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Live Updates On Coronavirus In Springfield And Central Illinois

Sam Dunklau
NPR Illinois 91.9 FM
The Old State Capitol in Springfield, closed temporarily due to COVID-19

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

For last week’s updates, go to this post. You can send tips, questions or announcements to engage@nprillinois.org.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Illinois neared 45,883 as of Monday, and more than 1,983 people have died. Ninety-six Illinois counties 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 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no vaccine to prevent the disease.

That agency has tips on how to protect yourself.

April 26, 7:25 p.m.

Sangamon County Reports 107 COVID-19 Cases

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health reports two new deaths in Sangamon County. Both were inpatients at Memorial Medical Center.

There are 9 new positive cases in Sangamon County. The total number of residents with confirmed cases is 107, including 8 deaths.

Memorial Medical Center is reporting 10 people with the disease currently hospitalized, including 8 Sangamon County residents, and one inpatient currently under investigation. HSHS St. John’s Hospital is reporting 15 confirmed positive cases, inpatients are currently hospitalized, including 9 Sangamon County residents, and 14 inpatients currently under investigation. 

April 26, 4:20 p.m.

The Villas Senior Care Community Announces Two Additional Deaths

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health reports two new deaths at The Villas Senior Care Community in Sherman.

There are also five new positive cases at the complex. 

The total number of confirmed positive residents at the facility include 24 residents and 13 staff members, bringing the total to 37 cases and four deaths.

April 26, 3:04 p.m.

Illinois Approaching 2,000 COVID-19 Fatalities

In the last 24 hours, Illinois has conducted 13,335 COVID-19 tests. There are 2,126 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 43,903. That includes many who have recovered.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reports there have been an additional 59 lives lost, bringing the state's death total to 1,933.

4,595 patients with COVID-19 are hospitalized, with 1,267 in Intensive Care, and 772 are on ventilators.

COVID-19 has  been found in 96 of the state's 102 counties.

25 April, 5:00 p.m.

Sangamon County Daily Medical Update

11 new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in a joint communication from the Sangamon County Department of Public Health along with Memorial Health System, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Springfield Clinic and SIU Medicine on Saturday.

The total number of Sangamon County residents with confirmed cases between the five organizations is 98, including six deaths.

Memorial Medical Center is reporting eleven confirmed positive cases currently hospitalized, including eight Sangamon County residents, and no inpatients currently under investigation.

HSHS St. John’s Hospital is reporting sixteen confirmed positive cases currently hospitalized, including nine Sangamon County residents, and ten inpatients currently under investigation.

April 25, 4:15 p.m.

Pritzker Calls Reopening State By County "False Narrative," Ezike Bemoans Bleach Drinkers

Gov. J.B. Pritzker responded to questions of whether to reopen the state, when the time comes, by county.  Some have suggested that approach, which has not yet been tried in any state, might be feasible due to a comparatively lower number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in counties with sparse population.  But Pritzker said public health experts believe that would be dangerous.

“I absolutely recognize the difference between rural areas and the number of infections that are happening there, versus urban areas.  But again, this virus knows no boundaries.  It’s not saying to itself ‘I’m going to go after people in an urban area.’  It simply can get transmitted anywhere."

Meanwhile, Dr. Ngozi Ezike addressed an uptick in calls to Illinois' Poison Center in the last few days, apparently from those who had ingested cleaning supplies in an attempt to ward off COVID-19.

Some recent examples include the use of a detergent solution for a sinus rinse, and gargling with a bleach and mouthwash mixture in an attempt to kill coronavirus.

Though President Donald Trump recently mused at the idea of doing so, Ezike stressed eating or drinking any kind of cleaning supply is dangerous.

April 25, 3:00 p.m.

IDPH Daily Medical Update

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Saturday 2,119 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the known total in the state to 41,777.  IDPH also reported an additional 80 deaths, for a total of 1,874 fatalities to date.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reports that as of midnight last night, 4,699 patients with COVID-19 are hospitalized, with about 25% (1,244) in Intensive Care, and of those 763 are on ventilators.

Yesterday, 11,985 tests were conducted in Illinois.  There have been 201,617 tests performed so far.

April 25, 10:00 a.m.

Springfield NAACP Hosts COVID Town Hall

The Springfield Chapter of the NAACP held a town hall Saturday aimed at fielding questions and dispelling rumors about COVID-19, and highlighting the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on the black community.

Notable guests included Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Illinois’ public health director, and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. The full program, hosted by the NAACP's Teresa Haley, can be watched again at this link.

