Pritzker: Consider Illinois’ Future and ‘Take 10 Minutes’ for Census

Governor, Chicago mayor also announce arts relief fund

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces a shelter-in-place rule to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

Amid a global pandemic that has grown to include 6,980 cases in Illinois and 141 deaths, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is calling on Illinois residents to think about the future on National Census Day.

Trump Resists National Shutdown, Leaving it up to States

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President Donald Trump pauses during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump is resisting calls to issue a national stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the new coronavirus despite his administration’s projections that tens of thousands of Americans are likely to be killed by the disease.

3 CTA ‘L’ Stations to Close This Weekend Amid Modernization Efforts

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(Eric Fischer / Flickr)

Customers still riding the CTA Red Line won’t be able to get on or off the “L” at Granville, Thorndale and Bryn Mawr this weekend as part of the CTA’s Red and Purple Line Modernization project.

Lightfoot Shares ‘Sobering Moment’: City Worker Dies of COVID-19

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appears on “Chicago Tonight” on location in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (WTTW News)

A Chicago city employee has died of COVID-19, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday. “This sobering moment should remind us that the numbers we report every day are not mere statistics,” the mayor said.

April Fools’ Day is Canceled. No Prank Could Top Reality

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(Jonny Hughes / Flickr)

As one person succinctly summed it up on social media: “We don’t need no April fools jokes … we living in one.”

April 1, Rent’s Due: Many Struggle to Pay in Virus Outbreak

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Jade Brooks at her apartment, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo / Elise Amendola)

It’s the first of the month, and everybody knows the rent’s due. For millions of Americans, Wednesday is the first time the landlord is knocking on the door since the coronavirus outbreak turned the economy upside down.

Police: Homicides Increase, But Total Crime Down in Chicago

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(WTTW News)

Citywide crime was down in March compared to last year, but Chicago is currently on pace for more shootings and homicides in 2020.

How Medical Suppliers Are Dealing With Increased Demand

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(Courtesy of Medline)

Northfield-based Medline Industries bills itself as the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies in the U.S. We talk with CEO Charles Mills about the company’s efforts to address the pandemic.

Chicago Music Scene Pivots in the Face of Enormous Change

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Jack Swain (WTTW News)

Making a career in music and the arts is tricky in the best of times. These days, the struggle is surreal. Here’s our latest check-in with a few players on Chicago’s music scene where, to quote a famous Chicago soul singer, “Only the Strong Survive.”

Could New ‘Rapid’ Ventilators Meet Illinois’ Looming Shortage?

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(Courtesy of the University of Illinois)

COVID-19 patients are currently using about 24% of ventilators available statewide, but there’s concern that supplies could run out. To address that possibility, University of Illinois engineers invented a ventilator that can be reproduced on a rapid scale.

An Infectious Disease Expert Answers Your COVID-19 Questions

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(WTTW News)

The spread of COVID-19 has sparked fear and apprehension — and misinformation can elevate those emotions. To help answer your questions about the new coronavirus, we turned to infectious disease specialist Dr. Susan Bleasdale of UI Health.

COVID-19 Policy: Ald. Cappleman on Precautions, City Action During Pandemic

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Ald. James Cappleman, 46th Ward, appears on “Chicago Tonight” from Uptown. (WTTW News)

How is the coronavirus impacting residents and businesses in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood? We ask 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman, who represents much of the North Side neighborhood.

Chicago’s Uptown Neighborhood Grapples with Coronavirus, Shutdowns

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(WTTW News)

With the announcement of an extended stay-at-home order, an already difficult situation becomes more challenging. We report from Uptown, one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods, both by income and ethnicity. 

Baseball Blues: Sox, Cubs Broadcasters Talk About Delayed Season

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White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, left, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper preview the season on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

There is no joy in Mudville (or in Chicago for that matter) as the coronavirus pandemic has struck out Major League Baseball. Jason Benetti and Len Kasper talk about what might have been — and what may happen in the weeks to come.

How COVID-19 is Impacting Businesses in Chicago’s Uptown Neighborhood

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(WTTW News)

We speak with Martin Sorge of Uptown United, the neighborhood’s chamber of commerce, to see how area businesses and local nonprofits are making ends meet during the pandemic.

This 5-Year-Old’s Coronavirus Podcast is Just What We Needed

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(Courtesy Andrew Gill)

These days, it’s as important as ever to stay informed. But the glut of coronavirus content can, at times, be overwhelming. A new, locally produced podcast offers a much different perspective on the pandemic.

