CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker announced the first death in Illinois from the COVID-19 virus on Tuesday.
A Chicago woman in her 60’s, with an underlying medical condition and who did not reside at a nursing home, has died from coronavirus, the Governor announced.
“I am deeply saddened by the news that we’ve dreaded since the earliest days of this outbreak: the first COVID-19 related death in Illinois,” said Pritzker. “All of Illinois stands with this patient’s family and loved ones in mourning her loss and honoring her memory. May her memory be a blessing. There are going to be moments during the next few weeks and months when this burden feels like it is more than we can bear – this is one of those moments, but we will get through this together.”
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said the woman had close contact with someone else who had tested positive for the disease.
Pritzker also announced that 22 people (18 residents and 4 staff) have tested positive at nursing home in DuPage County.
In total, there are 160 confirmed cases in 15 counties, including Champaign, Clinton, Cook, Cumberland, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Peoria, Sangamon, St. Clair, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago, and Woodford counties.
Dr. Ezike said the first two patients who tested positive have recovered to the point they are out of isolation.
The Governor said the state is asking for tests and resources from federal government, and says federal government is monopolizing supplies and not providing to states, saying it’s “incredible failure”
Prizker also said the state is encouraging all school districts provide meals to all students.
With Tuesday being the first day on which all Illinois restaurant dining rooms have been ordered closed, Pritzker re-iterated that drive thru and pickup service is permitted, and the State is working with delivery service providers to help set up the service for restaurants who do not have it.
Establishments who provide necessary items like grocery stores, gas stations will stay open.
The state is also working with feds ad easing restrictions on SNAP programs, Pritzker said.
Pritzker launched into an angry rebuke against parties requesting postponing today’s elections, saying he will not overstep his Constitutional authority.
“It is exactly in times like these, when the constitutional boundaries of our democracies should be respected above all else,” Pritzker said. “If people want to criticize me for that, go ahead. I’ll wear it like a badge of honor.”
Attorney General Kwame Raoul addressed price gouging of necessities, saying his office is assisting with calls from residents complaining of price gouning.
Items such as face masks and disinfectant wipes, and medical equipment will be reserved for medical personnel only.
“I will use all my powers to address price gouging in Illinois,” Raoul said.
Health officials said that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be immediately contacted by a local health department, who will investigate close contacts.
The IDPH says it is focusing testing on older communities and those with compromised immune systems.
As there is more ability to test, numbers of confirmed cases are expected to rise, officials said.