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COVID-19 Chicago Updates

UPDATE 5/2/2020 2:45pm:

ANNOUNCED ITS 2020 SEASON WILL BE CANCELED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS YESTERDAY. RAVINIA HAS OPERATED CONTINUOUSLY SINCE IT OPENED IN 1904, EXCEPT FOR THREE YEARS WHEN THE PARK WAS SILENCED BY THE GREAT DEPRESSION, ORGANIZERS SAID. THE CANCELLATION IMPACTS MORE THAN 120 EVENTS FROM MAY 30 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 15.

WHOLE FOODS IS ABOUT TO PROVIDE FREE, DISPOSABLE MASKS TO ITS CUSTOMERS IN AN EFFORT TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE AMAZON SUBSIDIARY SAID IN A STATEMENT “WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK, WE WILL BE OFFERING FREE, DISPOSABLE MASKS TO ALL WHOLE FOODS MARKET CUSTOMERS NATIONWIDE WHEN THEY ARRIVE AT THE STORE TO SHOP.” CUSTOMERS WILL BE ABLE TO PICK UP THEIR MASKS AT STORE ENTRANCES.

SOURCE TTWN

UPDATE 5/2/2020 1:45pm:

AMERICANS ARE SAVING THEIR MONEY AT THE HIGHEST RATE IN NEARLY FOUR DECADES. THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS SAY AMERICANS HAD MORE THAN TWO TRILLION DOLLARS IN SAVINGS ACCOUNTS IN MARCH. THAT SAVINGS RATE OF 13% IS THE HIGHEST IN 39 YEARS. ECONOMISTS SAY ONE REASON FOR THE INCREASE IS A DROP IN SPENDING DUE TO COVID-19, WHICH THEY EXPECT TO CONTINUE.

A COUPLE OF MAJOR EVENTS SCHEDULED TO BE HELD TODAY ARE BEING POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. BOTH THE KENTUCKY DERBY AND THE ROCK-N-ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONIES WILL TAKE PLACE AT A LATER DATE. THE KENTUCKY DERBY IS CURRENTLY RESCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 5TH OF THIS YEAR. THE ROCK-N-ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY WILL TAKE PLACE NOVEMBER 7TH IN CLEVELAND, OHIO. THE DOOBIE BROTHERS AND T-REX, ARE AMONG THIS YEAR’S HONOREES.

SOURCE TTWN

UPDATE 5/2/2020 12:45pm:

THE NUMBER OF METRA TRAINS ROLLING IN AND OUT OF CHICAGO EVERY DAY IS ABOUT TO DROP DRAMATICALLY. THE COMMUTER RAIL AGENCY, IN RESPONSE TO THE RIDERSHIP SLUMP DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, IS CUTTING SERVICE ON ITS THREE LEAST BUSY LINES. IN MARCH, METRA CUT ITS WEEKDAY SERVICE IN HALF WHEN THE STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER LED TO A DRASTIC REDUCTION IN RIDERSHIP.

NEARLY 20,000 INDIANA RESIDENTS HAVE NOW TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS AS THE STATE REPORTED AN ADDITIONAL 676 CASES OF THE VIRUS TODAY. OFFICIALS ALSO REPORTED AN ADDITIONAL 53 DEATHS, BRINGING THE STATE’S DEATH TOLL TO 1,115.

A BOBBLEHEAD MUSEUM IN MILWAUKEE IS RAISING FUNDS FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS. THE NATIONAL BOBBLEHEAD HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM SAYS A PORTION OF ALL SALES ARE GOING TO THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION’S PROTECT THE HEROES FUND. BRAVO!

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 5/2/2020 11:45am:

THE ROLLING STONES WANT TO PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT FOR PEOPLE STUCK AT HOME. THE LEGENDARY ROCK GROUP IS STARTING A STREAMING CONCERT SERIES CALLED “EXTRA LICKS.” THE BAND WILL PLAY “SPECIAL PAST PERFORMANCES” ONLINE OVER THE NEXT SIX WEEKS BEGINNING ON SUNDAY. THE FIRST SHOWING INCLUDES FOOTAGE FROM THE STONES’ 2016 CONCERT FILM, “OLE OLE OLE!: A TRIP ACROSS LATIN AMERICA.”

U.S. STEEL IS LAYING OFF THOUSANDS OF EMPLOYEES AFTER A MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR LOSS IN THE FIRST QUARTER. THE COMPANY’S SPOKESPERSON SAID THEY LOST NEARLY 400-MILLION-DOLLARS. THEY EXPECT TO LAYOFF OVER 2,500 WORKERS AND TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN TWO BLAST FURNACES.

ALTHOUGH FRIDAY SAW THE HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY TOTAL FOR NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES, IT CAME WITH GOOD NEWS: ILLINOIS IS FLATTENING THE CURVE FOR THE VIRUS. THIS MEANS THE MCCORMICK PLACE CARE FACILITY, WHICH BEGAN CONSTRUCTION AT THE END OF MARCH AND WAS DESIGNED AS AN OVERFLOW HOSPITAL BUILT OUT OF CAUTION FOR THE VIRUS PEAK, IS NO LONGER NEEDED. MAYOR LIGHTFOOT AND GOV. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED FRIDAY AFTERNOON THAT THE MAKESHIFT CARE FACILITY WILL BE PHASED OUT IN THE COMING WEEKS. THE $70 MILLION PROJECT WAS FINISHED AHEAD OF SCHEDULE ON APRIL 10 AND BEGAN ACCEPTING PATIENTS IN AN EFFORT TO EASE HOSPITAL STRESS.

SOURCE: TTW

UPDATE 5/1/2020 6:40pm:

THE NBA SAID THIS YEAR’S DRAFT LOTTERY AND DRAFT COMBINE HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. THE LOTTERY WAS SCHEDULED FOR MAY 19, AND MAY 21-24 FOR THE COMBINE. BOTH EVENTS WERE TO BE HELD IN CHICAGO. THE 2020 NBA DRAFT IS STILL SET FOR JUNE 25.

THE ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT IS POSTPONING THE STATE’S BAR EXAM UNTIL SEPTEMBER BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC. THE EXAM WAS ORIGINALLY SET FOR LATE JULY AND HAS NOW BEEN MOVED TO SEPTEMBER 9TH AND 10TH.

