Officials announced seven additional deaths and 673 new cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus — raising Illinois’ total number of confirmed cases to 2,538 and 26 deaths as of March 26.
87 percent of fatalities are among people 60 years and up, according to a press release from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Ngozi Ezike, the director of the IDPH, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker implored people to follow the stay-at-home order — which lasts until April 7 — to stop the spread of the virus during the March 26 press conference.
“We all want to maintain our freedoms, but I am begging you,” Pritzker said. “You are spitting in the face of the first responders risking everything so you can survive [by ignoring the order].”
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot closed the lakefront, riverwalk and parks Thursday in response to large crowds congregating there.
President Trump approved an Illinois disaster declaration Thursday which allows for greater federal assistance to help the healthcare infrastructure in the state, Pritzker announced.