April 24, 4:35 p.m.

Twelve New Coronavirus Cases At Sherman Nursing Home, Total In Sangamon County Reaches 87

Two more staff members and 10 more residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at a nursing home in Sherman, bringing the total cases associated with the facility to 26, including two deaths, according to a news release form the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.

A man in his 90s, a resident of The Villas Senior Care Community, died last week, and a second resident, a man in his 70s, died at Memorial Medical Center Thursday.

Countywide, 87 people have tested positive and six people have died from COVID-19. Twenty-five people are hospitalized with the disease at Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. John’s Hospital.

About 1,500 Sangamon County residents have been tested.

The health department confirmed the outbreak at The Villas on Tuesday. Ages range from an employee in her teens to residents in their 100s.

April 24, 4:10 p.m.

Nine New Cases in Macon County

Nine more Macon County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, according a release from the Macon County Health Department. There are 104 total confirmed cases in the county, after contact tracing revealed one previously reported case was from a resident of another county.

Most of the cases are staff and residents at long-term care facilities, but public health officials emphasized the need to follow social distancing rules.

April 24, 2:55 p.m.

Illinois Hits One-Day High In New Cases, As Testing Expands

There are 2,724 new COVID-19 cases in Illinois since yesterday. The largest one-day total comes after more than 16,000 results came back yesterday, according to Illinois Department of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike. The department reported 108 more deaths. 

A total of 39,658 people have tested positive for the disease, with 1,795 deaths.

Any Illinoisan who is showing symptoms of Covid-19 and has been in contact with someone with a confirmed test can now get tested, according to an announcement from the Department of Public Health Friday.

A list of public testing sites, offering free screening, is on the department’s website.

Jacksonville Library To Remain Closed

Jacksonville’s public library will remain closed through May 31, the library’s director announced Friday. The library will then reevaluate when to reopen.

April 23, 4:30 p.m.

One More Person Dies in Sangamon County

From a statement: "Health officials in Sangamon County announced death of a man in his  70s who  tested positive for COVD-19 on Wednesday.  He was an inpatient at Memorial Medical Center. The total number of Sangamon County residents with confirmed cases is 73, including six deaths." 

"Two positive cases that were first reported on April 20 will no longer be reported in these numbers because they have been transferred to the city of Chicago."

"Memorial Medical Center is reporting five confirmed positive cases currently hospitalized, including two Sangamon County residents, and two inpatients currently under investigation. HSHS St. John’s Hospital is reporting nine confirmed positive cases currently hospitalized, including three Sangamon County residents, and seven inpatients currently under investigation."

April 23, 4:10 p.m.

Hillsboro nursing facility reports staff member has COVID-19

The Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency announced that  in Montgomery County, there have been 22 positive tests including one death, and 235 negative tests. Christian County has 26 positive tests, which included four deaths.

Meanwhile, a staff member at Montgomery Nursing and Rehab Center in Hillsboro  has tested positive for COVID-19. No residents or additional staff members are currently presenting COVID-19 symptoms.

April 23, 3:45 p.m.

More Cases In Macon County

Macon County reports 96 COVID-19 cases, including 71 at Fair Haven Senior Living in Decatur. There have been 11 deaths. Of those cases, 33 are connected to Fair Havens, as well as one death.

April 23, 3 p.m

Stay-At-Home Order Extended Through May

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that he will sign a modified version of the state’s stay at home order that will go into effect on May 1. More info what will specifically change can be found here:

In conjunction with the announcement, the Governor released modeling today put together by top academic institutions and researchers in Illinois that predicts the course of coronavirus in the state over the coming months.

According to the Governor's office in a statement: "On the state's current trajectory, Illinois is projected to see a peak or plateau of deaths per day between late April and early May, but if the stay at home order were lifted this week, the model anticipates a second wave of the outbreak in Illinois starting in May, which would claim tens of thousands of lives and greatly exceed the state’s hospital capacity."

April 22, 6:30 p.m.

Three More COVID-19 Cases At The Villas

Six residents and four employees at The Villas in Sherman have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. 

All three residents with newly confirmed cases are hospitalized, two at Memorial Medical Center and one at HSHS St. John’s Hospital, according to a statement from the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.

The ten cases include that of a resident in his 90s who died last week, according to the statement.


April 22, 6:00 p.m.


Sangamon County Reports Four New Cases


Public health officials and Springfield health systems announced four new positive COVID-19 cases in Sangamon County, bringing the running total to 69. Five people have died so far.

