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Daily Journal
     March 31, 2020      #91-91 KDJ

Kankakee County hits 42 coronavirus cases, while

By Lee Provost

Kankakee County officials say there are at least 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 while Illinois Department of Public Health officials are reporting that statewide the total risen to 5,057.

The state total increased from 4,596 on Sunday and 30,446 people have now been tested statewide. Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 52 Illinois counties.

Kankakee County had been up to 41 cases. Case number 42 belongs to a man in his 30s, the health department noted.

The health department noted positive cases have been reported countywide. The department also stressed that residents continue practicing social distancing, meaning keeping at least 6 feet from others, and to continue washing of hands.

As of the latest figures, there are 42 cases in Kankakee County, two in Iroquois County and 223 in Will County. The two latest cases in Will County were those of a man in his 50s and a man in his 60s.

John Bevis, Kankakee County Health Department administrator, said the department is not at liberty to identify locations the department is investigating regarding infection cases.

Statewide data

The state’s 461 new cases eight new deaths came on a day that an outbreak worsened at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill.

IDPH said one of the deceased was an inmate at Stateville, and 12 other inmates from the facility are now hospitalized with several requiring ventilators. IDPH said 77 others imprisoned at the facility have symptoms and are in isolation, and 11 prison staff members are isolated as well.

“The Illinois Department of Corrections is taking a number of steps to control the spread of COVID-19 in its correctional centers,” according to a news release. “Staff who work with individuals in isolation and quarantine, as well as in the health center, are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) and all staff are wearing some PPE. Staff are also having their temperature checked daily as they enter the facility.”

IDPH said correctional centers with a confirmed case are placed on lockdown, meaning the only movement in the facility is for medical care, and incarcerated individuals who show symptoms are being tested.

The eight deaths reported Monday were all in people over 50 years of age, with five in their 60s and one in their 70s across four counties.

Clark, Crawford, Marion, Randolph and Saline counties are now reporting cases, meaning the disease has been confirmed in 52 counties in the state, although medical experts have repeatedly warned that the spread is much wider than has been tested.

At a news conference Monday in Chicago, Gov. JB Pritzker announced plans to temporarily convert part of the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago into an alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms who don’t require intensive care.

By the numbers

• At least 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kankakee County

• 5,057 confirmed cases statewide as of Monday afternoon — up 461 since Sunday

• 30,446 people have now been tested statewide

• Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 52 counties

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Lee Provost
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