Illinois passes 70,000 COVID-19 cases

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, along with local elected and health officials speak Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in Chicago, to members of the media about Illinois preparedness for COVID-19. (Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

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Coronavirus Resources from the CDC

CHICAGO (WEHT)- Dr. Ngozi Ezike of the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed Illinois now has more than 70,000 known COVID-19 cases, along with more than 3,000 deaths from the virus.

Dr. Ezike says 15 percent of the COVID-19 tests reported in the past 24 hours have been positive. With Mother’s Day coming up Sunday, Dr. Ezike urged Illinoisans to stay home for the holiday.

Since March 1, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker says the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has processed one million claims, comparing it to 180,000 unemployment claims filed in the first nine weeks of the Great Recession.

Pritzker added that Illinois has paid $2 billion in unemployment claims, $500 million more than Illinois paid in all of 2019. To handle the workload, Pritzker says IDES has brought back retired employees and adds IDES employees have worked thousands of hours of overtime during the crisis.

Pritzker says he’s spoken with leagues and teams and adds that many of them are considering restarting their season without fans. Pritzer also says Illinois needs to have mail balloting available for everyone in the state.

Regarding religious services, Pritzker says he thinks “a house of worship and a pastor would know better and not encourage their parishioners to put themselves and their families in danger.”

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(This story was originally published on May 7, 2020)

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