Over 1,500 new COVID-19 cases found in Illinois, as Pritzker says peak may come in mid-May

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CHICAGO — Over 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 and 119 additional deaths have been confirmed in Illinois over the past day, state health officials said Tuesday.

According to the latest statistics from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the 1,551 new cases confirmed in Illinois brings the total number to 33,059 COVID-19 cases and 1,468 related deaths.

Tuesday’s death total is the second-highest to date. The state reported 125 COVID-19 related deaths on April 18.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said data now suggests the number of COVID-19 cases will peak weeks later than earlier projections.

Watch Above: Governor JB Pritzker and health officials give daily update on cases of COVID-19 in Illinois and state measures

During a live interview with The Washington Post Tuesday morning, Pritzker said Illinois has been successful in “bending the curve” as people in the state largely follow its stay-at-home order. Cases were initially expected to peak in mid- to late-April, but now it appears that will occur in mid-May.

Speaking during his regular COVID-19 update later in the day, Pritzker was more vague but said officials are looking at the numbers to determine what changes they should make to the state’s stay-at-home order.

“If in fact the peak comes in mid-May or whenever that may come, we need to have 14 days after that… according to many of the experts,” Pritzker said.

Speaking with the press Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she expected the stay-at-home order to be pushed back into May at least, saying it “certainly could go into June.”

“While we continue to be diligent and stay at home is paying dividends, we’re not even close to being out of the woods yet,” Lightfoot said.

Also of note today: SNAP will be sending $112 million in additional food assistance to kids across the state. 

Pritzker said many private lenders have also agreed to also defer student loan payments until September 30 after the Cares Act pushed back payments on all federally-backed loans.

State agencies also plan to ramp up testing in nursing homes as COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported at multiple facilities across Illinois. Close to 2,000 confirmed cases and nearly 300 deaths in Illinois are tied to long-term health care facilities, accounting for nearly a quarter of all deaths in the state.

Four days after Pritzker announced in-person learning at schools would be suspended for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, the Illinois High School Association Board cancelled all spring state tournaments Tuesday.

In national news, President Donald Trump said late Monday night he will sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the United States as the nation battles the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” he tweeted.

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