latest global and U.S. confirmed cases and deaths from Johns Hopkins.

Tips from the CDC on dealing with coronavirus

While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid virus exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends taking these actions to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

What to do if you’re sick

Call head if you’re planning to visit your doctor: If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed

Stay home unless you must see a doctor:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.

  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home:

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Avoid sharing personal household items

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Masks
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a health care professional recommends it. A face mask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of face masks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

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