Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced he will extend the statewide disaster declaration and stay-at-home order through the end of April during his March 31 press conference.
Pritzker’s initial stay-at-home order was set to end on April 7, The Phoenix reported. Pritzker declared a statewide disaster declaration — Illinois’ version of a state of emergency — on March 9 and which would have expired on April 8, The Phoenix reported.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 937 new cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus — and 29 additional deaths, bringing the state to 5,994 confirmed cases and 99 deaths total.
An investigation by state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking into the first reported death of an infant from COVID-19, said Dr. Ngozi Ezike — director of the IDPH.
Ngozi said the spread of the virus isn’t fully reflected in the state’s count because not everyone who is infected will get tested.
Current estimates show up to 80 percent of those infected won’t show severe illness or require critical care, she said. IDPH sent a survey to people who tested positive for COVID-19 seven days after their tests and 48 percent of respondents reported they recovered, Ngozi said.
Preliminary reports from hospitals across the state show 41 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are available and 68 percent of ventilators — a medical device to help patients who can’t breathe by themselves — are available, Pritzker said.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot was also at the press conference where she talked about plans to convert McCormick Place into an alternative care facility capable of holding around 3,000 beds.
Lightfoot stressed the importance of continuing to follow the stay-at-home order and practice social distancing. Chicago Public Schools will also continue to be closed through April 30, she said.