Gov. Pritzker closes all schools due to COVID-19 concerns; 46 cases in Illinois

Coronavirus
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CHICAGO — During Friday’s COVID-19 update, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that all schools will be closed from March 17 through March 29 as 14 more cases were confirmed.

The decision follows other states like Ohio, Maryland and Michigan. On Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that CPS would not close. The decision affects both public and private schools. The Chicago Teachers Union demanded Friday that the district should close. Schools will be opened on Monday.

Additionally, 14 more COVID-19 cases were announced. All of them are in the Chicago-area except one. 13 have been identified in Cook County and one has been identified in Lake County.

“The State is taking aggressive measures to help limit the spread of the virus as the number of positive cases we report each day is increasing,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “The situation continues to evolve rapidly, and we want to get ahead of widespread community transmission to reduce the number of people affected.  We would rather be over cautious than put the health of our most vulnerable populations at risk.” 

Approximately 30% of the cases in Illinois are travel associated, about 41% are a contact of a  COVID-19 case, and the remaining cases do not have a clear connection and could be the result of spread in the community.

Officials said the age range of Friday’s new cases range from patients in their 20s through their 90s.

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