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Region Containing Lake County Reaches Phase 3 Reopening Metrics

Testing Increase Leads to Case Increase, Deaths Fall
Vander Tuuk 5-15-20

(Chicago, IL) An increase of nearly 5-thousand Coronavirus tests in Illinois has led to an increase in cases. The Illinois Department of Public Health says a little over 32-hundred new cases were announced Thursday, along with 138 deaths…a number that is down from Wednesday. Lake County also saw an increase in cases of around 230, and 8 deaths…like Illinois, the county fatality number was down from the day before. Overall Lake County now has just under 6-thousand positive tests for Covid-19 and 201 deaths. Just under 22,700 tests were processed in the last 24 hours, and negative tests now number over 424-thousand. The state’s overall positive infection percentage fell one tenth of a percent to 17.2.

Phase-3 Metrics Reached in Northeast Region, But Lake County Must Still Wait
Vander Tuuk 5-15-20

(Chicago, IL) All of Illinois should be able to enter the next step of the state’s re-opening plan at the end of the month. Governor JB Pritzker announced that the Northeast Region, which includes Lake County, finally hit all metrics needed to make it to Phase-3 on Thursday. On Wednesday, several of those metrics were still above the threshold set by the Governor and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Despite nearly 9-thousand new reported cases between Tuesday and Thursday, those metrics, including hospitalizations, have dropped to the goals for the so-called “Recovery Phase.” The stage would allow more businesses to open with safety precautions and social distancing guidelines…but restaurants and bars would remain drive-thru, pick-up and curbside only.

Unemployment Claims Up Big Again in Illinois
Vander Tuuk 5-15-20

(Chicago, IL) Unemployment claims dropped last week in Illinois, but the drop doesn’t signal any good news. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says just under 73-thousand first time claims were made for the week ending May 9th, a drop of just about 15-hundred from the week before. Since March 1st, over 1-million-76-thousand people have filed for unemployment benefits in Illinois. Over 36-million total American’s have filed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lake County Senator Looking for Re-Opening Plan Answers
Vander Tuuk 5-15-20

(Hawthorn Woods, IL) With state legislators set to go back to work next week, one Lake County Senator says he’s looking for Coronavirus related answers. Hawthorn Woods-area State Senator Dan McConchie says while the General Assembly has a lot of work to do in three days, he hopes that officials for Governor JB Pritzker give testimony as to how and who came up with the 5-Phase plan for reopening the state’s economy. Several GOP legislators have said their input has been pushed aside when it comes to the reopening plan, which McConchie calls “overly restrictive.” It’s unclear if any Covid-19 relates issues will be brought up in the May 20 through 22nd session. Governor Pritzker is hoping lawmakers can craft a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Traffic Campaign LC Sheriff’s Office
Vander Tuuk 5-15-20

(Waukegan, IL) Lake County Sheriff’s officials say traffic has been sparse since the stay at home order went into place in late March. Still, officials say they are seeing more people taking advantage of the open roads, and it’s led to serious and sometimes fatal crashes, higher speeds, and people who still make the decision to drive under the influence. A special enforcement period is now underway which will run through Memorial Day to make sure those on the roads are safe. The funds for the campaign have been provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation through federal grants.

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