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WEATHER ALERT: Severe storms expected late this afternoon and evening

Slowed COVID-19 Spread Leaves 1,000s Of Makeshift Beds Empty

In this April 10, 2020 file photo, construction continues at the COVID-19 alternate site at McCormick Place in Chicago. The city pared back plans for a 3,000-bed temporary hospital at McCormick Place, the nation's largest convention center, as infection numbers decreased. Opened April 3 instead with 500 beds, the $64 million facility treated just 12 people as of last week, with six of them being released.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois has spent tens of millions of dollars building makeshift field hospitals to prepare for an anticipated flood of coronavirus cases.

But Gov. J.B. Pritzker contends that prevention strategies such as a statewide stay-at-home order have worked so well that the plan for a small city of beds at McCormick Place in Chicago has been dramatically reduced. Additional beds at closed hospitals are on standby.

Pritzker said last month that in a worst-case scenario, the state would need 38,000 more hospital beds than it has.

He has said if the extra beds are never used “then we will have done our job.”

Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director for the Illinois Newsroom. He started at WILL in October of 2019 after serving as News Director for WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan. Previously, he was a news producer and manager at the NBC station in Dallas, where he won 7 Emmy awards. Born in Vietnam, Reginald is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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Central Illinois radar showing storms

Severe storms possible Thursday evening and overnight

From the National Weather Service in Central Illinois: A line of t’storms will affect the area late Thursday afternoon into the overnight hours. Some severe storms are in the forecast, with damaging wind gusts and large hail. Stay weather aware and be ready to take shelter when storms approach.