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

Another 38,900 seek unemployment benefits in Illinois

Nearly 38,900 Illinoisans filed for unemployment benefits last week. That’s down around 6,800 from those who filed the week before.

However, that adds to the more than 1.4 million Illinoisans who’ve filed since the beginning of March.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports more than 1.3 million filed for unemployment across the country last week.

Another hearing set in Bailey court challenge

Another hearing has been set in the legal challenge state Rep. Darren Bailey filed over Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 orders.

The governor wants the judge to rule moot claims Bailey made about the definition of a disaster that the judge didn’t grant last week.

The Clay County judge did grant Bailey counts saying the governor’s orders beyond the initial COVID-19 order are void after April 9.

The next hearing is July 17 in Clay County.

Pritzker calls for national face mask requirement

From urging a national mask mandate, to pushing for federal dollars to plug state and local government revenue shortfalls, Gov. J.B. Pritzker participated virtually in a U.S. House hearing Wednesday.

The governor was questioned about the state’s policies for dealing with COVID-19 in nursing homes.

He criticized the Trump administration while acknowledging a learning curve in dealing with a pandemic.

COVID-19 cases tick up in Illinois

Illinois’ COVID-19 cases ticked upward Wednesday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 980 new cases and 36 deaths attributed to the virus.

That represents the most cases in a single day since June 3, when the state reported 982 cases.

Cannabis sales set new record in Illinois

Illinoisans bought a lot of cannabis last month. The state reported more than $47 million in cannabis sales in June.

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation says dispensaries have sold more than $239 million worth of cannabis products since recreational cannabis was legalized in January.

University of Illinois plans to perform 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day

University of Illinois students will be able to get a less-painful version of a COVID-19 test this fall.

The university announced it will make a saliva test available in lieu of the more invasive nasal swab.

The results are available within 24 hours and the university expects the capacity to perform 10,000 tests per day at multiple sites across the campus.

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