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News Around Illinois – April 25/26, 2020

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COVID-19 Tests Hit Milestone, Pritzker Warns Long Way To Go

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois public health officials completed more than 16,000 tests for COVID-19 in 24 hours, surpassing for the first time the 10,000-per-day mark that the governor on Friday called a milestone on the way to tracking the deadly virus and ending tight restrictions on social interaction. But Pritzker, who on Thursday extended the statewide stay-at-home order, indicated there’s a long way to go for Illinois. The Department of Public Health reported another 108 deaths and more than 2,700 infections of COVD-19 statewide. – Associated Press

Illinois Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Via Video

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Supreme Court will for the first time in its history hear oral arguments through videoconference because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unusual procedure during May will allow the court’s seven justices to observe social distancing, a practice which experts believe significantly limits transmission of the potentially deadly virus. The court is scheduled to hear 11 cases on May 12-14. Arguments begin at 9 a.m. each day. Court personnel will have training sessions with lawyers involved in the cases so that they know what to expect from the virtual sessions. – Associated Press

Judge Blocks New Illinois Workers’ Compensation Rule

SPRINGFIELD — A judge has blocked a new Illinois workers’ compensation rule granting benefits to any employee deemed essential who contracts COVID-19, even if working from home. Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Madonia issued a temporary restraining order Thursday blocking the rule. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association had filed suit this week against emergency amendments adopted by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The commission decreed earlier this month that any worker deemed essential during the pandemic who contracts COVID-19 is granted an automatic assumption that she or he contracted it at work, even if working remotely, allowing for workers’ compensation benefits covered by employers. – Associated Press

Lawmakers Face May Deadline On Change To Redistricting

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois lawmakers are facing a May 3 deadline to approve a joint resolution that would alter how the state’s congressional and legislative maps are drawn to help make elections more competitive. Legislators typically draw maps every 10 years by using new census data, without getting input from the pubic. The process has sparked criticism from some people in the public and in many government reform groups. A combined 47 legislators are sponsoring an amendment in which maps would be redrawn by an independent commission that is “demographically, politically and geographically representative” of Illinois. Some lawmakers say they’re doubtful any change will happen by the deadline. – 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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