Coronavirus Chicago updates for April 29: Arlington Heights cancels Frontier Days

Coronavirus

Information in the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly, so to help keep WGN viewers informed with the latest updates, follow our live blog for April 29, 2020.

These updates will mostly focus on the Chicago area, but will include some national and international news as well.

Newest updates are at the top of this post.

6 p.m.

Arlington Heights announced its canceling its popular Frontier Days Festival for 2020.

Organizers say they made the decision to protect the safety of workers and people attending the festival.

3 p.m.

Illinois has surpassed 50,000 coronavirus cases across the state.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were 2,253 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 50,355. Read more here.

1:35 p.m.

Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital is encouraging veterans to access VA mental health support from home to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection at the facility.

The hospital is asking veterans to use the VA’s online resources for routine or non-urgent mental health care and questions.

For more information on Hines and telephone or video appointments, click here.

1 p.m.

WATCH: Mayor Lightfoot, officials on Chicago housing solidarity pledge to support residents during coronavirus pandemic

12:30 p.m.

CHICAGO — A second Illinois lawmaker has filed a class-action lawsuit challenging Gov. JB Pritzker’s extended stay-at-home order.

State Rep. John Cabello hopes this new suit will cover the entire state. Cabello is a Republican who represents part of the Rockford area.

Read more here.

11:11 a.m.

The Indiana State Department of Health announced Wednesday a state total of 17,182 cases and 964 deaths.

9:30 a.m.

Beginning Wednesday, Tide Cleaners is offering free laundry service for Chicago-area frontline responders and their immediate family members. Visit Hope.TideCleaners.com to find out more about the service and find the nearest Tide Cleaners. 

8 a.m.

Eighteen workers at the Tootsie Roll factory on the Southwest Side have tested positive for COVID-19, the Sun-Times reports.

The Chicago-based candymaker said the employees and others they came in contact with have been asked to self-quarantine.

Tootsie Roll also said it’s conducting rigorous sanitizing procedures at its plant on South Cicero, following CDC protocols and implementing social distancing guidelines.

About 2,000 people work at the plant.

7:50 a.m.

The City of Aurora is launching a new loan program to assist small businesses.

The Standing Together with Aurora Businesses Local Emergency (STABLE) Fund will offer $1.4 million in forgivable loans to small businesses in Aurora impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Eligible businesses must be located in the City of Aurora, have 50 or less employees at the time of application and must have been in business at least three months.

For more information, go to Investaurora.org/StableFund.

7:30 a.m.

Divvy will announce an extension of its 30 days of free rides for healthcare workers and reduced rates for all Chicagoans until the end of May, in alignment with the extended Illinois stay-at-home order.

Steep discounts remain available to all users including “Dollar Divvy Rides” which are normally a $3 charge and annual memberships at half off, reducing the price from $99 to $49.50.

More info: http://divvybikes.com/

7:15 a.m.

Confirmed coronavirus cases have surged past the one million mark in the United States. There are now 1,012,000 cases in the United States.

Johns Hopkins University reports more than 58,000 deaths across the country, and a prominent model has revised its estimated death toll to more than 74,000 COVID-19 deaths by early August.

Health experts warn the number could grow as more states begin re-opening.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is emphasizing again, reopening states should be tied to expanded coronavirus testing.

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