April 16, 2020
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 1,140 new COVID-19 cases and 125 deaths, the highest death count in a 24-hour period to date. The total number of cases in the state is 25,733 in 90 counties, with a total of 1,072 deaths.
At today’s press briefing, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced changes to the state’s testing guidance saying that anyone exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms will be able to get tested. If symptoms are mild, call your physician first for directions.
He provided an update on personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing sites, noting the state has sent out more than 5 million surgical masks, over 1.5 million N95 masks, nearly 20,000 gowns, over 4 million gloves, and nearly 200,000 face shields. The state has also been able to procure an additional 28 million N95 and KN95 masks, 29 million surgical and disposable masks, 8.4 million gowns and coveralls, 27 million gloves and 7.5 million face shields and goggles. This PPE will be received over the coming weeks said Governor Pritzker. The statewide 10-day PPE burn rate is under 1.5 million N95 masks, 25 million gloves, 4.4 million gowns and 700,000 surgical masks for hospitals and long-term care facilities, with small set-asides for law enforcement and essential state workers.
The Governor said the Markham drive-thru site is up and running with 600 specimens taken in its first day of operations. He said that is four times greater than what the federally run sites were doing previously. In addition, the Governor talked about various partnerships throughout the state to increase testing capabilities. A listing of statewide test sites will be available shortly online at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
IDPH has issued a health alert on imported KN95 masks. The department recommends discontinuing the use of any imported KN95 respirator for responses that require an N95 mask due to an increase in counterfeit versions for sale. The alert contains additional details, guidance and photos.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) today released new statewide data showing the department processed over 141,000 new initial unemployment claims for the week ending April 11. As of March 1, the department has processed more than 650,000 initial unemployment claims, 12 times more than the number of claims over the corresponding time period last year, when it processed 53,000 initial unemployment claims. Updated statewide unemployment claims data, which reflects activity for the week prior, is available on the IDES website every Thursday afternoon.
Starting today, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is temporarily closing 11 Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) to the public in order to protect its staff and Illinois residents. Since last month, IDHS has been urging customers to stay home unless absolutely necessary. IDHS says foot traffic into local offices has plummeted, while online and telephone applications for food and medical benefits are skyrocketing, with nearly 30,000 people seeking first-time medical or food benefits each week compared to the usual 10,000 weekly applications. IDHS continues to encourage all customers to apply for and manage their benefits online at www.ABE.Illinois.Gov and to call the IDHS Help is Here toll-free line at 833-2-FIND-HELP.