Pritzker Extends Illinois’ Stay-at-Home Order to April 30

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Empty benches in Logan Square on March 24, 2020. (WTTW News)

The expected three-week extension of the governor’s order mirrors a move Sunday by President Donald Trump to lengthen social distancing guidelines to April 30. Illinois now has 5,994 COVID-19 cases, and 99 deaths.

Farmers Markets Rally to Create Virtual Hubs for Hard-Hit Local Growers. Here’s a Roundup

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Virtual farmers markets aim to prop up local food producers during the COVID shutdown. (Gemma Billings / Flickr)

From Green City Market’s spanking new app to McKinley Park’s Google spreadsheet, farmers market organizers are working overtime to support growers and get fresh, local food in the hands of Chicagoans.

Report: Illinois Again Leads Nation in Exonerations

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(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

For the second year in a row, Illinois saw the highest number of criminal exonerations last year, and once again, that total was driven largely by false convictions tied to a corrupt former Chicago sergeant, according to a new report.

Preckwinkle: Cook County Jail is a ‘Petri Dish’ for COVID-19

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(WTTW News)

More than 150 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Cook County Jail. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the situation poses the “biggest health problem in the county.”

Mayor Lightfoot is in on the Joke, Spoofing Her Own ‘Tough Mom’ Image

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes a humorous approach to a serious subject: “Stay home, save lives.” (Chicago Mayor’s Office)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s tough love in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has spawned a million memes. Now the mayor gets in on the joke with her own video.

Reusable Bags Aren’t ‘Banned’ But Stores Are Wary of Them. Here’s How to BYOB Safely

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Some grocers are nixing the use of reusable shopping bags out of concern for employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Karin Beil / Flickr)

Grocery stores remain one of the few places in Chicago where large numbers of people are still able to mingle, and that — rightfully — has put both employees and customers on edge.

Beverly Residents, Businesses Band Together During Shutdown

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(WTTW News)

Beverly and surrounding communities have been hit hard with business closures and worker furloughs. But the area is infused with a spirit of collaboration, especially when it comes to helping those most vulnerable to the virus.

How Health Care Providers Are Preparing for COVID-19 Peak in Illinois

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(Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash)

The Chicago Medical Society says that intensive care units in Chicago are full as of Monday. But experts say a peak in cases is still two to three weeks away. 

Democratic Lawmakers Call for Racial Data in Virus Testing

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A public service message reading Stay Home Saves Lives is seen against the Chicago skyline Monday, March 30, 2020. (AP Photo/ Charles Rex Arbogast)

Democratic lawmakers are calling out an apparent lack of racial data that they say is needed to monitor and address disparities in the national response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ald. Matt O’Shea Talks Police Safety, Community Response to COVID-19

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Ald. Matt O’Shea speaks with WTTW News on Monday, March 30, 2020.

The 19th Ward alderman is calling for greater protections for police officers amid the coronavirus pandemic. As of Monday evening, 50 Chicago police officers have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Olympic Dreams Deferred: Chicago-Area Athletes Look to 2021

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The Olympic rings are seen Monday, March 30, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

The coronavirus pandemic has caused organizers to postpone this summer’s Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. We discuss the delay with three Olympic athletes from the Chicago area.

Highland Park Resident Describes Experience Living With COVID-19

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(Photos courtesy of Terri Chaseley)

Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 have described a range of symptoms, and they’ve lived with a fear of spreading the illness to their family and friends. A Chicago-area resident shares her story.

McCormick Place to Be Transformed into 3,000-Bed COVID-19 Care Center

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McCormick Place in Chicago (Courtney McGough / Flickr)

A portion of the convention center will become an alternate care center for patients with mild symptoms of the novel coronavirus, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Urgent Question From Small Businesses: When Will Aid Arrive?

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Linda DeFrancesco stocks shelves with her farm’s own salsa, spreads, veggies and salsa at DeFrancesco Farm Stand in Northford, Conn., Thursday, March 26, 2020. (Dave Zajac / Record-Journal via AP)

Small business owners are awaiting help from the $2 trillion rescue package signed into law Friday. But with bills fast coming due, no end to business closings and an economy that’s all but shut down, owners are worried about survival.

CPS Unveils Remote Learning Plan for Kids During COVID-19 Pandemic

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The new instruction plan includes the distribution of 100,000 technology devices to the highest-need families as well as both online and non-digital learning activities.

Hay Fever or Virus? For Allergy Sufferers, a Season of Worry

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In this March 26, 2020, photo, a person takes in the afternoon sun amongst the cherry blossoms along Kelly Drive in Philadelphia. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

For millions of seasonal allergy sufferers, the annual onset of watery eyes and scratchy throats is bumping up against the global spread of a new virus that produces its own constellation of respiratory symptoms.