Coronavirus Updates in Springfield And Central Illinois

Mar 30, 2020

These are updates between March 30 nd April 5. For the latest updates, go to this post

You can send tips, questions or announcements to engage@nprillinois.org. You can send tips, questions or announcements to engage@nprillinois.org.

 

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Illinois topped 11,000 on Sunday, and 274 people have died so far.  Seventy-one Illinois counties now have at least one confirmed case.  

Illinois is under a stay-at-home order to stem the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no vaccine to prevent the disease. The CDC has tips on how to protect yourself.

Apil 7, 3:38 p.m. 

Illinois Reports 380 COVID-19 Deaths

The latest COVID-19 numbers in Illinois show 73 new deaths.  That’s the highest one day number in the state since the pandemic began. The death toll for Illinois now stands at 380. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced total confirmed cases are more than 1,350 as of today. But Governor J.B. Pritzker has made it clear that due to a lack of sufficient testing, the totals are likely undercounted.   

COVID-19 cases have been reported in 77 of the state’s 102 counties.

  

April 5, 5:11 p.m. 

Area Counties Report More Cases 

Sangamon County announced two more cases Sunday.  One is a Sangamon County resident, the other from Menard County.  That brings the total number of Sangamon County residents with COVID-19 to 28, with 5 from other counties and two deaths.  Six of the confirmed cases are in Memorial Medical Center.  A total of 21 people under investigation are hospitalized at Memorial and HSHS St. John's.  There have been 602 people tested through Sangamon County.  547 of those tests came back negative. 

Morgan County's Health Department has reported its 7th confirmed case, a woman in her 40's.  A statement from the Department said the woman is stable and recovering at home while an investigation into her contacts is underway.

In Macon County, two additional cases were announced Sunday.  They include a man in his 60's who is at home.  A man in his 80's is hospitalized at Decatur Memorial Hospital.  There have been six other cases confirmed in that county.  

Christian County had one new death rleated to COVID-19, the third fatality from the county, which has 19 confirmed cases.  

Montgomery County has one new case, bringing the total to 3.   On Saturday, the death of man in his 50's from Montgomery County was announced.  

April 5, 3:33 p.m. 

Child Care Help

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that all essential workers qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program, which covers part of child care costs. The state is expected to cover most of the cost of care at emergency child care facilities. Essential employees include doctors, nurses, hospital support staff, grocery clerks and food producers. 

April 4, 7:20 p.m. Montgomery County Sees First COVID-19 Death Public health officials confirmed one Montgomery County resident, a man in his 50's, has died from COVID-19. The man was in Christian County when he died, and his name is being withheld pending notification of all family members. 

April 4, 5:30 P.M.

One New Positive Case in Sangamon County 

Officials have confirmed another person has COVID-19 in Sangamon County. 31 people in all have defintely contracted the virus.

 

HSHS St. John's is caring for two of those patients while Memorial Medical Center is caring for five of them.

 

April 4, 3:30 P.M.

Macon And Pike County COVID-19 Updates

The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed a Pike County resident tested positive for COVID-19, a first for that county.

Officials also confirmed two more people in Macon County have the virus, bringing the total to six COVID-19 cases. Testing in all areas of the state remains limited, and experts warn the true number of infected may be much higher. Even those who do not show symptoms can be carriers. Public health contacts in both counties say to contact medical providers first if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with the virus, such as a fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. 

April 4, 3:00 P.M.

Engrained Launches Online Farmer's Market For Homebound Residents

Engrained Restaurant & Brewery in Springfield has launched a curbside farm-to-table marketplace to provide residents a place to buy hard-to-find items. Products like meat, bread, and eggs are all sourced from farms in 10 communities. You can access the market here.

April 3, 7:45 p.m.

Macon County Reports Another New Case, Four Total

The Macon County Department of Public Health is reporting another new, confirmed case of COVID-19, bringing the total to four. The health department reported a new case earlier Friday.

The man, who is in his 50s, is self-isolating at home, according to the health department.

“Because testing is not widely available to the general public, it is imperative that community members, whether feeling ill or well, implement social distancing best practices to limit the spread and contraction of COVID-19,” the health department’s statement reads. “This means staying home and away from as many people as possible as often as possible.”

More information is on the Macon County Health Department’s Facebook page.

April 3, 6:15 p.m.

Sangamon County Adds 7 Confirmed Cases, 30 Total

Seven more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Sangamon County, according to a news release from Sangamon County Department of Public Health, Springfield Clinic, SIU Medicine, Memorial Medical System and HSHS St. John’s Hospital.

