42 more dead from COVID-19 in Illinois, 986 more infected
Another 42 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, bringing the state's total to 141, health officials announced Wednesday.
Additionally, another 986 were diagnosed with the respiratory infection since Tuesday, putting the state's total number of coronavirus-related cases at 6,980.
The disease is hitting hardest among people age 60 and older and those with serious medical conditions.
But on Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced a number of fatalities involving younger people.
Those include three men in their 20s and 30s and two men in their 40s -- all from Cook County.
During his daily briefing, Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged churches to have online Easter services.
"Despite the desire to get together on Easter, we're still telling people, 'Please stay at home,'" Pritzker said.
The General Assembly has not met for days; Pritzker said legislative leaders are figuring out contingencies. The state's fiscal year ends June 30 and no budget has been passed.
"I don't think I can list all the changes that would need to be made to the original budget," Pritzker said.
"We are obviously working on our end to figure out what is the revenue shortfall ... what are the challenges ... when do we think we will begin to see revenues return?"
Other casualties of COVID-19 in the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday's briefing include:
• In Cook County: one man and a woman in their 50s; three men and two women in their 60s; five men and three women in their 70s; three men and four women in their 80s; one woman in her 90s and another woman in her 100s, the state announced.
• In DuPage County, two residents of nursing homes died. One lived in Carol Stream and was in her 90s; the other lived in Elmhurst and was in her 70s, according to the DuPage County Health Department. The health department also reported a Roselle woman in her 60s with underlying medical conditions died of COVID-19.
• A woman in her 90s died in Kane County, and a man in his 60s died in Will County, the state announced.
• Lake County and McHenry County health officials reported no new deaths.
Illinois has the seventh highest number of confirmed cases of any state in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.
Pritzker urged the White House to reopen registration for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act so the estimated 800,000 uninsured Illinoisans can apply. Not doing so would be "leadership malpractice," he said.
IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike confirmed 36 people at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet have tested positive for COVID-19 and 19 of those have been hospitalized.
Officials said the Illinois National Guard was at Stateville primarily as medical technicians and to put up tents to accommodate inmates for quarantine and social distancing.
Pritzker urged residents to take the U.S. Census, noting "it determines how much of your tax dollars we get back from the federal government," which is needed in the fight against COVID-19 and the recovery.
Also Wednesday, Metra announced that a Southwest Service Line conductor had tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday and had been home since March 25. Employees with direct contact with the employee have been self-isolating and all railcars have been disinfected.
On Tuesday, Pritzker extended the state's stay at home order through April 30 in order to tamp down the spread of the disease.
• Daily Herald Staff Writer Jake Griffin contributed to this report.