Illinois COVID-19 Update

April 15, 2020

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 1,346 new COVID-19 cases and 80 deaths. The total number of cases in the state is 24,593 in 89 counties, with a total of 948 deaths.

At today’s press briefing, Governor J.B. Pritzker provided an overview of Illinois’ projected budget shortfall given the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the state’s general revenue funds are being revised showing a deficit of $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2020 and $4.6 billion in fiscal year 2021. With short term borrowing to bridge through this crisis, the total shortfall for fiscal year 2021 is $6.2 billion when compared to the spending plan the Governor announced in February. That shortfall expands to $7.4 billion if the constitutional amendment to move to a graduated income tax does not pass.

The Governor also noted that he has not made a determination on extending the stay-at-home order, saying that Illinois has not yet seen a decline in COVID-19 cases. He said the state needs to ramp up testing and contact tracing to be able to take the next steps.

Today Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced new data suggesting social distancing and the state’s stay-at-home order may be working to flatten the COVID-19 curve in Chicago, slowing the rate of increase in total cases in Chicago. This includes new case-level analysis gathered over the past month signaling great improvement in the time it is taking for the number of cases to double. Just one month ago, cases in Chicago were doubling every 2-3 days; now they are doubling only every 12 days.  

This data captures cases, community mobility, as well as trends showing the consistent capacity of the hospital system, suggesting the city’s mitigation efforts have been effective in reducing transmission of COVID-19. Similar to the Governor's comment at his daily briefing, Lightfoot said a steady decline in new cases still needs to occur before major social distancing interventions are no longer required.

Yesterday, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it has made 1,500 beds available during the COVID-19 pandemic for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These beds will be a combination of acute care and intensive care beds for non-Veteran patients available at various VA locations around the country. The VA has made 35 beds available for the community at three facilities in Illinois: the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, the Marion VA Medical Center, and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.