BEER FANS WILL BE CRYING WHEN THEY FIND OUT HOW MUCH OF THEIR FAVORITE BEVERAGE IS BEING POURED DOWN THE DRAIN. LIQUOR DISTRIBUTORS ARE HAVING TO DUMP MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF BEER AS EXPIRATION DATES PASS. COMPANIES LIKE CRESCENT CROWN IN ARIZONA EXPECT TO DISPOSE OF ABOUT 20-THOUSAND KEGS THAT WERE MEANT FOR NOW-CLOSED RESTAURANTS AND BARS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 5/1/2020 5:30pm:

THE FDA HAS ISSUED AN EMERGENCY-USE AUTHORIZATION OF THE DRUG REMDESIVIR TO TREAT PATIENTS HOSPITALIZED WITH COVID-19. WHILE NOT A CURE, EARLIER THIS WEEK A GOVERNMENT STUDY FOUND THAT THE DRUG IMPROVED RECOVERY TIME FOR SEVERELY ILL COVID-19 PATIENTS. THE MAKER OF THE DRUG, GILEAD SCIENCES, SAID THE COMPANY’S EXISTING SUPPLY COULD INITIALLY COVER AT LEAST 140-THOUSAND TREATMENT COURSES.

WITH SPORTS FANS DESPERATE FOR SOMETHING TO WATCH, ESPN IS OFFERING UP SOME UNUSUAL CONTESTS, INCLUDING CHEESE ROLLING AND CHERRY PIT SPITTING. THE NETWORK WILL BE TRANSFORMING INTO A PARODY OF ITSELF, “ESPN8: THE OCHO” ON SATURDAY. FOR ELEVEN HOURS VIEWERS CAN WATCH MULTIPLE COMPETITIONS THAT INCLUDE THE CLASSIC TETRIS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL ARM WRESTLING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 5/1/2020 2:50pm:

TODAY, OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF NEW SINGLE-DAY CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS SINCE THE OUTBREAKS BEGAN. 3,137 NEW CASES WERE REPORTED. THERE ARE NOW OVER 56,000 CONFIRMED CASES IN THE STATE, AND OVER 2,400 LIVES LOST DUE TO COVID-19.

U.S. STEEL IS LAYING OFF THOUSANDS OF EMPLOYEES AFTER A MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR LOSS IN THE FIRST QUARTER. THEY EXPECT TO LAYOFF OVER 2,500 WORKERS AND TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN TWO BLAST FURNACES, ONE AT GARY WORKS AND THE OTHER AT MON VALLEY WORKS.

THREE MORE AIRLINES ARE GOING TO REQUIRE PASSENGERS TO WEAR MASKS WHILE FLYING. AMERICAN, DELTA AND FRONTIER AIRLINES ARE JOINING JETBLUE IN INSISTING PEOPLE COVER THEIR FACES ON PLANES AND AT BOARDING GATES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 5/1/2020 1:45pm:

AMERICANS ARE SAVING THEIR MONEY AT THE HIGHEST RATE IN NEARLY FOUR DECADES DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS SAY AMERICANS HAD A SAVINGS RATE OF 13 PERCENT IN MARCH. ONE REASON IS A DROP IN SPENDING, WHICH ECONOMISTS EXPECT TO CONTINUE.

NEW UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS IN ILLINOIS HAVE DROPPED SLIGHTLY SINCE THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS STARTED. THE STATE HAS PROCESSED MORE THAN 830-THOUSAND FIRST-TIME CLAIMS SINCE MARCH 1ST. LAST WEEK, THERE WERE MORE THAN 81-THOUSAND NEW CLAIMS.

NO ONE IS YET IN CUSTODY AFTER A FACE MASK WAS STOLEN OFF ONE OF THE ICONIC LION STATUES IN FRONT OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO YESTERDAY. POLICE SAY A SECURITY OFFICER SAW TWO MALES EXIT A BLACK CHEVY SEDAN LAST NIGHT, CUT THE MASK OFF AND DRIVE AWAY. THE MASKS WERE INSTALLED AS A WAY TO GET THE WORD OUT AHEAD OF TODAY’S STATEWIDE MANDATE TO WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC PLACES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 5/1/2020 8:45am:

THE RULES CHANGED REGARDING FACE MASKS IN ILLINOIS STARTING TODAY, WHERE EVEN THE PICASSO STATUE AND THE LIONS OUTSIDE THE ART INSTITUTE ARE WEARING CHICAGO STYLE MASKS OF THEIR OWN.

STARTING TODAY, THE NEW MANDATE REQUIRES ALL RESIDENTS TO WEAR A MASK IN PUBLIC WHEN SOCIAL DISTANCING IS NOT AN OPTION. FOR EXAMPLE: AT WORK, GROCERY STORES AND ON PUBLIC TRANSIT. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WEAR A MASK WHEN RUNNING OR WALKING IN OUTSIDE OR DURING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY. HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THE MASKS ARE NOT JUST ABOUT PROTECTING YOURSELF, BUT THE PROTECTING THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS IN CHICAGO MAY NOT BE WALKING ACROSS A STAGE IN THEIR CAP AND GOWN THIS YEAR BUT THEY ARE IN FOR A SPECIAL TREAT. OPRAH WINFREY WILL GIVE THE COMMENCEMENT SPEECH AT THE FIRST EVER CITYWIDE VIRTUAL GRADUATION. THE EVENT IS SET FOR MID-JUNE.

LIVE SPORTS ARE MAKING A COMEBACK. NASCAR SAYS IT WILL RESUME RACING SEASON MAY 17TH AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY IN SOUTH CAROLINA. NASCAR AND THE UFC ARE THE FIRST TO ANNOUNCE RETURN PLANS AFTER ALL SPORTS WERE SHUT DOWN BY THE PANDEMIC. NO FANS WILL BE ALLOWED TO THE EVENTS.

