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Testing Increase Leads to Large Covid-19 Case Increase

Wednesday Coronavirus Update For Thursday
Vander Tuuk 4-23-20

(Chicago, IL) While Lake County saw another steady day of Coronavirus numbers, expanded testing pushed Illinois numbers to another spike. Governor JB Pritzker announced 2,049 new cases of the disease on Wednesday, which is up from the previous day…and 98 new deaths, down from Tuesday. Overall, Illinois now has confirmed 35,108 instances of Covid-19 and 1,565 deaths. Lake County bumped up slightly in cases, and now stands at 2,379. The county also saw two new deaths, down from the previous day, and now stands at 87. Negative tests now number just over 129-thousand.

Major Chunk of Lake County Covid-19 Deaths at Nursing Homes
Vander Tuuk 4-23-20

(Waukegan, IL) A large portion of Lake County’s Covid-19 deaths have taken place at Lake County nursing homes. The Illinois Department of Public Health released data from area long term care facilities on Sunday when the county had 2,162 confirmed Coronavirus cases and 75 deaths. Nursing homes accounted for 150 of those cases, or about 7% of the total…but 44% of Lake County deaths were attributed to those same nursing homes. The IDPH says they will update those facility stats each week.

Four Lake County Towns Now Require Masks in Public
Vander Tuuk 4-23-20

(Waukegan, IL) Five Lake County towns are now requiring masks for going out in public. Waukegan and North Chicago made their official announcements on Wednesday, though the actual requirement will go into effect on Friday. They join Mundelein as the newest towns to require some sort of facemask in public. Highland Park and Deerfield made similar decisions earlier in the week, though other Lake County towns, like Gurnee are said to be looking into similar statutes.

GOP Lawmakers Suggest Plan for Gradually Reopening Illinois
Associated Press 4-23-20

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Illinois House Republicans are suggesting ways for slowly reopening businesses and relaxing restrictions on public interaction as the threat from COVID-19 potentially recedes. With Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order scheduled to expire April 30, GOP lawmakers seeking relief for a devastated economy and frustrated constituents offered modifications which they said the public would find acceptable. They include re-opening businesses such as car dealerships, golf courses and state parks and department stores and allowing hospitals to resume regular screening procedures. People would be required to wear face coverings in public and maintain from others to discourage transmission of the illness.

Pritzker Rejects Bankruptcy Idea to Get Out of Pension Debt
Associated Press 4-23-20

CHICAGO (AP) Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is not keen on a suggestion by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that states like Illinois could file for bankruptcy to get out from under public employee pension debt. McConnell suggested the move Wednesday and was discussing his reticence about additional aid to state and local governments to cope with reduced revenue because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Pritzker says while McConnell is important in the process in getting things done in Washington, many senators disagree with him. The governor says he is hopeful those senators realize state and local governments “deserve and need additional support.”

Judge Tosses Smollett’s Malicious Prosecution Lawsuit
Associated Press 4-23-20

CHICAGO (AP) A federal judge has dismissed actor Jussie Smollett’s malicious prosecution lawsuit against Chicago and several police officers. The former “Empire” actor said he was beaten in a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago in January 2019. Chicago police charged Smollett with making a false report, but those charges were subsequently dropped with little explanation from prosecutors. Chicago then sued Smollett to recover police overtime costs, and the actor countersued, calling himself the victim of a malicious prosecution. A special prosecutor later filed a new indictment against Smollett on six charges, including lying to the police. U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall ruled Wednesday that Smollett can’t bring a malicious prosecution claim until all proceedings against him have ended.

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