Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Thursday, April 9, 2020

Nearly 500,000 people in Illinois have filed unemployment claims in past 3 weeks

Some 200,940 Illinoisans filed for unemployment last week, a 13% increase of 22,519 claims from the previous week and a record for the Land of Lincoln.

That’s according to preliminary data released Thursday morning by the Department of Labor.

Nearly half a million people have successfully filed initial unemployment claims in Illinois in the last three weeks.

Religious leaders, police ask residents to stay home for Easter

With Easter Sunday falling in the middle of a pandemic and the government stay-at-home order in place through the end of the month, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly is joining with religious leaders from the Metro East urging people to stay home.

The group in Collinsville encouraged parishioners of churches to remain home to comply with social distancing orders.

In Springfield, the mayor issued an executive order allowing police to fine people for violating the order or for violating the six-foot distancing guidelines.

State awards $14 million in grants for bars

The state’s grants for businesses in an emergency have awarded $14 million to more than 700 small businesses.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the grants for bars averaged $14,000 and hotels got $30,000 through the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program.

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