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CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced eight additional COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total number to 19.

Pritzker announced the increase Tuesday afternoon during a news conference at the Thompson Center.

The new cases include the first two from outside of Cook County, Pritzker said.

The cases include a woman in her 60s from west-suburban Kane County and a teenage male from McHenry County. Neither are health care workers nor had traveled to an area affected by COVID-19.

They also did not have any connection to someone previously diagnosed.

“As anticipated, we have reached the point where we are likely to see additional cases, reflecting additional spread within the communities each day forward,” Pritzker said.

The other new cases were all reported in Cook County, including a male in his 70s, a woman in her 60s, a woman and a man in their 40s; and two Chicago residents, men in their 40s.

“Public health officials are investigating the travel history of all the new cases, as well as any contacts with a known case,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state public health director. “All the new cases are in isolation, either at home or in a hospital, and are doing well.”

Given the concerns about the possibility of viral transmission at large gatherings, Pritzker also said government officials and organizers of this weekend’s popular St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Chicago are discussing its fate. An announcement is expected Wednesday.

“As you saw, Boston and Dublin have both canceled their St Patrick’s Day celebrations,” Pritzker said. “I want to keep people safe and I think we’ve got to follow the guidance that medical experts give us.”

The news comes as the production of Fox Networks’ show “neXt,” which is filmed here at Chicago’s Cinespace studio, was shut down due to a crew member testing positive for COVID-19.

SAG-AFTRA issued a statement Tuesday related to the production that said:

Fox/Disney notified cast and crew today that a production member for the show neXt, which wrapped production at Cinespace in Chicago last week, has tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). That person came into contact with other cast and crew at Cinespace and possibly elsewhere. We are working with the production company regarding this matter to determine the timeline and scope of potential exposure to members and others.  We are monitoring the situation closely and will update our statement periodically as warranted.


McHenry County announced Tuesday it is relocating polling places from Valley Hi Nursing Home and three other senior care facilities as a precaution to protect their residents from coronavirus.

“While county officials believe the risk to McHenry County remains low, they decided to act proactively to move polling places for the Tuesday, March 17 primary from the county-owned Valley Hi and the three private facilities to alternate locations,” according to a statement.

Polling places will be relocated as follows:

  • Valley Hi Nursing Home, 2406 Hartland Road, Woodstock (precinct Hartland 1), will be relocated across the street to the McHenry County Division of Transportation, 16111 Nelson Road, Woodstock.
  • The Fountains at Crystal Lake, 965 Brighton Circle, Crystal Lake (precinct Nunda 14), will be relocated to Calvary Assembly of God, 5906 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake.
  • Eastgate Manor, 101 Eastgate Drive, Algonquin (precincts Algonquin 14 and 56), will be relocated to St. Margaret Mary Ministry Center, 113 S. Hubbard St., Algonquin.
  • Heritage Woods of McHenry, 4609 W. Crystal Lake Road, McHenry, (precincts McHenry 7, 23 and 26), will be relocated to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 404 N. Green St., McHenry.