That brings the total reported cases to 30, including two deaths. Five patients are hospitalized at Memorial Medical Center, and three are at HSHS St. John’s Hospital.

Thirty patients are under investigation for the disease. The county is reporting 555 tests, with 422 negatives. Four cases are of residents from outside of Sangamon County.

April 3, 5:45 p.m.

Pritzker Encourages Use of Masks In Public, Announces Field Hospital In Springfield

With concerns that the new coronavirus is being spread by asymptomatic people, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is advising Illinois residents to wear masks while out in public.

“The doctors all agree that this virus can be spread through droplets when you sneeze or cough, Pritzker said at his daily briefing Friday. “Wearing a mask in public is a way to do what’s right for everyone around you.”

The federal government is weighing whether to make a similar recommendation .

Public health officials said specialized N-95 masks should be saved for medical personnel, and that homemade cloth masks would provide protection for the average resident.

Pritzker said it doesn’t matter if the mask is medical or homemade, but it is in everyone’s best interest to cover their mouths and noses while in public. Masks are recommended, but not mandatory.

Meanwhile, Pritzker announced that the former Vibra Hospital in Springfield will be the fifth field hospital set up to treat patients sick with COVID-19 and the first in central Illinois.

These hospitals will treat patients who have tested positive for the disease but do not need to be in intensive care to ease the strain on other hospitals, Pritzker said.

Springfield To Get Field Hospital, Fifth In State

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that the former Vibra Hospital in Springfield will be the fifth field hospital set up to treat patients sick with COVID-19. 

The four others are in Chicago and the suburbs, including McCormick Place - the convention center in Chicago. 

Illinois Adds 53 Deaths, 1,209 New Confirmed Cases

There are 8,904 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 210 deaths. The number of cases rose by 1,209 since Thursday.

DeWitt, Effingham and Jersey counties now report cases, bringing the number of counties with reported cases to 64.

Springfield School District 186 Board Meeting Goes Online

The Board of Education meeting on Monday will convene at 6:30 p.m. in the Administrative Center on Monroe Street, but its members will participate remotely using Zoom, according to a news release from District 186.

The board meeting will be open, but no more than 10 people will be allowed in at a time and social distancing will be “strictly enforced.” Those who don’t have home internet or a smartphone will be prioritized for in-person attendance.

The meeting will be broadcast on the district’s YouTube channel. To address the board remotely, options include register as a participant for the meeting ( click here to register ), contact board secretary Julie Hammers for a call-in number at jhammers@sps186.org, or email comments to boe@sps186.org, which will be read at the meeting.

April 3, 12:20 p.m.

New Confirmed Case In Macon County

A woman in her 40s has tested positive for COVID-19 in Macon County. She is in isolation at Decatur Memorial Hospital, reports the Macon County Department of Public Health. This brings the total confirmed cases in the county three. So far, 48 tests have been completed, with three positive test results, thirty-three negative test results and twelve test results pending.

The health department recommends Macon County residents experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, contact a primary care physician. If you do not have one, contact DMH Medical Group at (217) 876-2856, Crossing Healthcare at (217) 877-9117 or SIU at (217) 872-3800. More information is on the Macon County public health department’s Facebook page.

April 3, 9:45 a.m.

Six New Positive Cases In Sangamon County

The latest numbers from the county's health leaders bring the total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 23 with two deaths. Five of the confirmed positive cases are hospitalized at Memorial Medical Center and two confirmed positive cases are hospitalized at HSHS St. John’s Hospital. 

April 2, 4:45 p.m.

Four Field Hospitals in Chicago Area To Address COVID-19 Surge, Abbott Tests, Unemployment Surges

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said a location in Melrose Park will be converted alongside three other sites, including Chicago's McCormick Place, into field hosptials to treat COVID-19 patients. The four facilties will allow healthcare workers to treat nearly 4,000 people who contract the virus.

Those overflow centers are "meant to support, not replace," existing hospitals, the governor explained. So far, Illinois public health experts have confirmed 7,695 people contracted the virus, while the death toll continues to climb. Separately, Pritzker said Illinois-based medical company Abbott Labs delivered 15 of its new COVID-19 tests to healthcare centers. That test is capable of delivering results in as little as five minutes. 

Unemployment insurance claims, meanwhile, surged in just the last week. According to prelimiary numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor, 178,000 Illiniosans made a jobless claim during that period. Nationally, that number has climbed to 10 million. 

April 2, 1:52 p.m.

