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Tracking COVID-19 in Illinois: State Nears 95K Cases

New statewide totals: 94,191 cases, 4,177 deaths

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A bar graph from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows the daily number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Sunday brought another uptick in coronavirus cases in Illinois. Another 1,734 new cases of COVID-19 brings the statewide total of confirmed cases to 94,191, with 4,177 deaths.

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/2020/05/17/tracking-covid-19-illinois-state-nears-95k-cases
A bar graph from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows the daily number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.

‘COVID Toes,’ Other Rashes Latest Possible Rare Virus Signs

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This April 3, 2020 photo provided by Northwestern University shows discoloration on a teenage patient’s toes at the onset of the condition informally called “COVID toes.” (Courtesy of Dr. Amy Paller / Northwestern University via AP)

Skin doctors suddenly are looking at a lot of toes — whether by emailed picture or video visit — as concern grows that for some people, a sign of COVID-19 may pop up in an unusual spot.

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/2020/05/17/covid-toes-other-rashes-latest-possible-rare-virus-signs
This April 3, 2020 photo provided by Northwestern University shows discoloration on a teenage patient’s toes at the onset of the condition informally called “COVID toes.” (Courtesy of Dr. Amy Paller / Northwestern University via AP)

Pritzker Creates New Tier of Punishment for Businesses Ignoring COVID-19 Order

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A small business in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on April 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

Under an emergency rule quietly filed Friday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration, bars, restaurants and other businesses that open to customers in defiance of Illinois’ stay-at-home order now risk being charged with a misdemeanor.

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/2020/05/16/pritzker-creates-new-tier-punishment-businesses-ignoring-covid-19-order
A small business in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on April 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

Obama Criticizes Virus Response in Online Graduation Speech

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In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo former President Barack Obama accepts the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award at a ceremony in New York. (AP Photo / Jason DeCrow, File)

In an online commencement address Saturday, former President Barack Obama told college graduates that the pandemic shows many officials “aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

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/2020/05/17/obama-criticizes-virus-response-online-graduation-speech
In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo former President Barack Obama accepts the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award at a ceremony in New York. (AP Photo / Jason DeCrow, File)

Michael McCaskey, Who Succeeded Halas as Bears’ Leader, Dies

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In this Feb. 4, 2007, file photo, Chicago Bears chairman Michael McCaskey is seen on the field before the Super Bowl XLI football game between the Bears and Indianapolis Colts in Miami. (AP Photo / Jeff Roberson, File)

Michael McCaskey, who led the Chicago Bears for nearly three decades following the death of his grandfather George Halas, died Saturday after a lengthy battle with cancer, the team said. He was 76.

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/2020/05/17/michael-mccaskey-who-succeeded-halas-bears-leader-dies
In this Feb. 4, 2007, file photo, Chicago Bears chairman Michael McCaskey is seen on the field before the Super Bowl XLI football game between the Bears and Indianapolis Colts in Miami. (AP Photo / Jeff Roberson, File)

Illinois’ COVID-19 Testing Positivity Rate Takes Another Small Dip

New statewide totals: 92,457 cases, 4,129 deaths

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The drive-thru testing facility at 6959 Forest Preserve Drive in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Illinois saw its coronavirus caseload increase Saturday by 2,088, but the percentage of positive cases among those tested, known as the “positivity rate,” fell to 15% statewide, down a percentage point from a day earlier.

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/2020/05/16/illinois-covid-19-testing-positivity-rate-takes-another-small-dip
The drive-thru testing facility at 6959 Forest Preserve Drive in Chicago. (WTTW News)

‘Everyone Has a Story’: How Will World Remember Pandemic?

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In this Tuesday, April 21, 2020 photo, Obi Uwakwe poses with his painting in Chicago. Uwakwe is an artist/photographer and submitted his art work to the the Illinois State Museum, which is documenting what daily life is like for Illinois families during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

In Chicago and around the world, people are creating photographs, paintings, emails, journals and social media posts that will shape how the world remembers the coronavirus pandemic for years and centuries to come. 

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/2020/05/16/everyone-has-story-how-will-world-remember-pandemic
In this Tuesday, April 21, 2020 photo, Obi Uwakwe poses with his painting in Chicago. Uwakwe is an artist/photographer and submitted his art work to the the Illinois State Museum, which is documenting what daily life is like for Illinois families during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Coronavirus Masks a Boon for Crooks Who Hide Their Faces

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This March 26, 2020 image from surveillance video shows a man, believed to be William Rosario Lopez wearing a surgical mask, with a gun in a Connecticut convenience store. Reports are starting to pop up across the country, as well as in other parts of the world of crimes that were pulled off in no small part because so many of us are wearing masks. (U.S. District Court of Connecticut via AP)

Across the United States, masks have become more and more prevalent. And people with masks – as well as latex gloves – have found their way into more and more crime reports.

