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Illinois’ COVID-19 caseload surpassed 10,000 this weekend. Governor J.B. Pritzker said residents must continue to do their part to slow its spread.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing every day, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s statewide “Stay at Home” order has been extended until April 30th.  Hospital capacity is being increased, many businesses are struggling, and an unprecedented number of people have filed for unemployment in the past week.

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The nutrition program for women with infants, and young children, commonly referred to as WIC, is operating through the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some recipients say they are having a hard time finding food that is WIC-approved at grocery stores.

Last year, more than 182,00 Illinois residents participated in the program. 

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In the third week since Illinois’ governor banned going out to bars and dining out, restaurants are in limbo as they scramble to get by on takeout and curbside delivery orders, while they wait for relief from the government. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and the number of confirmed cases and deaths in Illinois increases, the state faces a growing medical, social, and economic crisis.  Governor J.B. Pritzker is urging people to abide by his "Stay at Home" order and calling on the federal government for more help.

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Illinois is extending its income tax filing period, days after the federal government did the same. 

Both Illinois and federal income taxes will have the same deadline – July 15.

Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Just a few weeks ago, Governor J-B Pritzker offered up a spending blueprint for Illinois.  But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic was on the radar. 

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After days of blasting President Donald Trump over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the two spoke by phone Monday.

Pritzker has been especially critical regarding the lack of supplies going to states.  But he said in their conversation, the president was “very responsive.”

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Through the COVID-19 pandemic, some Illinois centers that treat people with substance use disorders will continue with outpatient and residential services. However, there are other options for those who choose to stay home.

Addiction recovery meetings are still taking place with small groups at some treatment centers, and centers are now offering virtual and over-the-phone options for patients.

Kerry Henry, executive director of Gateway Foundation in Springfield, said precautionary measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 are enforced for those still attending sessions.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike testifies about the novel coronavirus at a Senate hearing on March 3, 2020.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

For the first time, an infant was among the newly discovered cases of COVID-19 announced daily by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Officials on Sunday said they’d confirmed 296 new cases of coronavirus disease, though official tallies are thought to significantly understate the actual number of infections.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on former physicians and medical professionals, including those who are retired, to “join the fight” against COVID-19. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinoisans voted in the primary election as COVID-19 continued its spread across the state.

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With Illinois residents practicing isolation inside their homes, the marijuana industry is making adjustments to meet consumer needs.

early voting signs in the Sangamon County Complex
NPR Illinois

Despite fear and uncertainty amid a global pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Illinois voters turned out for Tuesday’s primary election. Overall, however, turnout was down significantly compared to the last presidential primary in 2016.

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Polls are open, even though far fewer voters than usual are expected to turn out for today’s primary election because of coronavirus concerns.

IDPH director Ngozi Ezike speaks at Illinois' daily coronavirus disease briefing
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is ordering the cancellation of any event with more than 50 people. It’s the latest mandate in the ongoing effort to slow the spread of coronavirus disease.

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Illinois' U.S. Senator, Dick Durbin, said the Senate will vote soon on the latest deal to address a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19.

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Governor J.B. Pritzker says the work of Illinois government will continue during the COVID-19 outbreak.  But changes are coming for many state employees.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois takes drastic steps to slow the spread of coronavirus disease, including banning sporting events and other large gatherings. Meanwhile, politicians are deciding how to campaign amid a global pandemic with just days to go before Illinois’ primary election.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaking with reporters at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago
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Gov. J.B. Pritzker is closing all schools in Illinois — public and private — for two weeks. It’s the latest way the state is trying to prevent local spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Fox Valley Older Adult Services in a file photo from 2017
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Citing the risk from coronavirus disease, the Illinois Department on Aging is ordering senior centers to close.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Republicans are renewing their call to suspend Automatic Voter Registration after more problems with the system came to light this week.

Earlier this year, it came out that several people who self-identified as non-citizens were permitted to vote. Now, more than 1,100 actual citizens in Illinois were improperly classified as having opted out of voter registration — potentially denying them their right to vote.

hand sanitizer outside the governor's office suite in the Illinois State Captiol Building
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Citing concerns about coronavirus disease, the Illinois General Assembly is cancelling session for next week. Authorities are also restricting other large gatherings in the Capitol building.

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Legalized sports betting has officially launched in Illinois. This week, a casino in suburban Chicago opened the state’s first place for gamblers to legally bet on professional sports games. But rolling out Illinois’ sports books has been a slow-going process, and uncertainty remains about how much revenue the practice will end up generating for an already cash-strapped state. For this week’s Illinois Issues report, I explored what’s happening in the wide world of Illinois sports wagering.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Tomorrow will be the first day Illinois residents can start filling out the 2020 U.S. Census form online. State officials said remote technology will help with the count amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Sen. Melinda Bush
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois politicians would be allowed to use campaign money to pay for child care under legislation being considered in the General Assembly.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Springfield Sunday for the annual Women’s Day March. Demonstrators focused on opposing policies they say threaten women’s health and target immigrants.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With new cases of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19, Illinois public health officials say the question of the virus spreading here is no longer a question of if, but when and how widely. At least two Chicago conventions were canceled, though officials say the risk to most Illinoisans remains low.

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Electricity and environmental advocates offered their pitches to Illinois state senators this week on how to reduce a portion of the state’s carbon emissions. But each group has different ideas about how to do it.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House has approved legislation that would allow people to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP benefits, online.

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