Lincoln Land Offers Infection Prevention Course

From a news release: "Lincoln Land Community College’s Capital City Training Center is offering a free online training course on infection control in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In partnership with CareerStep, the short course “Certificate of Infection Control and Barrier Protection Proficiency (CICBP)” is available at no charge through April 30. The course takes one to three hours to complete and addresses all major elements of infection prevention." It includes a module on how to specifically avoid getting infected with COVID-19 .

More information can be found here.

April 2, 1:45 p.m.

Sangamon County Treasurer Recommends Delaying Property Tax Deadlines

Treasurer Joe Aiello said in an email this week to County Administrator Brian McFadden he is recommending due dates for property tax bills be postponed by a week, to June 12 for the first payment and September 11 for the second. If taxpayers are late in paying the first bill, the county would grant up to three months of leniency.

Aiello also said taxpayers can pay their bills at a number of locations that allow for social distancing, as well as online and by mail.

The Sangamon County Treasurer said his office is continuing "to explore other options and temporary relief during these challenging times."

April 2, 1:00 p.m.

Springfield Park District Announces Washington Park Closures, Encourages Park Use With Caution

The city's park district said, beginning this weekend and "each Saturday and Sunday moving forward," Washington Park will be closed to vehicle traffic in an effort to reduce congestion there. The park remains open to foot traffic.

All 38 of Springfield's parks and each of its 4 biking and hiking trails are still open to individual visitors, though officials are encouraging those displaying COVID-19 symptoms to stay away, and everyone else to practice social distancing and avoid gathering in crowds larger than 10. 

April 1, 6:48 p.m.

Two Deaths In Christian County

A man and a woman in their 80s who tested positive for COVID-19 in Christian County have died, according to the Christian-Montgomery Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday afternoon.

There are 15 confirmed cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, including the two deaths, in Christian County, and two in Morgan County.

A dozen residents from a senior living complex in Taylorville had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday. The emergency agency did not release any more information regarding the deaths.

No New Confirmed Cases In Sangamon County

The number of confirmed cases in Sangamon County stands at 17, with no new cases reported Wednesday, according to a news release from the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, Springfield Clinic, SIU Medicine, Memorial Medical System and HSHS St. John’s Hospital.

Four patients are hospitalized at Memorial.

The organizations urged households where a member has symptoms of COVID-19 to follow quarantine instructions and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These guidelines include having the person who has tested positive, is symptomatic or has been tested to stay in a separate room, not share dishes or other household items, and prohibit visitors.

HSHS St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center say they’re following CDC recommendations for how their staff uses personal protective equipment, including masks. They report their organizations “have the necessary PPE equipment.”

April 1, 5:30 p.m.

Governor Urges Census Participation

With so many residents forced to stay home due to the coronavirus, Illinois’ governor said it’s a good time fill out the census form.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says it only takes only about ten minutes: “It’s incredibly important to make sure that every Illinois resident, from newborn babies to great grandparents, is counted in the census.”

The census will determine how much federal tax money will come back to Illinois as well as the state’s political power when it comes to the number of congressional seats.

An online census questionnaire is available and reminders to complete the form were sent through the mail.

Arts Fund Established

There is a new fundraising effort to help Illinois artists and artisans. The Arts Illinois Relief Fund allows for donations that will be turned into grants to help during a time when nearly all performances and exhibits have been canceled.

Chicago artist Amanda Williams says the arts community is resilient: “We will not stop making, creating, inspiring, challenging, bearing witness and bringing hope. In fact, that’s all we know to do in these moments.”

Williams said while some performers have continued to share art online, the shutdown has been far reaching. She says those who do lighting, costumes and more have also found themselves out of work.

More details about the relief fund can be seen at Arts For Illinois website.

Small Business Center Offering Free Help

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College is offering free guidance to small business owners in navigating different programs, including Paycheck Protection Program – the federal government’s new assistance program – and small business emergency loans.

“We are on the front lines of gathering information on the latest local, state and national assistance, and can offer guidance to small business owners,” director Kevin Lust said in a press release.

Lust and his staff can be reached at sbdc@llcc.edu or 217-786-4531.

Macon County Crisis Team Accepting Masks, Gloves, Other Protective Equipment

Donations of N-95 masks, clean homemade masks, gowns, glove, sanitizer and other cleaning and respiratory equipment will be accepted at the Decatur Civic Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 2. Officials with the Macon County Crisis Communication Team will receive the items.

April 1, 2:50 p.m.

IDPH Reports 42 More COVID-19 Deaths And Nearly 1,000 New Confirmed Cases

Illinois’ total confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 6,980, the state Department of Public Health reported Wednesday, including 141 deaths, up from 99 Tuesday.

Cases have been reported in 56 of the state’s 102 counties. More than 40,000 people have been tested.

