Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Monday, March 16, 2020

Illinois National Guard is active

The Illinois National Guard has been activated, but law enforcement agencies across the state expect they’ll only be implemented if there are large numbers of people infected with COVID-19 refusing to self-isolate.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s disaster declaration last week activated the guard.

That means reservists, some of whom the governor’s office says may be doctors and nurses, are being activated.

Local health departments expected to enforce restaurant closures

With the order to close restaurants and bars in Illinois for the next two weeks starting at the close of business today, expect local health departments to enforce such orders.

Owners could face misdemeanor charges or other government licensing enforcement if they don’t comply with the orders.

Some in the industry understand the move, but expect some small mom-and-pop businesses won’t weather the storm.

Some court cases postponed amid outbreak

Courts across the state are updating their operations over concerns of spreading COVID-19.

In some jurisdictions, like Sangamon County, court officials are suspending civil proceedings which, will affect things like marriages and divorces.

Criminal proceedings will continue. Jury trials in Boone and Winnebago counties are postponed until April 6.

Check your local court for updates.

Pritzker criticizes Trump over the weekend

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and health officials made a number of tough calls over the weekend that included closing schools, bars, restaurants and a number of public functions because of concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Through it all, he’s continually criticized President Donald Trump and his agencies for not making good decisions.

Over the weekend, Pritzker used some strong language on Twitter criticizing Trump for a travel restriction that led to hundreds of travelers crowded in O’Hare International Airport.

Champaign mayor has no plans to close liquor stores, seize property

The mayor of the city of Champaign is catching criticism for having an order enacted giving her emergency powers that include ammunition bans, closing all liquor stores, as well as ending the sale and distribution of gasoline and seizing personal property.

Mayor Deb Feinen has since clarified that she has no plans to do any of those things and that city code allowed that anyway.

Illinois primary expected to go ahead

One event that has yet to be canceled is the Illinois Primary election.

State officials said over the weekend that they have no plans to cancel Tuesday’s primary, though they strongly encourage early voting.

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