Coronavirus Cases and Deaths Continue Increase
Vander Tuuk 5-1-20

(Chicago, IL) Despite increased testing, and one of the longest stay at home orders in the country…Illinois’ Coronavirus numbers continue to spike. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,563 cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, and an additional 141 deaths. Both of those numbers were up from Wednesday. 91 of the new fatalities were announced in Cook County and Chicago. In Lake County, cases fell from Wednesday, with 127 announced, but deaths increased to 10. Totals in the state now stand at 52,918 instances of the disease with 2,355 fatalities…Lake County sits at 3,509 and 138 respectively. Tests administered in the latest 24-hour period number 13,200, and negative tests now stand at just under 217-thousand.

Three Lake County Jail Inmates Test Positive for Covid-19
Vander Tuuk 5-1-20

(Waukegan, IL) Three Lake County Jail inmates have tested positive for Coronavirus. The inmates shared an area with a fellow inmate who tested positive for the disease after he was released. Five others that shared the same area tested negative, and have been moved into a 14-day quarantine area of the jail. The three inmates that tested positive, and one that had a test pending…remain in the same area, and haven’t had contact with any other inmates. Their conditions are being monitored, but all are currently said to be in good overall health

Slowed COVID-19 spread leaves 1,000s of makeshift beds empty
Associated Press 5-1-20

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Illinois has spent tens of millions of dollars building makeshift field hospitals to prepare for an anticipated flood of coronavirus cases. But Gov. J.B. Pritzker contends that prevention strategies such as a statewide stay-at-home order have worked so well that the plan has resulted in few patients. Three-thousand beds were prepared at McCormick Place in Chicago, but at its highest, the field hospital only saw a little under 30 patients. Additional beds at other closed hospitals have also been prepared, but have not housed a single patient. Pritzker said in late March that in a worst-case scenario, the state would need 38,000 more hospital beds than it has. He has said if the extra beds are never used “then we will have done our job.”

Chicago Man Arrested for Beach Park Shooting Incident
Vander Tuuk 5-1-20

(Waukegan, IL) A man has been arrested in connection with an incident that took place in Beach Park earlier this year. Demarcus Griffin is accused of shooting randomly at a group of people walking in the 39-thousand block of North Lewis Avenue back on March 1st. No one was hit by the gunfire, but he was hit with warrants for aggravated discharge of a firearm. Griffin was taken into custody on Wednesday in Chicago, and was found with a stolen gun. The 20-year-old was taken to the Cook County Jail and hit with charges for the stolen weapon in addition to the Lake County warrants. Bond information and court dates are currently unknown.

Ridership Down, Metra Makes Further Cuts to North Central Line
Vander Tuuk 5-1-20

(Chicago, IL) With ridership down drastically, Metra has decided to make further cuts on a line that travels through Lake County. Starting Monday (May 4th), the North Central Line will make more cuts to a schedule that had already been modified due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The line serves Lake County areas including Antioch, Lake Villa, Round Lake Beach, Grayslake, Mundelein, and Vernon Hills.

Ravinia Cancels Entire 2020 Season
Vander Tuuk 5-1-20

(Highland Park, IL) Coronavirus has claimed another victim, Ravinia. The outdoor concert venue has canceled its entire 2020 schedule due to the ongoing pandemic. The cancellation is the first time in 85 years that Ravinia won’t run some sort of schedule. Some 120 concerts and events were set to run from June 12 to September 16.

Hawthorn Mall to Open For Online, Phone Orders
Vander Tuuk 5-1-20

(Vernon Hills, IL) After being shuttered for over a month, the Hawthorn Mall is opening it’s doors, sort of. The Vernon Hills retail outlet is one of several businesses allowed to reopen under the modified stay at home order that starts today (Friday). Stores inside the mall will be allowed to take online and phone orders…and will then deliver those goods curbside. Officials say curbside pickup spots will be clearly marked, and workers will drop those orders in the trunk, or backseat of the car. For the re-opening, new health guidelines are in place, and operating hours have been reduced.

ISBE Puts Kibosh on All “In Person” Graduations Indefinitely
Vander Tuuk 5-1-20

(Springfield, IL) The Illinois State Board of Education has put a damper on all chances of in-person graduations for the time being. The ISBE says the indefinite order includes in-person, drive-through or smaller-group graduation ceremonies. Some High Schools, and other area institutions were hoping to delay ceremonies until the Governor’s stay at home order was lifted…but many will now either turn to a virtual alternative, or other plans to honor this year’s graduates.