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/2020/05/16/coronavirus-masks-boon-crooks-who-hide-their-faces
This March 26, 2020 image from surveillance video shows a man, believed to be William Rosario Lopez wearing a surgical mask, with a gun in a Connecticut convenience store. Reports are starting to pop up across the country, as well as in other parts of the world of crimes that were pulled off in no small part because so many of us are wearing masks. (U.S. District Court of Connecticut via AP)

The Week in Review: Illinois’ COVID-19 Peak Pushed Back

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Family members wearing masks walk along the sidewalk in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, all residents should wear face masks or coverings when social distancing is not possible. (WTTW News)

More than 4,000 have died from COVID-19 in Illinois as Gov. J.B. Pritzker pushes the state’s estimated peak to mid-June. Chicago is on pace to move to the next phase at the end of the month, but the lakefront will remain closed. 

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/2020/05/15/week-review-illinois-covid-19-peak-pushed-back
Family members wearing masks walk along the sidewalk in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, all residents should wear face masks or coverings when social distancing is not possible. (WTTW News)

Library Employees to Head Back to Work Wednesday, But Libraries Won’t Reopen

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(Smart Chicago Collaborative / Flickr)

Employees of the Chicago Public Library will head back to work on Wednesday, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot tossed cold water on Library Commissioner Andrea Telli’s suggestion that libraries could reopen as soon as June 1.

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/2020/05/15/library-employees-head-back-work-wednesday-libraries-won-t-reopen
(Smart Chicago Collaborative / Flickr)

City Set to Cancel Rent for Airport Stores, Restaurants, Rental Car Companies Amid Pandemic

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(WTTW News)

With O’Hare and Midway airports deserted amid the coronavirus pandemic, stores, restaurants and rental car companies are set to get a two-month break on most of the rent they owe to the city under a proposal that cleared a key city panel Friday.

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/2020/05/15/city-set-cancel-rent-airport-stores-restaurants-rental-car-companies-amid-pandemic
(WTTW News)

More Testing Needed for Pregnant Women, Who Face Greater Risk From COVID-19

New statewide totals: 90,369 cases, 4,058 deaths

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(Lisa Runnels / Pixabay)

COVID-19 can mimic labor symptoms and can cause additional complications for women following birth, according to Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who called for increased testing of pregnant women.

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/2020/05/15/more-testing-needed-pregnant-women-who-face-greater-risk-covid-19
(Lisa Runnels / Pixabay)

Oprah Winfrey to Launch Live Virtual Experience on Wellness

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In a photo provided by The Call to Unite, Oprah Winfrey speaks during the 24-hour live event, which was transmitted Friday, May 1, 2020. (The Call to Unite via AP)

“In early 2020, I spent nine weeks traveling the country, talking to people about being well and staying focused. It was exhilarating. Then the pandemic hit and shook us all,” Oprah Winfrey said in a statement. “Now, it’s more important than ever to be and stay well and strong.”

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/2020/05/15/oprah-winfrey-launch-live-virtual-experience-wellness
In a photo provided by The Call to Unite, Oprah Winfrey speaks during the 24-hour live event, which was transmitted Friday, May 1, 2020. (The Call to Unite via AP)

The Dandelion’s Fall From Grace Has Been a Doozy. Can This Weed Become a Flower Again?

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Dandelions are an important food source for pollinators, especially in the spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The dandelion — a once-prized plant that gardeners used to exhibit at county fairs — now holds the title of Public Lawn Enemy No. 1. But is this reputation deserved?

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/2020/05/14/dandelion-weed-flower-history
Dandelions are an important food source for pollinators, especially in the spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Poll: Virus, Econ Crisis Drive Fears of Having Enough to Eat

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In this Tuesday, May 12, 2020, photo, residents from all walks of life line up for a food giveaway sponsored by the Greater Chicago Food Depository in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

The number of people seeking help from the Greater Chicago Food Depository and affiliated food pantries has surged 60% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down the nation's economy and thrown tens of millions of people out of work. 

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/2020/05/15/poll-virus-econ-crisis-drive-fears-having-enough-eat
In this Tuesday, May 12, 2020, photo, residents from all walks of life line up for a food giveaway sponsored by the Greater Chicago Food Depository in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

Lightfoot Warns Against Attending, Holding Religious Services

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Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Albany Park (Facebook photo)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged Chicago religious leaders on Friday not to hold in-person worship services this weekend, warning those who fail to follow the governor’s stay-at-home order are “playing with a fully loaded and cocked gun.”

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/2020/05/15/lightfoot-warns-against-attending-holding-religious-services
Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Albany Park (Facebook photo)

Lightfoot Delays Demolition of Building at Former Crawford Power Plant After Outcry

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A still image from a video taken of the demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant smokestack, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot late Thursday called off a planned demolition of a building at the former Crawford Power Plant after protests erupted and the alderman objected.

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/2020/05/15/lightfoot-delays-demolition-building-former-crawford-power-plant-after-outcry
A still image from a video taken of the demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant smokestack, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)
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