QUEEN AND SINGER ADAM LAMBERT HAVE A MESSAGE FOR WORKERS ON THE FRONTLINE OF THE COVID-19 FIGHT: “YOU ARE THE CHAMPIONS.” BRIAN MAY, ROGER TAYLOR AND LAMBERT RECENTLY GATHERED VIRTUALLY TO RECORD A NEW VERSION OF THE QUEEN CLASSIC, “WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.” THE VIDEO HAS MESSAGES OF LOVE AND SUPPORT FOR ALL THE FRONT LINE HEALTH WORKERS, AND IS ALSO FUNDRAISING FOR THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION’S COVID-19 SOLIDARITY RESPONSE FUND. “YOU ARE THE CHAMPIONS” IS AVAILABLE ON ALL STREAMING AND DOWNLOAD SERVICES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 5/1/2020 7:10am:

FACE MASK GIVEAWAY FOR TRUCK DRIVERS THIS MORNING IN INDIANA, ON I-94 (INDIANA) WB MILE MARKER 43 REST AREA.
STARTING AT 9:00AM TODAY (FRIDAY, MAY 1ST), INDIANA STATE POLICE WILL BE HANDING OUT FACE MASKS FREE OF CHARGE TO COMMERCIAL TRUCK DRIVERS AT THE REST AREA AND WELCOME CENTER AT MILE MARKER 43 IN LAPORTE COUNTY, UNTIL SUPPLIES ARE EXHAUSTED.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY 141 MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM COVID-19. CLOSE TO 270,000 TESTS HAVE BEEN PERFORMED SO FAR. POSITIVE CASES OF THE VIRUS ARE NEARING 53,0000 IN THE STATE. THERE ARE NOW OVER 175 TESTING SITES AROUND ILLINOIS. HERE IS ILLINOIS HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI EZIKE.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY HAS BUILT ITS TEN-MILLIONTH FACE SHIELD. FORD STARTED BUILDING FACE SHIELDS FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS ON MARCH 23RD. SINCE THAT DATE THE COMPANY HAS BUILT AND ASSEMBLED TEN-MILLION FACE SHIELDS, PRODUCING ONE EVERY TEN SECONDS AND HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO ALL 50 STATES.

MACY’S IS PLANNING TO BEGIN REOPENING ON MONDAY. AT LEAST 68 STORES WILL BE BACK IN BUSINESS IN STATES WHERE RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN LIFTED. BUT THERE ARE NEW RULES INCLUDING FEWER DRESSING ROOMS AND “NO TOUCH” CONSULTATIONS IN THE BEAUTY DEPARTMENTS. THE COMPANY’S CEO EXPECTS TO HAVE ALL DOORS OPEN AGAIN IN THE NEXT SIX WEEKS IF CORONAVIRUS CASES DROP.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 5/1/2020 6:10am:

IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, STARTING TODAY, MAY 1ST, IF YOU ARE 2 OR OLDER, FACE MASKS OR COVERINGS ARE REQUIRED IN PUBLIC. BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF PLACES REOPENING, WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES IN PLACE. GREENHOUSES, GARDEN CENTERS AND NURSERIES CAN REOPEN AS ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES, WHILE FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING, AS CAN PET GROOMERS. GOLF COURSES ARE BACK OPEN. RETAIL STORES CAN PARTIALLY REOPEN FOR CURBSIDE PICKUP AND DELIVERY ORDERS. UNDER THE NEW ORDER, STATE PARKS WILL START TO REOPEN WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING, BOATING AS WELL, BUT ONLY 2 PEOPLE PER BOAT.

SADLY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION, RAVINIA FESTIVAL HAS ANNOUNCED ITS CANCELED THE 2020 SEASON DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. MORE THAN 120 ACTS WERE SCHEDULED TO PERFORM FROM JUNE 12 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16 DURING THE NATION’S OLDEST MUSIC FESTIVAL. IN OPERATION SINCE 1904, THE LAST TIME RAVINIA STOPPED HOSTING PERFORMANCES WAS DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION, FROM 1932 TO 1935.

AMERICA’S TOP INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS SAY COVID-19 IS NOT A MAN-MADE OR GENETICALLY-MODIFIED CORONAVIRUS. IN A STATEMENT RELEASED YESTERDAY, THE OFFICE OF DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SAID THE SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS IS THAT COVID-19 IS NATURAL. HOWEVER, THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY CONTINUES TO TRY TO DETERMINE IF IT STARTED BECAUSE OF AN INFECTED ANIMAL OR POSSIBLY BECAUSE OF AN ACCIDENT AT A LAB IN WUHAN, CHINA.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 6:40pm:

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS IN CHICAGO MAY NOT BE WALKING ACROSS A STAGE IN THEIR CAP AND GOWN THIS YEAR BUT THEY ARE IN FOR A SPECIAL TREAT. OPRAH WINFREY WILL GIVE THE COMMENCEMENT SPEECH AT THE FIRST EVER CITYWIDE VIRTUAL GRADUATION. THE EVENT IS SET FOR MID-JUNE.

MACY’S IS PLANNING TO BEGIN REOPENING ON MONDAY. AT LEAST 68 STORES WILL BE BACK IN BUSINESS IN STATES WHERE RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN LIFTED. BUT THERE ARE NEW RULES INCLUDING FEWER DRESSING ROOMS AND “NO TOUCH” CONSULTATIONS IN THE BEAUTY DEPARTMENTS. THE COMPANY’S CEO EXPECTS TO HAVE ALL DOORS OPEN AGAIN IN THE NEXT SIX WEEKS IF CORONAVIRUS CASES DROP.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ITS HISTORY THE LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES WILL NOT TAKE PLACE AS PLANNED. OFFICIALS SAY INSTEAD THEY HOPE THE TOURNAMENT WILL RETURN IN AUGUST OF 2021. THE LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES WILL NOW CELEBRATE ITS 75TH TOURANMENT IN 2022.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 5:30pm:

NEW YORK NOW HAS OVER 300,000 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS REPORT THAT NEARLY 62,000 HAVE DIED FROM COVID-19 NATIONWIDE, AND OVER 23,000 OF THOSE FATALITIES ARE IN NEW YORK ALONE. OVER THREE-AND-A-QUARTER MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED WORLDWIDE. IN ILLINOIS, THERE ARE NOW OVER 52,000 KNOWN INFECTIONS.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS IN ROCK ISLAND COUNTY HAVE IDENTIFIED A NEW OUTBREAK AT TYSON’S MEAT-PACKING PLANT IN JOSLIN, ILLINOIS. AT LEAST 92 CONFIRMED CASES AND TWO DEATHS HAVE BEEN TIED TO THE PLANT. TYSON FOODS REPORTEDLY HAVE PUT UP PLASTIC BARRIERS BETWEEN LINE WORKERS AND STAGGERED SHIFTS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES WORKING NEAR EACH OTHER.

THE TIK TOK APP IS HAVING A BOOMTIME DURING THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS. TIK TOK HAS BEEN DOWNLOADED OVER TWO BILLION TIMES, AND WAS INSTALLED ON 315 MILLION DEVICES IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR, SETTING A RECORD.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 3:50pm:

ANOTHER 3.8 MILLION AMERICANS ARE FILING FOR FIRST-TIME UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, AND THIS NEWS CAUSED WALL STREET TO END SHARPLY LOWER TODAY. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW FELL 288 POINTS, THE S&P DROPPED 27 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ SLIPPED 25 POINTS.

GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS ARE DOWN NEARLY EIGHT PERCENT THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWNS. THE INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY SAID THE DECLINE WAS UNPRECEDENTED, BUT WARNED THAT IT WILL NOT HELP THE OVERALL EFFORT TO BATTLE CLIMATE CHANGE IF EVERYONE GOES BACK TO USUAL PATTERNS ONCE THE CRISIS IS OVER.

SOME SPORTS ARE STARTING TO COME BACK. NASCAR SAYS IT WILL RESUME THE RACING SEASON MAY 17TH AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY IN SOUTH CAROLINA. NASCAR AND THE UFC ARE THE FIRST TO ANNOUNCE PLANS TO RETURN AFTER ALL SPORTS WERE SHUT DOWN BY THE PANDEMIC. NO FANS WILL BE ALLOWED IN TO WATCH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 2:45pm:

OFFICIALS TODAY ANNOUNCED THE LARGEST SINGLE-DAY NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ILLINOIS, WITH 2,563 NEW INFECTIONS REPORTED, AND 141 MORE DEATHS. IN TOTAL, THERE HAVE BEEN 52,918 CASES CONFIRMED, WITH 2,356 LIVES LOST.

DELTA, JETBLUE AND SPIRIT AIRLINES ARE ALL REQUESTING TO SUSPEND FLIGHTS TO SEVERAL AIRPORTS AROUND THE COUNTRY. THE AIRLINES HAVE SUBMITTED REQUESTS TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, CITING HISTORIC LOWS IN TRAVEL DUE TO THE PANDEMIC.

THE ORGANIZERS OF RECORD STORE DAY ANNOUNCED THAT THE ANNUAL DAY TO PROMOTE AND BUY VINYL ALBUMS, SUPPORTING INDIE RECORD STORES, WILL BE SPREAD OUT OVER A COUPLE OF MONTHS THIS FALL AFTER THE ANNUAL EVENT WAS CANCELLED LAST MONTH. RECORD STORE DAY WILL NOW BE CELEBRATED WITH “PROPERLY DISTANCED RELEASE DATES” ON SATURDAYS IN AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, AND OCTOBER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 1:45pm:

THE NATION’S TOP INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS RELEASED A STATEMENT TODAY SAYING THAT COVID-19 IS NATURAL – NOT A MAN-MADE OR GENETICALLY-MODIFIED CORONAVIRUS. THEY CONTINUE TO TRY TO DETERMINE IF IT STARTED BECAUSE OF AN INFECTED ANIMAL OR POSSIBLY BECAUSE OF AN ACCIDENT AT A LAB IN WUHAN, CHINA.

A CHICAGO NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION PLANS TO DISTRIBUTE 350,000 FREE CLOTH MASKS. MASKS4CHI IS PARTNERING WITH SEVERAL CHICAGO RESTAURANTS TO DO SO AND WILL BEGIN HANDING OUT THE FIRST 25,000 TODAY THROUGH MAY 3RD.

METRA IS CUTTING DOWN SERVICE ON THREE LINES NEXT WEEK DUE TO A DECLINE IN RIDERSHIP SINCE THE PANDEMIC HIT. BEGINNING MONDAY, THE HERITAGE CORRIDOR AND THE NORTH CENTRAL SERVICE WILL BE REDUCED TO ONE INBOUND TRIP IN THE MORNING AND ONE OUTBOUND TRIP IN THE EVENING. THE SOUTHWEST SERVICE LINE WILL GO DOWN TO TWO INBOUND TRIPS IN THE MORNING AND TWO OUTBOUND TRIPS IN THE EVENING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 12:45pm:

MORE THAN 3.8 MILLION WORKERS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK. OVER THE PAST SIX WEEKS, MORE THAN 30-MILLION AMERICANS HAVE FILED DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS.

THE ORDER FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS TO WEAR FACE MASKS IN PUBLIC BEGINS TOMORROW. MASKS WERE ALSO PLACED ON THE ART INSTITUTE LIONS AND THE DALEY CENTER PICASSO IN CHICAGO THIS MORNING TO HELP GET THE MESSAGE OUT.

THE CUBS AND WHITE SOX ARE REFUNDING TICKETS FOR MARCH, APRIL AND MAY GAMES THAT WERE AFFECTED BY THE PANDEMIC. CUBS SEASON TICKET HOLDERS CAN GET A CREDIT PLUS A 5% BONUS FOR THEIR TICKETS, AND SINGLE-GAME TICKETS WILL BE PROCESSED USING THE SAME METHOD OF PAYMENT WITHIN TWO WEEKS. WHITE SOX FANS WHO BOUGHT SINGLE-GAME TICKETS CAN GET A REFUND THROUGH THE ORIGINAL PURCHASER’S ACCOUNT, AND SEASON TICKET HOLDERS WILL BE CONTACTED DIRECTLY BY THE SOX TICKET SALES DEPARTMENT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 11:45am:

THE HOUSE PARTY VIDEO THAT WENT VIRAL EARLIER THIS WEEK, IT TURNS OUT IS A HOME IN THE GALEWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD THAT IS OWNED BY CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT COMMANDER CHRISTINE MATTHEWS. HER SON JANEAL HOSTED THAT PARTY, BUT ALDERMAN VILLEGAS SAYS ITS NOT THE FIRST LARGE GATHERING THERE THAT HAS HAD THE POLICE COME TO BREAK UP. THE HOME OWNER WAS GIVEN A CITATION FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCT FOR THE APRIL 26TH PARTY AND THE CFD SAYS MATTHEWS IS UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR AN UNRELATED ISSUE.

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IS DISTRIBUTING NEARLY 4 MILLION MEDICAL MASKS AND 14-MILLION NON-MEDICAL MASKS ACROSS THE U.S. IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19. SPEAKING AT THE PENTAGON, UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR ACQUISITION AND SUSTAINMENT ELLEN LORD ANNOUNCED THAT THE DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY, HAS ALSO PROCURED OVER 92-MILLION EXAM GLOVES WHICH WILL BE DISTRIBUTED ACROSS THE U.S.

UPDATE 4/30/2020 10:45am:

ROCKFORD AREA REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER JOHN CABELLO IS THE LATEST TO FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE STAY AT HOME ORDER IN THE STATE. CABELLO SAYS HE IS MOTIVATED BY SMALL SHOP OWNERS WHO ARE ASKING WHY THEY CAN’T FULLY OPERATE, WHILE BIG BOX STORES CAN. UNLIKE THE LAWSUIT FILED LAST WEEK BY DARREN BAILEY, THIS ORDER WOULD APPLY TO EVERYONE. GOVERNOR PRITZER DISMISSES IT AND CALLED IT ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT GRANDSTANDING.

