Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Pritzker extends stay-at-home order through end of April

Nonessential workers and school kids are ordered to stay home through the end of the month.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced he’s extending his stay-at-home order in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

He said the order to be issued Wednesday will be nearly identical to the one issued March 21, in that grocery stores, gas stations, banks, medical offices, restaurants with delivery or curbside sales, construction projects and other essential operations will continue.

People found violating the order limiting groups of ten or more could be charged with reckless conduct, but officials are encouraging voluntary compliance.

How long will stay-at-home order last?

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he doesn’t know when the peak of COVID-19 cases will pass, but he said he will evaluate the data and advice from medical professionals and mathematicians to determine whether to relax or extend his stay-at-home home order.

One model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation had Illinois’ apex of daily COVID-19 deaths between April 16th and 19th.

Illinois poised to get less federal stimulus money per capita than other states

Illinois state and local governments are getting less per capita from the recent CARES Act stimulus package President Donald Trump signed last week than less populated states. InnerBody Research found Illinois tied with 29 other states in expecting only $388 per resident in government assistance. Wyoming expects $2,160 per resident.

These estimates are separate from the $1,200 each adult earning less than $75,000 a year will get from the federal government from the CARES Act.

Demand for hospital beds, ventilators in Illinois increase during COVID-19 pandemic

The latest hospital capacity numbers from the Illinois Department of Public Health show the number of beds increasing, but so is the need for those beds.

Of the total number of non-intensive care unit hospital beds, 58 percent were occupied as of Tuesday. Of available ICU beds, 65.7 percent are occupied. Ventilator use also increased from 32 percent to 49.7 percent.

Illinois leaders urge broader use of Defense Authorization Act during outbreak

The leader of the Illinois AFL-CIO has joined Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Sen. Dick Durbin to urge President Donald Trump to fully implement the Defense Authorization Act.

Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea made the plea standing alongside Pritzker in an effort to get more personal protective equipment produced for use in the U.S. The war powers act allows the president to require private companies to manufacture items.

Illinois won’t have enough unemployment funds to cover claims surge

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the state doesn’t have enough in unemployment funds to pay expected unemployment benefit claims.

The governor said the recently enacted federal stimulus measure gives some money for that, and there are options for the state to borrow from the federal government. And while Pritzker said the federal government has done good work so far, he wants to see another relief package to help cities and states get through the crisis.

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