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News Around Illinois – June 29, 2020

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The latest news around the state, for June 29, 2020.

Illinois Reports 646 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, 15 Deaths

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois public health officials reported 646 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 15 deaths. The latest Illinois Department of Public Health figures show nearly 24,000 tests were administered in the past 24 hours. Overall, there have been 141,723 total confirmed cases in the state since the start of the pandemic and 6,888 deaths. More than 1.5 million tests have been administered. – Associated Press

Illinois Adds Spinal Muscular Atrophy To Newborn Testing

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Every baby newly born in Illinois will be tested for Spinal Muscular Atrophy starting Monday, state health officials said. The Illinois Department of Public Health said Spinal Muscular Atrophy, known as SMA, is a group of hereditary diseases that destroys motor neurons over time and leads to muscle weakness and atrophy. The department said SMA affects about 1 in 11,000 births. Officials said the early screening can let treatment begin before an infant begins to show symptoms. – Associated Press

Start Of July Brings Increase To Illinois Minimum Wage

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ minimum wage increases to $10 per hour this week, and state officials are reminding workers to make sure their paychecks reflect the change. The change takes effect Wednesday as July begins. The increase is part of a multi-year plan to bring the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. The first increase to $9.25 came on Jan. 1. Minimum wages in Cook County and the city of Chicago are higher. The county will increase to $13 per hour on Wednesday, and the city to $13.50 for small employers and $14 for employers with 21 or more employees. – Associated Press

Democrats And Republicans Are Critical Of Pritzker’s Handling Of COVID-19 In Prisons

In early April, as the state of Illinois was being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. JB Pritzker issued an executive order on coronavirus protections focused on the 37,000 inmates locked up in state prisons. That April 6 executive order said “the vast majority” of those inmates were “especially vulnerable to contracting and spreading COVID-19” because of their “close proximity and contact with each other.” But according to data from the Illinois Department of Corrections, only 12 Illinois inmates have been granted medical furloughs. Experts say it’s just one symbol of the governor’s failure to protect inmates and guards from the dangers of COVID-19 in prisons and their surrounding communities, a failure rooted in his prioritizing politics over public health. And critics on both sides of the aisle point out that the extent of the problem in Illinois prisons remains unknown because of the administration’s continuing refusal to do widespread testing of inmates. – Patrick Smith – WBEZ

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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