STOCKS ARE IN THE RED AFTER ANOTHER STAGGERING INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS REPORT. MORE THAN 3.8 MILLION WORKERS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK, BRINGING THE SIX WEEK TOTAL TO MORE THAN 30-MILLION. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE FELL AROUND 300 POINTS AT THE OPENING BELL, BUT HAS RECOVERED SLIGHTLY

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE FALLING ON WALL STREET AS MORE THAN 3.8 MILLION WORKERS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK. MORE THAN 30-MILLION AMERICANS HAVE NOW LOST THEIR JOBS OVER THE PAST SIX WEEKS AMID THE ONGOING COVID-19 CRISIS. AT THE OPENING BELL, THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IS DOWN AROUND 300 POINTS WITH THE NASDAQ AND S&P 500 BOTH LOWER AS WELL.

STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS AIMED AT SLOWING DOWN THE CORONAVIRUS ARE SET TO EXPIRE TODAY IN SEVERAL STATES. SOME STATES LIKE ARIZONA AND LOUISIANA HAVE EXTENDED THEIR GUIDELINES. IN TEXAS AND NORTH DAKOTA, GOVERNORS HAVE INDICATED THEY PLAN TO LET THE RESTRICTIONS END. OTHER STATES WITH STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS ENDING TODAY INCLUDE ALABAMA, IDAHO AND WYOMING. THIS ALL COMES AS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S GUIDELINES ON SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE SET TO EXPIRE TODAY. PRESIDENT TRUMP TOLD REPORTERS YESTERDAY HE HAS NO PLANS TO EXTEND THE CDC’S RECOMMENDATIONS.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY HAS BUILT ITS TEN-MILLIONTH FACE SHIELD. FORD STARTED BUILDING FACE SHIELDS FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS ON MARCH 23RD. SINCE THAT DATE THE COMPANY HAS BUILT AND ASSEMBLED TEN-MILLION FACE SHIELDS, PRODUCING ONE EVERY TEN SECONDS AND HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO ALL 50 STATES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 8:45am:

WEEKLY JOBLESS NUMBERS ARE OUT AND THEY SHOW MORE AMERICANS THAN EXPECTED FILED FIRST TIME REQUESTS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT SAYS IT RECEIVED JUST OVER 3.8 MILLION NEW CLAIMS, PUSHING THE TOTAL OVER THE PAST SIX WEEKS TO MORE THAN 30 MILLION.

BOTH PRESIDENT TRUMP AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT DR. ANTHONY FAUCI ARE SOUNDING HOPEFUL ABOUT AN EXPERIMENTAL DRUG BEING TESTED ON CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS. NBC’S TOM COSTELLO HAS MORE DETAILS ON THE DRUG CALLED REMDESIVIR.

GOOGLE IS MAKING ITS VIDEO CONFERENCING TOOL FREE FOR THE PUBLIC. IT’S CALLED MEET AND WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE WITH AN EMAIL ADDRESS OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS. IT’S GOOGLE’S RESPONSE TO THE MASSIVE SPIKE IN TELECONFERENCING WITH SO MANY PEOPLE FORCED TO WORK FROM HOME BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. ZOOM HAS BEEN A POPULAR TOOL BUT HAS BEEN BESET WITH SECURITY ISSUES. REGARDLESS, THE COMPANY REPORTS 300 MILLION MEETING PARTICIPANTS A DAY.

ESPN HAS BEEN STARVED FOR CONTENT LATELY. SO THEY’RE GETTING CREATIVE…SATURDAY AT 11AM THOR BJORNSSON WILL ATTEMPT TO BREAK A WORLD RECORD BY DEADLIFTING 1,104 POUNDS. THOR PLAYED “THE MOUNTAIN” ON “GAME OF THRONES”, AND HE WON WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN IN 2018.

THE DEADLIFT CHALLENGE WILL KICK OFF AN 11-HOUR BLOCK OF PROGRAMMING CALLED “THE OCHO” . . . NAMED AFTER A FICTIONAL OFFSHOOT OF ESPN MADE FAMOUS IN THE MOVIE “DODGEBALL”. THE JOKE WAS THAT THE OCHO, OR ESPN8, WAS WHERE THEY JAMMED ALL THE OFFBEAT, LESS-POPULAR SPORTS LIKE DODGEBALL. THE DAY’S EVENTS WILL ALSO INCLUDE CHERRY PIT SPITTING, ROBOT FIGHTING, AND JAPANESE MONSTER WRESTLING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 7:10am:

REMEMBER THE CHICAGO MAN WHO THREW A PACKED HOUSE PARTY SATURDAY NIGHT THAT VIOLATED ILLINOIS’ STAY-AT-HOME ORDER, VIDEO FROM THE PARTY WENT VIRAL AND LEFT THE MAYOR AND THE GOVERNOR FURIOUS. WELL, JANEAL WRIGHT SPOKE TO STATE REPRESENTATIVE LASHAWN FORD ON FACEBOOK LIVE. LASHAWN FORD TOLD HIM HE THOUGHT IT WAS A BONEHEAD MOVE TO HAVE THAT PARTY. CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT CALLED THE PARTY “RECKLESS” AND “UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE” WHILE ENCOURAGING RESIDENTS TO ANONYMOUSLY SUBMIT TIPS ABOUT ANY HOUSE PARTIES AT CPDTIP.COM.

THE CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL IN COOK COUNTY IS ABOVE 1,600. THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER CONFIRMED YESTERDAY THAT 119 MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF COVID-19 RELATED CAUSES. THE COUNTY’S DEATH TOLL NOW STANDS AT 1,603. COOK COUNTY MAKES UP ABOUT 72% OF THE CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN ILLINOIS.

ILLINOIS STATE PARKS ARE REOPENING TOMORROW FOR LIMITED ACTIVITIES. ALL STATE PARKS, FISH AND WILDLIFE AREAS, RECREATIONAL AREAS, AND HISTORIC SITES WERE CLOSED MARCH 15TH IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. PARKS WILL BE OPEN FROM SUNUP TO SUNDOWN FOR WILDLIFE OBSERVATION, HIKING, AND BIKING WHILE MAINTAINING SOCIAL DISTANCING. FISHING IS ALLOWED FROM BANKS OR IN BOATS WITH ONLY TWO PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIVE IN THE SAME HOME. VISITOR CENTERS, CAMPGROUNDS, PLAYGROUNDS, SHELTER RESERVATIONS, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, BEACHES, SPECIAL EVENTS, AND CONCESSIONS WILL REMAIN CLOSED.

