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News Around Illinois – March 30, 2020

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Governor Vows To Increase Testing As COVID-19 Cases Surge

CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will soon more than double the number of COVID-19 tests it can administer each day as the number of cases in the state surged. Public health officials announced 1,105 new cases, including 18 deaths on Sunday. Overall, Illinois has had more than 4,500 cases, including 65 deaths. Pritzker said Sunday that the state will increase its testing capacity from 4,000 a day currently to 10,000 within days. He says the state is adding more workers to its labs and technology to make the increase. – Associated Press

Illinois State Board Of Education Orders Schools To Begin Remote Learning

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced late last week that remote learning days will start for students across the state Tuesday, March 31 and will continue until in-person classes resume. These days are counted as school days and do not need to be made up at the end of year. Read the full story here. – Lee Gaines, Illinois Newsroom

Champaign Unit 4 To Distribute Chromebooks To Families In Need

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Unit 4 school officials plan to distribute Chromebooks to students whose families do not have a device at home. In a message sent to families last week, Unit 4 Superintendent Susan Zola says the initial distribution of Chromebooks will be to families who do not have any additional devices in their home. Read the full story here. – Lee Gaines, Illinois Newsroom

‘A Lot Of These Older Guys Are Gonna Die’: COVID-19 Hits Illinois Prisons

Tornado damages homes, uproots trees in northern Illinois

OREGON — Weather officials have confirmed a tornado touched down in northern Illinois damaging homes and uprooting trees. The tornado touched down in Ogle County just outside Oregon around 9 p.m. on Saturday. National Weather Service meteorologist Gino Izzi says it was on the ground for roughly 10 minutes. No injuries have been reported. One home appeared to have lost its roof and windows. Survey teams plan to assess the damage on Sunday. Reports of possible tornadoes also cropped up in Peoria County, where there were power outages, and Henry County. – Associated Press

MacMurray College to close after 174 years

JACKSONVILLE — A central Illinois college will close its doors after 174 years due to declining enrollment and other financial challenges. The State Journal-Register reports the chairman of the MacMurray College board of trustees said Friday the four-year liberal arts college in Jacksonville will close at the end of the spring semester. Charles O’Connell said there was no viable path forward for the college, citing rising costs and an insufficient endowment as factors. The college currently has 527 full-time students and 101 faculty and staff. Students already have moved off campus and are taking classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – 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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