Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Monday, April 6, 2020

Trump, Pritzker trade barbs again

In announcing Illinois will be getting 600 ventilators from the federal government, President Donald Trump said Gov. J.B. Pritzker isn’t performing well.

Trump said Pritzker likes to complain, despite the federal government sending materials to the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers building out McCormick Place in Chicago as an alternative medical facility.

Pritzker has criticized Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for weeks.

State lawmaker wants China to pay for COVID-19 losses

Jacksonville state Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer wants China to pay the state of Illinois for damages from the novel coronavirus. Davidsmeyer introduced House resolutions to urge the federal government to allow Americans to take action against China, saying the virus should have been contained there, but wasn’t.

He also urged the state’s attorney general to sue China for damages.

Pritzker to expand child care offerings for essential workers

First responders in Illinois on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 will be able to have some, if not all, of the cost of child care covered by the state’s Child Care Assistance Program. Gov. J.B. Pritzker made the announcement on Sunday.

He said child care facilities closed during the stay home order can apply with the state for an emergency child care facility permit.

About 36 percent of Illinois ventilators in use

This week is expected to be a tough week in the battle to fight COVID-19 in Illinois.

The state starts with 58.2 percent of all hospital beds being used. Of all beds, 9 percent are occupied by a COVID-19 patient. 64.5 percent of ICU beds are occupied.

Of all ICU beds available, 42.5 are occupied by a COVID patient. And about 35.5 percent of the state’s ventilators are being used. About 29 percent of the state’s total ventilators are being used by COVID-19 patients.

CDC recommends people wear masks to decrease spread of COVID-19

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is recommending people wear a cloth covering over their faces in an effort to decrease the chance of spreading or contracting the novel coronavirus when going out in public.

While President Donald Trump said he won’t be wearing a mask because it’s a recommendation and not mandatory, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker walked into a news briefing Sunday wearing a mask. He removed it before he began speaking.

Illinois banks to make individual decisions on masks

While people are encouraged to wear masks in public, the Illinois Bankers Association says each bank will have its own policy whether masks are allowed. And while some banks have closed their lobbies during the crisis, others do have lobbies open.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, many banks didn’t allow masks in lobbies. The group says drive up, ATM and online banking are still available.

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