Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter services move online amid pandemic

While the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, Illinois State Police say there will be consequences for churches that allow gatherings of ten or more for Easter Sunday, but law enforcement won’t be “storming church buildings.”

ISP Director Brendan Kelly joined with various faith leaders in the Metro East Thursday to request other religious leaders host their services virtually, online.

Doctor says hospital systems will be able to handle COVID-19 surge

A doctor with Memorial Medical Systems in Springfield expects there to be a surge on hospital resources in central Illinois from COVID-19 patients, but he expects the systems will be able to handle the influx.

Dr. David Graham tells WMAY the key is to get more testing. He said social distancing appears to be working to “bend the curve.”

He also said some medical professionals are cautiously using hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic and as a treatment in the worst cases.

Illinois State Police grant extensions for gun permits

If you’ve applied to renew your Firearm Owners Identification Card or your Concealed Carry License and have waited months, new emergency rules make the card valid through the COVID-19 disaster, and a year after.

Illinois State Police filed those emergency rules Thursday. The rules are effective immediately.

COVID-19 patients occupy 57 percent of ICU beds in state

Around 71 percent of intensive care unit beds in Illinois are occupied, and of that more than half, or 57 percent are COVID-19 patients.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also says of the state’s 2,913 ventilators, 1,377 are being used.

Around 55.5 percent of occupied ventilators are used by COVID-19 patients.

Overall, of more than 29,000 hospital beds, nearly 17,900 are occupied. Of occupied beds, 15 percent are COVID-19 patients.

Illinois State Police process record number of gun transfer requests

Illinois State Police say they’ve processed “an unprecedented number of firearms transfer inquiries in March,” at more than 60,300, and that’s “the largest number recorded for one month.”

Just in the last two weeks of the month, ISP officials said they’ve received 52,173 FTIP requests. There were 33,600 requests for all of February.

For March of last year, there were nearly 44,700 requests.

Sheriff, towns sue for names, address of people with COVID-19

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association supports law enforcement agencies in McHenry County suing county health officials to get the names and addresses of COVID-19 patients.

The group said the effort is needed to help provide information to keep first responders safe.

McHenry County health officials had agreed to provided addresses, but not names. McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said addresses alone weren’t enough to protect first responders with limited supplies of personal protective equipment.

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