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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Monday, May 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

As Illinois residents enjoyed a weekend of warm spring weather, Gov. J.B. Pritzker again Sunday implored people to adhere to the state’s stay-at-home order. With restrictions in place since mid-March, some weary residents drawn outside by ample sunshine and temperatures in the 70s began to stretch the boundaries or simply ignore the statewide rules.

Pritzker’s warning came as 2,994 new known cases were reported in Illinois on Sunday, the second-highest daily total since the pandemic began. But the governor also said 19,417 new tests were completed, the most screenings yet across the state.

Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

6:40 a.m.: Cook County Sheriff’s Office deputy dies of COVID-19

A 25-year veteran of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office died Sunday of complications due to COVID-19, the sheriff’s office announced.

Deputy Richard O’Brien was most recently assigned to the Civil Process Division in Skokie, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

He was known to be a “highly motivated and dedicated professional.”

At least one Cook County corrections officer had died from COVID-19 prior to O’Brien’s death.

Read more here. — Paige Fry

6 a.m.: Food distribution pop-up sites start on South, West sides to fill gap during COVID-19 pandemic

Under a sunny sky Friday morning outside Trinity United Church of Christ on the city’s Far South Side, Monica Moss and other volunteers gave away 500 boxes of boxed and canned food and fresh produce.

The effort marked the beginning of a partnership among seven community- and faith-based organizations and the Greater Chicago Food Depository to address food insecurity in areas hardest hit by COVID-19.

“Our church sits in what would be considered a food desert. To get healthy food to people, to raise awareness about eating healthy, has been my passion,” said Moss, first lady of the church, which is at the corner of 95th Street and Eggleston Avenue.

“It was a beautiful day. People were just so excited to be out of the house helping people," she said.

Moss’ church, and six others on the city’s South and West sides, will host pop-up food distribution for the next five weeks. Volunteers from each organization will distribute 500 to 1,000 boxes of food weighing 20 to 30 pounds each.

Read the full story. — Peter Nickeas

5 a.m.: Inmate who agreed to stay in Cook County Jail to avoid immigration trouble lost life to COVID-19 instead

In early March, Rene Olivo Sangabriel was just one among the thousands of Cook County Jail inmates who would soon find themselves in the devastating path of COVID-19.

Sangabriel, 42, locked up since October 2019 on an 8-year-old outstanding warrant after picking up a second felony DUI charge, appeared in court March 5 for a fairly routine status hearing. His attorney told the judge that Sangabriel had 46 days left in a drug and alcohol treatment program at the jail and that he wanted to finish the program before entering a plea.

“I think let’s go to the end of the program,” Judge Diana Kenworthy agreed, according to a court transcript. “I don’t want them to remove him from the program and have any changes. ... What’s a good date?"

“How about Cinco de Mayo,” responded attorney Domingo F. Vargas.

“By agreement May 5 for a plea,” Kenworthy responded.

The plan to delay Sangabriel’s plea two months and keep him at the jail made perfect sense at the time, Vargas said.

Court officials had already indicated Sangabriel, who was living in the United States without legal permission, was likely facing a prison sentence on his new charges. Vargas and Sangabriel determined the risk that immigration officials would find him was higher in the Illinois Department of Corrections so they wanted him to burn time as possible at the jail.

In the end, it was COVID-19 that caught Sangabriel.

Read the full story. — Annie Sweeney and Elvia Malagón

5 a.m.: The coronavirus pandemic has people cooped up and anxious. Therapy dogs are here to help, by video call, of course.

Video call meetings and work-from-home regulations are no longer just for humans. Illinois-based organizations that offer therapy dog services are having their canines offer their emotional support online.

Typically in disasters, therapy dogs are dispatched to physically comfort those affected, said Tim Hetzner, president and CEO of Lutheran Church Charities. But, with growing concerns and physical limitations because of the COVID-19 pandemic, video calls have comforted those who need it the most. With the physical restrictions of the state’s stay-at-home order, many Chicagoans are also choosing to foster pets for companionship.

“Many states have stay-at-home orders, and we thought of how we could continue to touch people without being able to physically go out with the animals,” Hetzner said.

Read more here. — Jessica Villagomez

Breaking coronavirus news

Stay up to date with the latest information on coronavirus with our breaking news alerts.

May 2-3

Here are five things that happened this weekend that you need to know:



Recent Headlines

Cannabis, gambling taxes to boost county amid long-term budget woes
Thursday, July 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

'Going To Do The Best We Can': Cook County Adjusts Outreach Strategy For US Census Due To COVID-19
Thursday, July 02, 2020
WBBM Radio

Why local school districts are lining up against Fritz Kaegi
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

How COVID-19 threatens health care in Cook County
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County’s new website shows nearly half of census funds spent on advertising, marketing
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserves of Cook County opens more in Phase 4
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Daily Herald

Dart, other county sheriffs demand state prisons start accepting inmates again
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

A COVID-19 surge in your county? New Illinois website offers ways to check.
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois raise minimum wage Wednesday
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
The Daily Line

Illinois ends June with about half the daily COVID-19 deaths and new cases as in peak month of May
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx confirms office will err on side of dismissing cases related to protests, curfew
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx plans to drop charges against those violating curfew, Fox 32 news reports
Monday, June 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois minimum wage increases take effect July 1
Monday, June 29, 2020
ABC 7 Eyewitness News

Home property taxes still rising despite bigger hike on business
Monday, June 29, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Illinois announces 15 additional coronavirus deaths, lowest one-day total since March
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Former county health chief: Racism common factor in deaths in ’95 Chicago heat wave, COVID-19
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

‘And She Could Be Next’ profiles grassroots political heroines of the moment
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Amazon to open two new fulfillment centers in south suburbs
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Cook County courts reopening July 6
Friday, June 26, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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