April 1, 11:40 a.m.

SMTD Reduces Weekend Bus Service To Hourly

Sangamon County Mass Transit District announced Wednesday it’s reducing weekend bus routes to hourly on Saturday. This follows a Monday announcement that weekday routes will run hourly as well. Ridership has been down 50% in the last three weeks, according to the news release.

The affected routes are:

Downtown Transfer Center now departing top of the hour ONLY (:00)

  • 2 – North 9th/ Piper Rd/ Northgate;
  • 7 – West Washington;
  • 8 – S. Grand/MacArthur;
  • 9 – M.L. King/East Cook;
  • 10 – South 11th/ Stevenson

Junction Circle Transfer Point now departing quarter after the hour ONLY (:15)

  • 13 – Westside Shopper

Bus travel is restricted to essential travel only, including going to work, grocery shop or seek medical care, the transit system reminded passengers.

Residents Can Renew Vehicle Registration Or Standard Driver’s License On SOS Website

With the governor’s stay-at-home order extended through April 30, the Illinois Secretary of State’s offices will remain closed.

The secretary’s office reminded residents Wednesday that residents can access many services online, including renewing a vehicle registration; applying for a vehicle title and registration; obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card; obtaining a driving record abstract; renewing a standard driver’s license with the Safe Driver Renewal program.

Expiration dates for licenses, ID cards, vehicle registrations and other transactions will be extended at least 30 days past when driver service facilities reopen.

March 31, 5:20 p.m.

UIS To Host Free Webinar On COVID-19 Relief For Small Businesses 

The University of Illinois Springfield will host a free public webinar on COVID-19 relief for small businesses. The webinar will take place from noon  to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday April 1. 

The online panel discussion will provide insight on COVID-19, its impact on businesses, and resources on how to navigate through the application process for relief options for small businesses.

The webinar will be lead by Bruce Sommer, UIS director of economic development and innovation, and will feature panelists Chris McDowell, SIU School of Medicine; Greg Turk, of The Teachers Retirement System of Illinois; Kevin Lust, of the Small Business Development Center; and Michael Johnson, of US Bank.

Registration is not required, but participants can register for the event at  go.uis.edu/smallbusiness. Participants can join the Zoom presentation online at https://zoom.us/j/3362950210 or dial 312-626-6799 and enter meeting ID 336 295 0210.

For more information, contact Bruce Sommer at 217-899-3186 or bsomm2@uis.edu. 

 

March 31, 4:55 p.m.

Sangamon County Adds New Confirmed Case, Total At 17

Sangamon County has 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including two deaths, according to a daily tally from the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, Springfield Clinic, SIU Medicine, Memorial Medical System and HSHS St. John’s Hospital.

That is one more positive since Monday. Four patients with confirmed cases are hospitalized at Memorial Medical Center.

There are 13 Sangamon County residents sick with the disease, and four from other counties.

As of Tuesday 497 people have been tested, 90 results are pending, and 390 are negative.

March 31, 4:20 p.m.

Pritzker Extends Stay At Home Order, Disaster Proclamation, Remote Teaching, To End of April

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is ordering Illinoisans to remain at home through April 30, and extended a statewide disaster proclamation. All schools will remain closed to students through the end of April as well. It comes as the federal government earlier this week extended its social distancing guidelines through the end of next month.

"We aren’t immune to this virus’ ability to push our existing capacity beyond its limit," Pritzker said during a daily press conference "We need to maintain our course and keep working to flatten the curve."

Separately, the governor said 35 percent of adult intensive care unit beds are being used by COVID-19 patients, and that number is expected to increase. As of Tuesday, public health experts have confirmed 6,000 people in Illinois contracted the virus, and 99 people have died.

Mayor Jim Langfelder Instructs SPD TO Cease Home Evictions; No City Council Tuesday

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder filed his second Emergency Order, which instructs the Springfield Police Department not to assist in the removal of people who fail, refuse, or have the inability to pay for residential services, for the remainder of Illinois’ COVID-19 emergency declaration.

The order includes removal from homes, motels, hotels, shared rental units, shelters, and similar facilities. Springfield police will not assist with car repossession, as it is protected, or included in the emergency order.

The order is to protect vulnerable populations, who are at higher risk for becoming infected with COVID-19, and to comply with social distancing, and isolation rules.

There is no scheduled Springfield City Council meeting Tuesday. The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, April 7.

The public may share their thoughts and questions on any issue by submitting it in writing to the City Clerk’s Office at city.clerk@springfield.il.us.

The City of Springfield sends a reminder to residents not to flush non-toilet paper products down the toilet.

