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Illinois Hits 1,865 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and 19 Deaths, Pritzker Announces Help For Struggling Businesses

Courtesy of U.S. Department of StateA Loyola student is in isolation after being exposed to someone being evaluated for the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday.

Public health officials announced three more deaths and 330 new cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus — in a March 25 coronavirus press conference bringing Illinois’ total to 1,865 confirmed cases and 19 deaths. 

Just over 75 percent of COVID-19 cases in Illinois are in Cook County — the City of Chicago alone accounts for 49 percent of all cases in the state, according to March 25 data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website

During the press conference, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced new measures to help small businesses that are struggling to stay open during the outbreak. 

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is offering $14 million in assistance to the hospitality industry with the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. Bars and restaurants that made between $500,000 and $1 million dollars in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000 in assistance — those which made less than $500,000 can receive up to $10,000, according to the DCEO website

Hotels that made less than $8 million dollars in 2019 can get up to $50,000 in assistance through the program. 

Applications will be accepted through April 1 and businesses will be notified on April 4 if they receive funds, the website said. 

More grant money and small interest loans are available as well, but only to small businesses outside of large cities like Chicago and Urbana and urban counties such as Cook and DuPage county, according to the DCEO website.

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