There are now 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, in the state of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed that number while speaking to reporters on Wednesday. Dr Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health told reporters on Wednesday:
“More cases in more places in Illinois means we are seeing growing transmission of the virus in the community. Today the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. We will see additional cases in Illinois and I urge people to take steps now to reduce the impact this will have on their daily lives.”
The new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in Cook County and Lake County. Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of these individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. Public health officials will identify and contact people who are considered close contacts of these cases.
The NBA has suspended their season as of last night after a player tested positive for COVID-19. But what about the rest of the professional sports leagues? In Ohio, Washington and parts of California public officials effectively put an end to large crowds and forced sports teams to prepare to play in empty buildings. Will that happen in Chicago? Governor JB Pritzker says he’s in contact with team owners but nothing is certain just yet.
The Big Ten Basketball tournament will be played without fans in attendance moving forward along with the NCAA Tournament.
The leader of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is talking to schools, businesses and others about being prepared for anything. Alicia Tate-Nadeau says the time to have a plan to deal with a possible shut down or lack of employees is now.
Tate-Nadeau says as we all plan for more cases of COVID-19 everyone needs to keep in mind common sense actions that include hand washing and proper social distancing.
Governor JB Pritzker says President Donald Trump should be driving the CDC and the rest of federal government to do more in preparing and reacting to the spread of coronavirus. Governor Pritzker's criticism has grown over the week as the state remains searching for more test kits.
Governor Pritzker says the CDC and White House leadership made a misstep when early on they refused to have other research labs help develop a testing kit for COVID-19.
The City of Chicago took major action on Wednesday in its fight against the spread of coronavirus. As of Wednesday afternoon the massive St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been called off and the city will no longer dye the Chicago River green. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says three parades will be called off and she knows that while it is disappointing it’s out of an abundance of caution to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Mayor Lightfoot says they may try and reschedule the parades for a later date.
Closer to home, the Quad Cities St Patrick's Day Parade which traveled from downtown Davenport to downtown Rock Island will not be taking place this year. Organizers of the parade announced on Wednesday that COVID-19 concerns had led to the cancellation of the annual parade.