According to a statement, "a positive case that was first reported on April 20th will no longer be reported in our numbers, as the case has been transferred to Mason County."

1,421 tests have been completed so far.

April 22, 5:30 p.m.

Macon County COVID-19 Update

Health officials confirmed 38 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 33 of which are associated with Fair Havens Senior Living facility. Thus far, 23 staff and 48 residents of that long-term care facility have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 96 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, 72 are associated with those living in close proximity in one place, known as "congregate settings."

From a statement: "Our Crisis Communications Team previously informed the community that the Illinois Department of Public Health provided test kits for all residents and staff of Fair Havens Senior Living to be tested. Because of the high volume of tests submitted, there is a higher number of positive test results and there is expected to be more coming in and reported on in the upcoming days."

"This knowledge empowers the facility to continue appropriate measures and determine next steps and/or additional measures in preventing the spread of illness."

April 22, 4:00 p.m.

Illinois Opens Two More Testing Sites

The state announced Wednesday it is opening two additional Community-Based Testing Sites to help test Illinoisans for COVID-19. One opened in Aurora today, and another in Rockford will open Friday. There are now five community testing sites open in all. Public health workers will be screening individuals with COVID-19 symptoms seven days a week.

More info on those state-run sites can be found here. You can access an up to date list of sites here.  

April 22, 2:45 p.m.

Memorial Gives In-Home Monitoring Kits to COVID-19 Patients
From a statement: "More than 70 patients who were tested for COVID-19 at Memorial’s respiratory screening clinic this month at 2950 S. Sixth St. in Springfield received kits from Memorial Home Medical Equipment with devices to monitor blood-oxygen levels, heartbeat, temperature and lung function."

“The kits give us some more insight to ensure that patients’ symptoms don’t worsen,” Kimberly Paskiewicz, Memorial Health System administrator of special services, said."

"The kits include a peak-flow meter to measure lung function, a spirometer to exercise the lungs, an inhaler, a battery-powered pulse oximeter and, for patients who don’t have one at home, a thermometer."

April 22, 2:10 p.m.

Springfield Arts Groups Ask For Community Support

11 Springfield-area arts groups are asking thousands of patrons and donors to consider donating, as many continue to struggle as the pandemic has ground Illinois social life to a halt.

"We are always searching for ways to help our community. During this COVID-19 crisis, we realized our own patron email list, of over 42,000 addresses, could be used to spread the word about how to support local performing arts organizations in our area," said Bryan Rives, Director of the Performing Arts Center, in a statement.

The groups said they have each suffered a substantial loss of income. Info on how to donate can be found here.

April 22, 1:30 p.m.

Illinois House GOP Offers Plan To Reopen Economy

A group of Republican house members say they’d like Governor Pritzker to allow certain businesses to re-open in the coming weeks.  They emphasize a safe reopening with protections for customers and workers.

Rep. Mark Batinick (R, Plainfield) was among those who discussed the plan during a Zoom press conference.

“This is a critical time in our fight against COVID-19," Batinick said in a statement. “We believe we can reopen some parts of our economy with a focus on protecting the health and safety of Illinoisans. There are items in the governor’s orders we feel can be changed in the event of a new disaster declaration that will help some employers get back to business.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, meanwhile, appears poised to extend a stay-at-home order into next month. No official word has been given yet.

April 21, 6:10 p.m.

Three New COVID-19 Cases In Sangamon County


Sangamon County has reported three new positive COVID-19 cases. The total number of Sangamon County residents with confirmed cases is 66, including 5 deaths.

Memorial Medical Center is reporting three confirmed positive cases, currently hospitalized, none of which are Sangamon County residents, and two inpatients currently under investigation.

HSHS St. John’s Hospital is reporting six confirmed positive cases currently hospitalized, including one Sangamon County resident, and three inpatients currently under investigation.

April 21, 5:00 p.m.

Coronavirus Cases In Logan and Cass County

There are no new cases of COVID-19 reported today in Logan County, according to the Logan County Department of Public Health and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

One confirmed resident from Mason County with a confirmed case is still hospitalized at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

There are four cases in the county, and one person is under investigation. There are no COVID-19 related deaths in the area.

Cass County reports six confirmed COVID-19 cases, five pending tests, and 58 negative tests. The first case was reported last Thursday after a worker in Beardstown, who is not a Cass County resident, tested positive, potentially exposing other residents to the virus.

April 21, 4:45 p.m.

IHSA Cancels All School Events

The Illinois High School Association announced its decision to cancel all spring tournaments. This came after Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Board of Education announced that all high schools will complete the 2019-20 school term using e-learning.