NBC’S POPULAR COMEDY “PARKS AND RECREATION” RETURNS TONIGHT FOR A ONE-TIME REUNION EPISODE. THE SERIES ENDED FIVE YEARS AGO BUT MOST OF THE ORIGINAL CAST IS BACK TO TAKE ON THE ERA OF SOCIAL DISTANCING. THE SHOW AIRING AT 8:30 P.M. EASTERN TIME WILL BENEFIT A CHARITY THAT PROVIDES FOOD FOR U.S. FOOD BANKS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/30/2020 6:10am:

ILLINOIS NOW HAS OVER 50,000 CASES OF COVID-19. THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS REPORTING MORE THAN 22,000 NEW CASES YESTERDAY. HEALTH CHIEF DOCTOR NGOZI EZIKE SAID YESTERDAY 92 MORE PEOPLE HAVE PASSED AWAY FROM THE VIRUS, CLOSE TO 1,300 ARE IN THE ICU.

NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL IS GIVING UP HIS SALARY TO HELP THE LEAGUE. GOODELL SIGNED A FIVE-YEAR DEAL IN 2017 THAT COULD PAY HIM UP TO 40-MILLION-DOLLARS A YEAR. DUE TO THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS, STAFF FURLOUGHS AND OTHER CUTS WERE ANNOUNCED TODAY – ALONG WITH GOODELL’S REQUEST TO THE LEAGUE’S COMPENSATION COMMITTEE TO REDUCE HIS OWN SALARY TO ZERO, EFFECTIVE LAST MONTH.

THE NATIONAL TOILET PAPER NIGHTMARE MIGHT BE DRAWING TO A CLOSE. A NEW REPORT FOUND THAT ON APRIL 12TH, 73% OF STORES HAD RUN OUT BY THE END OF THE DAY. BUT A WEEK LATER ON APRIL 19TH, IT WAS DOWN TO 48%.

MATTEL HAS A NEW LINE OF FISHER-PRICE ACTION FIGURES BASED ON FRONTLINE WORKERS, INCLUDING DOCTORS, NURSES, AND EMTS. THEY’RE CALLING IT THEIR “THANK YOU HEROES” LINE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 6:40pm:

A CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IS BEING CONFIRMED AT AN ILLINOIS TYSON FOODS PLANT. THE ROCK ISLAND COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT SAYS THE MEAT PROCESSING PLANT IN JOSLIN HAS REPORTED 92 CASES OF THE VIRUS WITH TWO DEATHS. THE DEPARTMENT SAYS WORKERS ARE PRONE TO INFECTION BECAUSE EMPLOYEES WORK IN VERY CLOSE PROXIMITY TO EACH OTHER.

ILLINOIS IS DEPLOYING 500 NURSES TO SENIOR LIVING FACILITIES STATEWIDE TO CONDUCT SWAB TEST TRAINING, WITH AN ADDED TEAM OF 200 TO BE DEPLOYED OVER THE COMING DAYS. OVER 4200 RESIDENTS OR EMPLOYEES AT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, AND OVER 600 HAVE DIED.

THE NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM IS CANCELING ALL 2020 INDUCTION EVENTS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS. ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO PUSH THE FESTIVITIES, WHICH WERE SCHEDULED FOR JULY, TO 2021. THIS YEAR’S CLASS – DEREK JETER, MARVIN MILLER, TED SIMMONS AND LARRY WALKER – WILL BE INDUCTED NEXT YEAR, ALONG WITH THE NEW CLASS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 5:30pm:

THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD WILL KEEP INTEREST RATES NEAR ZERO DURING THE PANDEMIC. IT ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE INTEREST RATE TARGET IS STAYING BETWEEN ZERO PERCENT AND .25 PERCENT. THE FED SAID IT WOULD HOLD STEADY UNTIL THE ECONOMY HAS WEATHERED THIS CRISIS AND IS ON A PATH TOWARD FULL EMPLOYMENT AND PRICE STABILITY.

NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL IS GIVING UP HIS SALARY TO HELP THE LEAGUE. GOODELL SIGNED A FIVE-YEAR DEAL IN 2017 THAT COULD PAY HIM UP TO 40-MILLION-DOLLARS A YEAR. DUE TO THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS, STAFF FURLOUGHS AND OTHER CUTS WERE ANNOUNCED TODAY – ALONG WITH GOODELL’S REQUEST TO THE LEAGUE’S COMPENSATION COMMITTEE TO REDUCE HIS OWN SALARY TO ZERO, EFFECTIVE LAST MONTH.

CHICAGO BIKESHARE COMPANY DIVVY IS EXTENDING ITS OFFER OF FREE RIDES FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND REDUCED RATES FOR ALL RESIDENTS UNTIL THE END OF MAY. OTHER DISCOUNTS INCLUDE ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS AT HALF OFF.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 3:50pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAID TODAY THAT THE STATE’S PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT SUPPLY IS CRUCIAL TO THE EVENTUAL REOPENING OF THE ECONOMY. HE SAID ILLINOIS HAS CONTINUED TO REQUEST ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES, INCLUDING MORE THAN 900,000 MEDICAL GOWNS FROM FEMA. ALMOST 20-MILLION PPE ITEMS HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED ACROSS ALL 102 COUNTIES. THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ILLINOIS IS NOW AT OVER 50,000.

STOCKS CLOSED HIGHER TODAY AS INVESTORS ONCE AGAIN GREW OPTIMISTIC ABOUT A POTENTIAL TREATMENT FOR COVID-19 IN THE DRUG REMDESIVIR. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW ROSE BY 532 POINTS, THE NASDAQ JUMPED 307 POINTS, AND THE S&P 500 WAS UP 76 POINTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 2:45pm:

ILLINOIS OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED A NEW MILESTONE IN THE PANDEMIC TODAY WITH THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES NOW OVER 50-THOUSAND IN THE STATE. 2,253 NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS WERE CONFIRMED SINCE YESTERDAY, WITH 92 MORE LIVES LOST, BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS TO 2,215. OVER 256,000 TESTS HAVE BEEN PERFORMED IN ILLINOIS.

DOCTOR ANTHONY FAUCI IS VERY HOPEFUL ABOUT THE DRUG REMDESIVIR IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19. WHEN COMPARED TO PATIENTS WHO RECEIVED A PLACEBO IN TESTS, THE DRUG WAS SHOWN TO SHORTEN THE DURATION OF THE VIRUS. FAUCI NOTED THAT IT IS A TREATMENT, AND NOT A PROSPECTIVE VACCINE.

