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News Around Illinois – April 11/12, 2020

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1,465 COVID-19 Cases Reported Friday In Illinois

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,465 new cases of COVID-19 in the state Friday, including 66 new deaths. Most of the deathers were reported in the Chicago area. But fatalities were also reported in Rock Island County in the Quad Cities area, St. Clair County in the St. Louis Metro East area and Kankakee County, just south of the Chicago-area collar counties. Illinois has now confirmed 17,887 COVID-19 cases, including 596 deaths. Fulton and Greene Counties reported their first cases Friday, for a total of 83 Illinois counties reporting cases.  – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Governor Pritzker Grants Commutations Amid Pandemic

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has recently been using his clemency power to commute sentences for some Illinois prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak. The Chicago Tribune reports that Pritzker granted commutations for 17 Illinois inmates since March 11. Basil Powell, who was imprisoned in 1986 for being the lookout in two robberies, was one of those prisoners. A tough-on-crime sentencing law that labeled him a repeat offender led to his life sentence after his conviction. But reform advocates fought for his release due to their concern regarding elderly and sick inmates during the outbreak, and he was released Thursday. – Associated Press

Thousands Of Patient Beds Ready At Chicago Convention Center

CHICAGO — Officials say Chicago’s lakefront convention center will be prepared to accept its first coronavirus patients next week if demand on the city’s hospitals builds. Officials with the city and the Army Corps of Engineers said Friday that frenzied work is continuing to complete plans for a total of 3,000 patient beds. So far, workers have been able to complete spaces for 2,250 patients. State and city officials have said they hope the convention center will not be needed. It’s designed to accept people with the coronavirus who don’t need the highest level of care that hospitals will focus on. – Associated Press

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