Three new COVID-19 deaths in Illinois

“It brings me great pain to announce that we’ve had three more deaths in Illinois associated with COVID-19,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said Thursday during his daily coronavirus briefing.

The deaths include a Will County resident in their 50’s, a Cook County resident in their 80’s and a Florida resident who was visiting Sangamon County.

“Unfortunately we do anticipate additional deaths,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

Ezike said for residents to stay at home as much as possible to reduce the spread of the virus.

“Let’s all do our part to make sure that lives are saved,” Ezike said.

Pritzker said he wants seniors to know the administration is taking care to do everything they can to help.

To allow patients more flexibility and safety to get medical care, the governor said he would sign an executive order to expand telemedicine for both Medicaid and those who are privately insured.

The administration will be offering relief to over 20,000 small and medium sized bars and restaurants by allowing a two month delay in sales tax payments to the state and local jurisdictions. And will waive late filing fees and interests.

It has been three days since restaurants and bars have closed dine in service, the closure has been expanded to March 30.

Essential services will not close, the governor said, bridges, highways, gas stations and grocery stores will stay open.

The number of cases will only increase as testing does. Yesterday, 1,000 COVID-19 tests were administered in Illinois.

On Tuesday, Governor J.B. Pritzker has assigned duties to about 60 Illinois National Guard service members to assist the state with its COVID-19 response.

There are around 13,000 members of the National Guard who have logistics, transportation and medical capabilities Pritzker said.

“In the short term the guard will be working to support our efforts to set up mobile testing units,” Pritzker said.