IT COULD BE MONTHS BEFORE DISINFECTANT WIPES AND SPRAYS ARE IN STOCK AGAIN. PATRICK PENFIELD, PROFESSOR OF SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY, SAID THAT ONE ISSUE IS THE HIGH DEMAND, AND THE OTHER IS THAT MANY CHEMICALS WHICH ARE THE BASE INGREDIENTS FOR DISINFECTANTS COME FROM OVERSEAS, SPECIFICALLY CHINA. COVID-19 CLOSURES IN CHINA BLEW A HOLE IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 1:45pm:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL COULD BE ABOUT TWO MONTHS AWAY FROM STARTING ITS SEASON. USA TODAY REPORTS A NEW PLAN IS BEING EXPLORED THAT WOULD FEATURE AT LEAST 100 GAMES WITH ALL TEAMS PLAYING IN THEIR HOME PARK. THE SEASON WOULD START NO LATER THAN JULY 2ND AS THE LEAGUE WOULD BE SPLIT INTO THREE, TEN-TEAM DIVISIONS WITH GAMES ONLY AGAINST DIVISIONAL FOES UNTIL THE PLAYOFFS.

TWO HOUSING COMPANIES PLAN TO WORK WITH ANTI-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WORKERS TO HELP VICTIMS OF ABUSE IN CHICAGO FIND A PLACE TO STAY DURING THE PANDEMIC. AIRBNB AND HOTELTONIGHT WILL TEAM UP WITH THE ILLINOIS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE TO HELP VICTIMS GET AWAY FROM BAD SITUATIONS. RESERVATION COSTS WILL BE COVERED WITH MONEY FROM THE STATE.

JETBLUE IS ASKING THE U.S. TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT FOR PERMISSION TO SUSPEND FLIGHTS TO O’HARE AIRPORT, SAYING THE COVID-19 CRISIS HAS BROUGHT TRAVEL TO A NEAR-STANDSTILL. JETBLUE HAS ALREADY GONE FROM SIX FLIGHTS A DAY TO FOUR PER WEEK IN CHICAGO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 12:45pm:

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS IMPACTING HOME SALES. THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS REPORTED TODAY THAT PENDING HOME SALES DROPPED NEARLY 21% OVERALL IN MARCH, THE LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 2011. THE MIDWEST WAS DOWN 22%.

COSTCO WILL REQUIRE ALL SHOPPERS TO WEAR A FACE MASK STARTING MONDAY, MAY 4. ACCORDING TO A POST ON THEIR WEBSITE, EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE FOR PEOPLE UNABLE TO WEAR A MASK DUE TO A MEDICAL CONDITION AND FOR CHILDREN UNDER AGE TWO. THE COMPANY WILL ALSO RETURN TO NORMAL STORE HOURS STARTING ON MONDAY.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR FACE MASKS, THE LOUISVILLE SLUGGER COMPANY HAS SWITCHED FROM MAKING BASEBALL BATS TO ANTI-BACTERIAL MASKS, EVOLVING FROM THEIR PRODUCTION OF BIONIC GLOVES. THE MASKS ARE WATER REPELLANT AND ARE GOOD FOR UP TO TEN WASHES. THEY COME IN PACKS OF FOUR AND SOME OF THE PROFITS GO TO FEEDING AMERICA FOOD BANKS. FIND THEM AT BIONICGLOVES.COM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 11:45am:

CHICAGO BASED BOEING IS PLANNING TO SLASH PRODUCTION AND STAFF BY 10% AFTER MASSIVE FIRST-QUARTER LOSSES DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURER ALSO CONTINUES TO REEL FROM THE GROUNDING OF THE 737 MAX FLEET AFTER TWO DEADLY CRASHES LAST YEAR. THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED IT WOULD CUT ABOUT 16-THOUSAND POSITIONS, THROUGH A COMBINATION OF BUYOUTS, NATURAL ATTRITION AND INVOLUNTARY LAYOFFS.

STARTING TODAY, TIDE CLEANERS IS OFFERING FREE LAUNDRY SERVICE FOR CHICAGO AREA FRONT LINE RESPONDERS AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS. VISIT HOPE.TIDECLEANERS.COM TO FIND OUT MORE AND FIND THE ONE NEAREST YOU IF YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER IS A FRONT LINE WORKER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 10:45am:

18 WORKERS AT THE TOOTSIE ROLL FACTORY ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE CHICAGO BASED CANDY MAKER SAID THE EMPLOYEES AND OTHERS THEY CAME IN CONTACT WITH HAVE BEEN ASKED TO SELF QUARANTINE. TOOTSIE ROLL ALSO SAID THE PLANT ON SOUTH CICERO IS UNDERGOING A RIGOROUS SANITIZING PROCESS, FOLLOWING CDC PROTOCOLS. ABOUT 2,000 PEOPLE WORK AT THE PLANT.

RESEARCHERS FROM OXFORD UNIVERSITY ARE SEEING PROMISING RESULTS FROM A POTENTIAL COVID-19 VACCINE AFTER SIX MONKEYS DID NOT TEST POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS AFTER BEING EXPOSED. THE MONKEYS SUFFERED NO ILL EFFECTS AND REMAINED HEALTHY AT LEAST 28 DAYS LATER. THE TEAM WILL BEGIN HUMAN TRIALS LATER THIS WEEK, WHICH THEY HOPE TO FINISH BY SEPTEMBER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE OPENING HIGHER ON WALL STREET THANKS TO POSITIVE NEWS ABOUT A POSSIBLE TREATMENT FOR CORONAVIRUS. THE REMDESIVIR DRUG FROM GILEAD SCIENCES UNDERWENT A STUDY AND THE PRIMARY ENDPOINT WAS MET. GILEAD ALSO SAYS ITS OWN STUDY REVEALED PATIENTS TAKING THE DRUG WERE IMPROVING. AT THE OPENING BELL, THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE ROSE BY JUST UNDER 2%. THE NASDAQ JUMPED MORE THAN 2% WHILE THE S&P IS ALSO IN THE GREEN, UP 2%

OVER 15,000 NURSING HOMES IN THE U.S WILL BE GETTING PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FROM FEMA. THE PPE SHIPPED INCLUDES GLOVES, GOWNS, EYE PROTECTION AND MASKS, AND WILL BE SENT OUT STARTING THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY WITH SHIPMENTS ENDING BY THE MIDDLE OF JUNE. NURSING HOMES AROUND THE COUNTRY HAVE BEEN HIT HARD DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 8:50am:

A SECOND REPUBLICAN ILLINOIS LAWMAKER SAYS HE PLANS TO SUE OVER THE GOVERNOR’S EXTENSION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN CABELLO SAYS THE LAWSUIT HE PLANS TO FILE WILL APPLY TO ANYONE. A JUDGE GRANTED A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER TO THE EXTENSION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER AS PART OF A LAWSUIT FILED BY REPRESENTATIVE DARREN BAILEY. THAT RULING ONLY APPLIES TO BAILEY.

