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Nonprofit organziations are being stretched thin during the coronavirus pandemic.  The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and the United Way of Central Illinois are overseeing the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Greater Capital Region of Illinois.    

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

There are nine confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sangamon County, according to a daily tally from the Sangamon County Department of Public Health and the four major healthcare organizations in Springfield. This includes one death, and two cases of residents from outside of the county.

via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Illinois leaders are calling for more retired healthcare workers to return to the profession to help the state combat the new coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, millions more dollars are being pumped into social service programs designed to help those in need.

Mac.edu

A 174 year old educational institution in the area will soon close its doors permanently. 

The board of MacMurray College in Jacksonville voted unanimously Friday to shut down at the end of the spring semester in May.

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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.

Illinois Times

Illinoisans owe a combined $58 billion on their federal student loans, and with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order leaving some residents unable to work, making payments on those loans can be an impossible task.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker in his daily COVID-19 briefing had harsh words for people who
gathered on Chicago’s beaches and in parks during this week’s warmer
temperatures

“Right now, hosting a party, crowding down 
by the lake, playing a pickup basketball game in a public park.  If you are doing these things you are spitting
in the face of the doctors and nurses and first responders who are risking
everything so you can survive. “

A crisis can sometimes bring out the best in people.  And it can also lead them to rise above and find ways to keep going.

On this week's Statewide, we hear about volunteers working to help those on the front lines of health care, teachers working through obstacles to comntinue educating students and artists getting even more creative.  Those stories and more on this show.

Painting by Laura Gomel, used with permission / https://www.artbylauragomel.com/

Artists throughout Illinois have been hit particularly hard by the social distancing effects of the coronavirus pandemic. For many, their primary source of income has dried up as gigs and events have been canceled.

For this week’s Illinois Issues report, I gathered stories of their struggles and their solutions for keeping creativity alive during a global pandemic.  

Blue Room Stream / Blue Room Stream

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker announced new measures to help businesses stay afloat during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Burke Family

Sarah Albracht got an early warning about the spread of the coronavirus.  The Springfield woman is the wife of a doctor at Springfield Clinic.

“As we were watching other countries, you start crunching numbers and realize we’re going to have some shortages and a crisis here as well,” she said.

Medical and health officials answer questions about the first two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Springfield
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

There are six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sangamon County, including one new case reported Wednesday, according to a news release from the Sangamon County Department of Public Health and Springfield’s four major healthcare organizations. 

Commentary: The Coronavirus And The Citizen

Mar 25, 2020
UIS

COMMENTARY: The COVID 19 pandemic continues to unfold here in Illinois and the United States. There will likely be more cases, more fatalities, efforts of all kinds to contain and address this terrible life threatening virus that is wreaking havoc in and around the globe.  

From the vantage point of the average citizen the questions are what happens next, what will life be like in the days, and months ahead? 

Because I sit alone in my apartment trying to practice social distancing, I have some time to contemplate what’s next, what happened, and where is the average citizen in all this?  

Frankeleon/flickr

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.

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Creative Commons: Chris He, 2009

As Illinoisans continue to practice self-isolation, a Springfield Facebook group is bringing the community together online.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Amid the spread of COVID-19, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder signed an emergency declaration Wednesday. The declaration will be in effect until Illinos' emergency delcaration is lifted.

The Springfield City Council on Tuesday approved new rules for what powers the mayor has during an emergency.

With the declaration, the mayor can spend up to $100,000 without getting the council’s approval, but he has to notify the council within a day. Usually, the limit is $50,000. He could also call for citywide curfew.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Those in the real estate industry were hoping for a competitive and prosperous housing market during the spring season, but the rapid spread of COVID-19 put a pause on their plans. One broker offered advice to the industry on what it should be doing through the pandemic.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday described an Illinois worst-case scenario in which the state could  be far short of the ventilators, hospital beds and intensive-care unit spaces for expected COVID-19 cases.

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.”

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health is asking residents to call its hotline if they think they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. But because testing is still limited by lack of supply, calling the line is no guarantee of finding out whether you actually have the disease.

Addiction Professionals-Recovery Advocates Facebook Page

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.

Springfield And Central Illinois Coronavirus Updates

Mar 23, 2020
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This post is for news on local response to the virus in Springfield and Central Illinois. 

AlexChirkin/https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en

Those wishing to donate medical supplies to local health facilities will be able to do so starting this week. 

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. 

Springfield And Central Illinois Coronavirus Updates

Mar 21, 2020
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This post is for news on local response to the virus in Springfield and Central Illinois. For updates on what’s closed or canceled, go to this post. You can send tips, questions or announcements to engage@nprillinois.org.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

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

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaking with reporters at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago
screen capture / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order starting Saturday at 5 p.m. through April 7 to slow the spread of COVID-19. State public health officials reported Illinois’ fifth death from the virus Friday.

This week's program focuses on the changes we're seeing as a result of the coronavirus.  From how schools operate to customers panic buying at grocery stores.   

We're all feeling stressed during this time and we'll hear some ideas on how to cope with anxiety.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

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