Illinois reports 2,294 new coronavirus cases, 59 additional deaths as contact tracing ramps up

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — Illinois health officials announced 2,294 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 59 additional deaths Monday.

It’s the third consecutive day that there have been fewer than 100 coronavirus related deaths.

In total, there are 96,485 new coronavirus cases, including 4,234 deaths, across the state.

Additionally, over 21,000 tests were performed in the last 24 hours in Illinois.

During his daily news conference Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced the Illinois Contact Tracing Collaborative, a locally-driven approach to scale up contact tracing in Illinois.

Essentially, if you test positive for COVID-19, a tracer would reach out to people you have had close contact with the previous two weeks.

Pritzker has insisted on ramping up the state’s tracing efforts in order to continue reopening the state’s economy

St. Clair County in the Metro East region and Lake County in the Northeast region will pilot the new initiative.

Those interested in applying for work as a contact tracer may apply here: dph.illinois.gov/COVID19.

Pritzker also said the state remains less then two weeks away from possibly entering the third phase of the plan to re-open Illinois

As the legislature prepares to convene later this week, Republicans are pushing for Pritzker and the Mike Madigan-led Democrats to drop the graduated income tax.

“If the GOP wants to keep people from voting on this, keep people away from the ballot box, that says something about the lack of confidence in their position,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker maintains the graduated tax rate would generate $3 billion extra in a tax year while 97% of taxpayers earn salaries that would require paying only the current rate or less.

If approved, it wouldn’t take effect until January and would generate about $1 billion for next year’s budget, Pritzker said. But given the estimate that the pandemic has blown a $7 billion hole in the budget for this year and next, Democrats say it would be welcome.

But Republicans said things have changed since Pritzker proposed the tax hike a year ago.

When asked about churches ignoring the governor’s executive orders on social distancing and other guidelines over the weekend Pritzker said law enforcement isn’t going to stop them but there are ways to worship responsibly.

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