News Around Illinois - March 20, 2020

 
Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Illinois Officials: 3 More Dead, 422 Now Positive For Virus

CHICAGO — Illinois public health officials say three more people have died after contracting the coronavirus and 422 people statewide have now tested positive for the disease caused by the virus. A total of four people have died in the state as a result of COVID-19. Earlier Thursday, Chicago officials ordered all people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 or showing symptoms of the disease caused by it to stay indoors. Mayor Lori Lightfoot also announced extended school closures by several weeks, saying the nation's third-largest school district would remain closed through April 20.  - Associated Press

County Treasurer’s Office Now Off Limits To The Public

URBANA – The Champaign County Treasurer’s office is now closed to walk-in visits by the public. And it’s just the latest Champaign County office to bar public visits during the coronavirus outbreak. County Executive Darlene Kloeppel she and other county officials are working out ways to keep county government running while avoiding potential infection. She says the Champaign county clerk, circuit clerk and assessor have already ended walk-in visits. For the county treasurer, the change comes at a time when property tax bills are coming due. Interim treasurer Marisol Hughes says people can pay taxes or check for refunds at her office’s website, make credit card payments over the phone, or use the drop box outside the Brookens Administrative Center, near the flagpole. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Health & Hospitals Asking For Equipment Donations

PEORIA - The Illinois Health and Hospital Association is asking for donations of face masks, respirators, and other personal protective equipment for hospital workers tackling COVID-19 cases. Peoria City/County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson says the requests are coming in "full-force." She says local emergency management agencies are working with federal and state agencies to procure supplies, but that might not be enough. "It is getting to the point where we are asking as much as we can around community partners that are closing down shops, such as dentists or someplace where they do elective procedures, to bring in the supplies to our first responders," said Hendrickson. She says maintaining a stash of equipment is one of the reasons why it's important to control who's visiting the ER. Medical personnel are now wearing extra gear when seeing people with flu-like symptoms. - Tim Shelley, Peoria Public Radio

Man Faces Federal Charges In Illinois Trooper's Killing 

EAST ST. LOUIS — A federal grand jury has indicted a southern Illinois man accused of fatally shooting a state trooper on drug and weapons charges. U.S. Attorney Steven Weinhoeft announced Thursday that 46-year-old Christopher R. Grant of East St. Louis, faces eight counts including using a firearm to murder Illinois State Trooper Nicholas Hopkins in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense. The 33-year-old Hopkins was fatally shot Aug. 23 while serving a search warrant. Grant also faces three counts of distributing crack cocaine, maintaining a drug house and other charges. Online court records don't list an attorney for Grant. - Associated Press

Story source: Illinois Newsroom