Disposable items such as wipes, paper towels, baby wipes napkins can clog the city’s sanitary sewer system, and lead to sewer backups into the homes of residents. When a sewer becomes clogged, it becomes very costly to repair.

Springfield Park District: Playgrounds Are Closed

In a response to COVID-19, the Springfield Park District announced playgrounds are closed to the public. The following amenities are also closed: exercise lots, skate park, dog parks, and public restrooms.

Local parks and trails remain open. While visiting, the district urges residents to stay in compliance with the governor's executive order, and CDC guidelines and safety tips: Stay in if you’re sick or display COVID-19 related symptoms, practice social distancing of 6 feet, and do not gather in crowds.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Cancels All Upcoming Events, Places Limitations on Fishing And Hunting

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has canceled all upcoming events at state sites, including hunting or fishing on state-managed or owned sites while state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas, and historic sites are closed.

The state’s wildlife code prohibits refunds and permit transfers. The department is looking for possible solutions.

However, hunters and anglers who wish to hunt or fish during the stay-at-home order may still do so as long as they’re following CDC guidelines, and have the appropriate licensing and permits. They must also hunt or fish on private properties, or areas that are open to the public.

March 30, 5:10 p.m.

Second Sangamon County Coronavirus Death

Local health officials Monday reported the second death from COVID-19 in Sangamon County.  A patient who was being treated at HSHS St. John’s Hospital passed away in hospice care Sunday evening.   Officials say the man was brought to the emergency department on Friday, March 27.  The patient was in his 90’s. 

Sangamon County has reported a total of 16 cases, including three more announced Monday.  Three of the confirmed cases are hospitalized at Memorial Medical Center.   9 patients at Memorial are under investigation for COVID-19 along with 8 hospitalized at HSHS St. John’s.

Illinois Cases Top 5,000

The Illinois Department of Public Health Monday reported another 461 new COVID-19 cases with 7 additional deaths.  A total of 73 people have died in Illinois since the pandemic began.  52 counties are now reporting positive cases, with the latest Clark, Randolph, Crawford, Marion and Saline.   Illinois' official total if 5,057 cases. 

March 30, 3:00 p.m.

One Death, Dozens Test Positive At Stateville

One of those who died was an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center.  12 men incarcerated at Stateville  are now hospitalized, with several requiring ventilators.  An additional 77 prisoners with symptoms are isolated at the facility.  Eleven staff are also isolated there.  

The Pritzker Administration released the following statement: "The Illinois Department of Corrections is taking a number of steps to control the spread of COVID-19 in its correctional centers.  Staff who work with individuals in isolation and quarantine, as well as in the health center, are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) and all staff are wearing some PPE.  Staff are also having their temperature checked daily as they enter the facility."

The Administration adds correctional centers with a confirmed case are placed on lockdown and those who show symptoms are being tested.

March 30, 2:00 p.m.

COVID-19 Patient Dies In Morgan County

The Morgan County Coroner released a statement confirming the county's first COVID-19 death.  The 84 year old man tested positive March 25 and died Monday at Passavant Hospital. The patient was brought to the hospital March 21.  He had been placed in the ICU.  "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this individual, and the hospital staff who cared for him," said Coroner Marcy Patterson.  

March 30, 12:20 p.m.

Taylorville Senior Apartments Complex Sees 13 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

On Sunday, Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management officials said they had confirmed a dozen COVID-19 cases at the Rolling Meadows Senior Apartments in Taylorville. Per the agency, no visitors will be allowed at the complex "until further notice.” Residents have been placed on quarantine for their own safety and are being monitored by public health groups.

Illinois' public health department testing guidelines state senior residents living in situations like this receive priority. As of Sunday, Christian County had 7 pending COVID-19 tests and 25 negative tests, while Montgomery County had 10 pending tests, 1 previous positive test, and 28 negative tests.

March 29, 4:00 p.m.

Nearly 4,600 Cases In Illinois, 13 In Sangamon County

Illinois’ reported COVID-19 cases total 4,596 as of Sunday afternoon. However, as testing continues to be limited, public health officials emphasize the prevalence could be more widespread. Statewide, 65 people have died so far. Cases have been confirmed in 47 of Illinois' 102 counties.

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health announced one new positive case in the county Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 13, along with one death.

As of Sunday, three of the confirmed positive cases are hospitalized at Memorial Medical Center. Memorial Medical Center has eight inpatients currently under investigation. HSHS St. John’s Hospital has 17 inpatients under investigation for COVID-19.

Menard and Montgomery counties now have confirmed cases. COVID-19 has been confirmed in 47 of the state's 102 counties.

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