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News Around Illinois – May 8, 2020

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Total Illinois COVID-19 Fatalities Surpass 3,000

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 2,641 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total to 70,873 cases. There have been a total of 3,111 deaths in the state. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the state is building up capacity to process the large number of unemployment claims coming in due to the pandemic. Illinois has processed over 1 million unemployment claims since March 1, compared to the 180,000 the state saw during the first nine weeks of the 2008 recession. – Lecia Bushak, Illinois Newsroom

More COVID-19 Cases At Rantoul Foods, 15th Death In Macon County

URBANA – Champaign County reported 19 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday, for a total of 236. That includes three new cases linked to Rantoul Foods. Julie Pryde with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District says the total number of cases at the meat processing plant has reached 52, and more testing of employees will begin on Friday.  Macon County reported its 15th death due to COVID-19, and confirmed two new cases today Thursday, for a total of 135. More than half of those cases are linked to the Fair Havens Senior Living facility in Decatur. Iroquois County reported six new cases for a total of 84. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Labor Deal Averts Strike At Dozens of Nursing Homes

CHICAGO — Staff at dozens of Illinois nursing homes have called off a strike set for Friday morning after the workers’ union reached a deal with nursing home owners. Certified nursing assistants and food service and housekeeping employees were among those planning to walk out at 44 facilities starting Friday morning. Staff at 20 more facilities planned to follow on Tuesday. The Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois Indiana announced the tentative deal on a two-year contract Thursday.  It would increase workers’ pay to at least $15 per hour and guarantee additional bonus pay. – Associated Press

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Public hearings on a proposed wind farm in Piatt County are entering the home stretch.

A zoning board has held more than a dozen hearings on Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy’s proposal to build the Goose Creek Wind Farm in northern Piatt County. The 300 megawatt project would consist of 50 to 60 large wind turbines on land in Blue Ridge, Goose Creek and Sangamon townships, leased from area farmers. Apex has built other wind farms now operating in central Illinois, in Vermilion, Ford and Sangamon-Morgan counties.

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