* Press release…
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 869 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 36 additional confirmed deaths.
Cook County: 1 male 40s, 2 females 50s, 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 4 males 60s, 3 females 70s, 4 males 70s, 3 females 80s, 2 males 80s, 6 females 90s, 1 male 90s
DeKalb County: 1 male 80s
DuPage County: 1 female 80s
Kane County: 1 female 70s
Lake County: 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s
St. Clair County: 1 female 70s
Winnebago County: 1 female 80s
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 144,882 cases, including 6,987 deaths, in 101 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 30,262 specimens for a total of 1,666,317. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 25 –July 1, is 2.6%.
…Adding… The state hit a low of 1,464 COVID-19 hospital patients on June 27. That’s now up by 187 (12.8 percent) to 1,651. Something to watch.
* I’m told that Mayor Lightfoot will likely announce an order today requiring self-quarantining for those who’ve come from or have been to certain states. Stay tuned.
…Adding… Lightfoot did, indeed, issue that decree. Click here.
* Illinois Gaming Board warns gaming interests to comply or face the consequences…
Dear Illinois Gaming Industry,
To facilitate the resumption of video gaming and casino gambling across our state as a part of Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) worked closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Governor’s office to develop guidelines and protocols that protect the safety of the staff and patrons of the Illinois gaming industry. The July 1 resumption of gaming was possible only because of the progress and sacrifices people all across Illinois made to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To sustain our progress, the IGB reminds all video gaming locations, terminal operators and casinos of their obligation to abide by all applicable state and local laws, Executive Orders, Disaster Proclamations, IGB Resumption Protocols, Gaming Resumption Plans, and IDPH and CDC guidelines. Among other things, these requirements include wearing face coverings in gaming establishments and casinos, practicing social distancing, washing hands regularly, and following signage. A licensee’s failure to comply with COVID-19 health and safety requirements may result in discipline, up to and including license revocation. More importantly, disregard of such preventative measures and requirements could contribute to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Illinois and another potential suspension of gaming operations. That is a result nobody wants. We urge you not to let it happen.
The IGB will continue to work diligently to protect the safety and integrity of Illinois gaming. We appreciate your ongoing cooperation with our efforts.
Marcus D. Fruchter
Illinois Gaming Board
* Capitol News Illinois…
The state of Illinois, like most states, began a new fiscal year on July 1 and the person in charge of managing the state’s bank accounts said she fears it could be one of the most difficult years in modern memory.
“This is going to be, I think, by far perhaps the most challenging year that I’ve had to manage as comptroller,” state Comptroller Susana Mendoza said in an interview Wednesday. “And that’s saying something because, you know, I had to navigate the state through what was, when I took office, the worst fiscal crisis that our state had ever experienced, that two-year budget impasse.”
The difference between then and now, she said, was that during the budget impasse, the state still had revenues flowing in, just no legal authority to spend it. But in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the near shutdown of the state’s economy that it forced, Illinois now isn’t seeing anything close to the revenues it will need to fund the new budget.
* Meanwhile, in Quincy…
Small businesses are still reeling from the sudden onset of the virus-induced recession, but Quincy officials are hoping a new initiative announced Wednesday will help retailers survive.
“What an amazing opportunity that we have here to support Quincy businesses during this challenging time,” said Quincy Aldermen Katie Awerkamp, D-6, who alongside Aldermen Jason Finney, R-4, are championing the initiative known as “Helping Establishments Re-Open,” or HERO.
The proposed initiative would offer up to 4,000 households a one-time $25 credit on a future water bill to residents who spend more than $150 pretax at retail stores, boutiques, salons, studios, clothing stores and other nonessential businesses within city limits that were forced to close. Purchases made at grocery stores, gas stations, home improvement stores, garden centers, liquor stores, cannabis dispensaries, video gaming parlors and pharmacies will not count toward the credit.
Per the initative’s parameters, the water credits will be first-come, first-serve and limited to one per household.
* Tribune live blog headlines…
Illinois Holocaust Museum reopens July 15 in Skokie
Brookfield Zoo has reopened, and the animals might outnumber the humans
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, city officials threaten to shut down bars that don’t follow social distancing guidelines
Horses stand idle and clowns call it quits as the coronavirus cancels Illinois rodeos. ‘This is the first time ever that we won’t have a rodeo.’
Bars and nightclubs are becoming dangerous hot spots for COVID-19, health experts warn’
For some suburban theaters, reopening not feasible with fraction of audience capacity
Wrigley Field rooftops reach agreement with city to open for Cubs games, rooftop manager says
What’s it like as COVID-19 Phase 4 allows jazz clubs like Andy’s to reopen
Lightfoot dismissed questions about ability to afford new CTU contract if economy tanked. Then COVID-19 hit, damaging CPS budget for years.
You think the first half of 2020 was unpredictable? Wait until the second half.
* Sun-Times live blog headlines…
Mayor details holiday weekend plans on fighting crime, pandemic
Sox home ballpark transformed into makeshift spring training facility
Death Cafes help ease grief, loss in the time of coronavirus
More help on way for COVID-slammed businesses as Congress sends relief bill to president
Cleaning up casinos in time of coronavirus
New normal for reopened Chicago, suburban schools come fall likely to be very different
Trump says he looks like Lone Ranger in a mask and likes it
As a dad in the age of coronavirus, I’m angry at people who won’t wear a mask to protect my kids