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

Thursday, May 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

As Chicago and the rest of the state prepare to reopen in the coming days and weeks, coronavirus deaths in Illinois surpassed 5,000 on Wednesday. The U.S. also passed a jarring milestone in the pandemic: 100,000 deaths.

With desperate Chicago restaurants to be allowed to host outdoor diners within weeks under the next phase of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reopening plan, city officials are still trying to come up with a process so many of them can legally do so.

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

6:40 a.m.: Here’s what will be different Friday, when most of the state (but not Chicago) moves into phase three of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan

All four regions of the state are poised to move into the next phase of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan Friday, which means many restaurants will be back open for outdoor service and “nonessential” retailers will be open to shoppers.

Except in Chicago, where Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said restrictions won’t be loosened until “early June.” The city (and all cities and counties) can enact tighter guidelines than the state, but not looser ones. For the most part, Chicago’s guidelines are similar.

While the state’s opening up a bit, don’t throw away those masks yet, they’ll continue to be required in public. Read more here. -- Dan Petrella and Jamie Munks

6:30 a.m.: As non-COVID-19 patients return to Chicago-area emergency rooms, doctors see skyrocketing blood pressure and other side effects of delays in care. ‘It’s terrible, and it’s frightening.’

One patient ran out of medication during the COVID-19 pandemic and ended up in the Loyola University Medical Center emergency room with dangerously high blood pressure.

Others, unwilling or unable to get consistent treatment for chronic conditions during the pandemic, have come in with out-of-control asthma, mental health crises or inadequately treated chronic kidney failure.

After a lull in emergency room visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors at four Chicago emergency rooms told the Tribune they have seen an increase in non-COVID-19 patients in the past few weeks, along with signs that some patients are suffering because of pandemic-related delays in care. Read more here. -- Nara Schoenberg

6:25 a.m.: Staffer at Springfield convention center where state House met tests positive for COVID-19

A worker at the Springfield convention center where the Illinois House convened for a special session last week has tested positive for COVID-19.

Jessica Basham, chief of staff for House Speaker Michael Madigan, shared the news in an email to lawmakers and staff Wednesday, noting that “at this time it appears this individual had no interaction with any member or other staff person.” Read more here. -- Jamie Munks

Breaking coronavirus news

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

May 27

Here are five things that happened Wednesday that you need to know:

May 26

Here are five things that happened Tuesday that you need to know:



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