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News Around Illinois – April 18/19, 2020

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Pritzker Orders Illinois Schools Closed For Rest of Semester

CHICAGO — Illinois’ governor has ordered schools throughout the state to remain closed for the rest of the semester because of the threat of the coronavirus. J.B. Pritzker announced the action Friday during his daily coronavirus briefing in Chicago, extending school closures past the April 30 date he previously set. As of Friday, Illinois had recorded 27,575 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,134 deaths.. Students will continue to receive instruction and assignments over the internet through the end of the semester. – Associated Press

Second Decatur Nursing Facility Reports COVID-19 Case

DECATUR – Villa Clara Rehabilitation and Post-Acute Care in Decatur is stressing practices it’s taken against infection, as it reports one of its residents has tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement issued through a public relations firm, Villa Clara said the resident was in the hospital for a different reason, when they were tested. The resident remains hospitalized. Villa Clara says the infected resident was a recent arrival, coming after new coronavirus safeguards had been instituted. “The resident that tested positive for COVID-19 was in our facility for a total of four days,” according to the nursing facility’s statement. “During that time the resident was kept in quarantine and staff maintained droplet precautions during all interactions per our protocol.”  Villa Clara says none of their other residents or staff have tested positive for COVID-19, and that staff have all the personal protective equipment (PPE) and are using them. Meanwhile, Macon County health officials say a seventh resident of Fair Havens Senior Living in Decatur has died from COVID-19. A total of 33 residents and staff at Fair Havens have tested positive for the coronavirus. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Coronavirus Claims Life of 3rd Chicago Police Officer

CHICAGO — Chicago Police say a third officer has died after testing positive for the coronavirus. A department spokesman says that 59-year-old Ronald Newman died early Friday. Newman was a decorated officer who joined the department a little more than 19 years ago. On April 2, Officer Marco DiFranco became the first member of the department to die after testing positive for the virus. Then, on April 10, 56-year-old Sgt. Cliff Martin became the second member of the police force to die after testing positive for the virus. – Associated Press

Madison County Officials Fired For Alleged Dirt-Digging

EDWARDSVILLE — Two top officials of Madison County in southern Illinois have been fired for allegedly improperly accessing emails and other data for political purposes. The Madison County board late Thursday voted to fire county administrator Doug Hulme and information technology director Rob Dorman. The allegations against the men, both Republicans, came to light after the unsealing of court documents relating to a 2018 investigation into possible corruption within the county administration office. The documents indicate a county officials told a grand jury about suspicions Hulme and Dorman had untitled access to emails of county workers. – Associated Press

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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