The canceled tournaments include: girls badminton, boys gymnastics, bass fishing, track and field, water polo, girls soccer, boys tennis, lacrosse, boys volleyball, baseball, and softball. Summer football scrimmages - also known as contact days - are also suspended for this year, unless state government and medical officials indicate gatherings are safe.

“Once it is determined safe to return, we will provide a detailed outline to our schools on the plan for summer contact days and possibly some kind of spring athletic events,” said Craig Anderson, director of IHSA. “Including if the number of days and dates that coaches can meet with athletes has been altered. At this point, though, all that is dependent upon state government and medical leaders giving the go ahead for such.”

April 21, 3:30 p.m.

Illinois Supreme Court To Hold May Oral Arguments Over Zoom

For the first time, the Illinois Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in May over Zoom - an online platform for video conferencing. This is an effort to practice social distancing while still conducting court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are extraordinary times, but what we have found is that we can keep our traditions the same. Holding oral arguments over Zoom would have sounded beyond our abilities a few months ago, but now feels almost normal,” said Chief Justice Anne M. Burke.

The court is scheduled to hear four cases on May 12, four cases on May 13, and three cases on May 14. Oral arguments will begin at 9 a.m. The docket of cases for May is available here.

April 21, 2:45 p.m.

COVID-19 Reported In 96 of Illinois’ 102 Counties

The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced 1,551 new cases of coronavirus disease in Illinois, including 119 additional deaths. Hardin County is now reporting a case.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 33,059 cases, including 1,468 deaths, in 96 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.

April 21, 1:30 p.m.
New Testing Site In Macoupin County

The Maple Street Clinic in Gillespie is now a State of Illinois-designated COVID-19 testing site for residents who are experiencing symptoms in Macoupin County.

Drive-through testing site - at 109 E.Maple Street in Gillespie -  is open everyday from 11 a.m.to 2:30 p.m. Hours will expand depending on demand.

The health department asks that all visitors call 217-313-5078 to complete screening prior to arrival. This will ensure the safety of visitors and minimize face to face contact with staff.

April 21, 12:00 p.m.

Ten Covid-19 Related Deaths In Macon County

A tenth person - a woman in her 60s - in Macon County has died from COVID-19, according to county emergency response officials.

Officials did not release a name or say whether the death was related to an outbreak at a senior living center, asking for respect and privacy for mourners.

There have been 46 COVID-19 cases in Macon County, including an outbreak at Fair Havens Senior Living where nine residents have died after contracting COVID-19.

April 20, 6:00 p.m.

Central Illinois Case Update
Public health officials in Macon County reported another person has tested positive for COVID-19, for a total of 56, including nine deaths.

In Christian County, officials reported one new person has tested positive, for a total of 26 confirmed cases including four deaths.

Public health officials in Montgomery County reported no new cases. There are 16 confirmed cases in Montgomery, including one death.

Morgan County and Logan County reported no new cases. Public officials in Logan County said their total number of confirmed cases dropped from five to four due to the person being a temporary resident. Morgan County has a total of 13 confirmed cases, including one death.

April 20, 5:00 p.m.

Sangamon County Case Update
Public health officials reported four more people have tested positive for COVID-19, for a total of 63 confirmed cases, including five deaths.

Memorial Medical Center reported a confirmed case hospitalized with nine inpatients under investigation. HSHS St. John’s Hospital reported six confirmed cases hospitalized with five inpatients under investigation.

April 20, 4:30 p.m.

Litchfield McDonald’s To Reopen

Litchfield McDonald’s reopens today after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Over the weekend, the restaurant took precautionary measures to ensure the building is disinfected and sanitized. Officials also brought an industrial hygienist onsite to oversee operations.

Litchfield McDonald’s will reopen for business today, being staffed by employees out of the Springfield, IL area. All current Litchfield staff are being quarantined due to potential exposure. All employees entering the building will follow guidelines put out by the CDC, testing their temperature and answering screening questions before entering the building.

The dining area of the restaurant will remain closed, but the public may use the drive-through for to-go orders. Please be advised that staff will be wearing masks, as a continued precaution.

April 20, 1:00 p.m.

UIS To Host Virtual Exhibition

The University of Illinois at Springfield is hosting a virtual exhibition showcasing senior visual arts majors.

The event will take place online on April 30. A free PDF catalog will be available. The exhibition will be available here once the event launches.

The showcase is called “Hindsight 20/20” and aims to show communication through visual language. The exhibition will feature animation, digital media, painting, screen printing and sculpture.

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