A WILL COUNTY TEEN IS DEAD AFTER CONTRACTING THE CORONAVIRUS. THE TEEN WAS LISTED AS FEMALE, BUT HER EXACT AGE WASN’T GIVEN. HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY SHE IS THE YOUNGEST OF THE 145 PEOPLE IN WILL COUNTY WHO HAVE DIED OF COVID-19. THE TEEN WAS PART OF THE LARGEST SINGLE-DAY DEATH TOLL FOR ILLINOIS AS STATE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY 144 MORE CORONAVIRUS DEATHS.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS MOVING TO PLAY BALL BY LATE JUNE. USA TODAY REPORTS MLB IS LOOKING INTO A NEW ALIGNMENT PLAN THAT WOULD FEATURE AT LEAST 100 GAMES, WITH ALL TEAMS PLAYING IN THEIR HOME BALLPARKS.

YOUTUBE IS BRINGING FILM FESTIVALS TO FILM BUFFS AT HOME. THIS WEEK, THE STREAMING PLATFORM ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR WE ARE ONE: A GLOBAL FILM FESTIVAL. MORE THAN 20 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS, INCLUDING CANNES AND SUNDANCE, WILL PUT TOGETHER A TEN-DAY LINEUP OF MOVIES. THE FREE VIRTUAL EVENT WILL STREAM FROM MAY 29TH TO JUNE 7TH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 7:10am:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER ALSO HAD STRONG WORDS FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE DARREN BAILEY TUESDAY, CALLING A LAWSUIT HE FILED AGAINST THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER A “POLITICAL STUNT.” A COURT RULED IN BAILEY’S FAVOR AFTER HE ARGUED THE GOVERNOR’S EXTENSION OF THE 30-DAY ORDER WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. WHILE THE RULING ONLY APPLIES TO BAILEY, THE GOVERNOR SAYS IT WILL BE CHALLENGED BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IT SETS A BAD PRECEDENT. (AUDIO)

COVID-19 HAS INFECTED 3 MILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE AND 1 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES. TOP DISEASE EXPERTS SAY A SECOND WAVE IS ALL BUT INEVITABLE THIS FALL OR WINTER, PARTICULARLY IF COUNTERMEASURES LIKE TESTING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING AREN’T IMPLEMENTED IN TIME.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT ANTHONY FAUCI SAYS THERE’S A CHANCE MILWAUKEE COULD STILL HOST AN IN-PERSON DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION THIS SUMMER. THE JOURNAL SENTINEL REPORTS THAT DR. FAUCI SAYS IT IS A POSSIBILITY, BUT THAT A LOT OF THINGS NEED TO HAPPEN BETWEEN NOW AND WHEN THE CONVENTION IS SET TO BEGIN THIS AUGUST. THERE’S BEEN TALK OF MOVING THE CONVENTION ONLINE.

JIMMY KIMMEL HAS BEEN PAYING TRIBUTE TO THOSE ON THE FRONTLINE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. THERE’S A GUY, TJ RILEY, WHO NOT ONLY WORKS IN THE HARD-HIT BRONX, N.Y. HOSPITAL AS AN ER NURSE, BUT ALSO HAD COVID-19. LISTEN WHEN KIMMEL SURPRISED HIM, DURING A VIDEO CHAT, WITH HIS FAVORITE MUSICIAN, DAVE GROHL. KIMMEL ALSO GAVE HIM TEN GRAND.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/29/2020 6:10am:

A SIX-YEAR-OLD WITH SPINA BIFIDA WAS INSPIRED BY THE WORLD WAR TWO VET WHO WALKED FOR CHARITY CAPTAIN TOM WHO RAISED A LOT OF MONEY. SO FRANK MILLS STARTED WALKING 30 FEET A DAY, HOPING TO RAISE ABOUT $100. AND LAST WE CHECKED, HE’D RAISED OVER 300 GRAND ON JUSTGIVING.COM.

COVID-19 DEATHS IN ILLINOIS HAVE REACHED A DAILY HIGH. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI EZIKE ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT 144 MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM THE VIRUS. CASES OF CORONAVIRUS NOW TOTAL MORE THAN 48,000 IN ILLINOIS.

A MODIFIED EXECUTIVE ORDER FROM GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER IS ALLOWING MEDICAL FACILITIES TO PERFORM ELECTIVE PROCEDURES. THE ORDER INCLUDES MRIS THAT COULD BE USED TO DETERMINE IF LARGER OPERATIONS ARE NEEDED. SPECIAL PROTOCOLS ARE IN PLACE TO ENSURE THAT COVID-19 ISN’T TRANSMITTED.

THE BEER INDUSTRY IS SCRAMBLING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH ONE MILLION VIRTUALLY UNTOUCHED KEGS THAT ARE ON THE VERGE OF GOING TO WASTE AS SOCIAL GATHERINGS GRADUALLY BECOME A DISTANT MEMORY. DISTRIBUTORS SAY THAT THE LACK OF THE GAMES, CONCERTS, AND OTHER EVENTS NOT BEING HELD HAS PUT THEM IN A MAJOR BIND…..THE KEGS THAT COULD HAVE GENERATED $1 BILLION IN SALES ARE STEADILY REACHING THEIR EXPIRATION DATE. HOWEVER, ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS BAN THEM FROM SIMPLY DUMPING IT ALL DOWN THE DRAIN SO THEY’RE BEING FORCED TO EXPLORE OTHER SOLUTIONS. ONE WHOLESALER MAY ADD A CHEMICAL TO ITS BEER IN ORDER TO LOWER ITS PH TO A LEVEL WHERE IT CAN SIMPLY POUR IT INTO THE WATER SUPPLY BUT OTHERS ARE ATTEMPTING TO SALVAGE THEIR LOSSES, AS BOSTON BEER COMPANY WILL TRY TO TURN ITS SUPPLY OF STALE SAM ADAMS INTO ETHANOL WHILE ANOTHER BREWERY IS PLANNING ON CONDENSING ALCOHOL TO PRODUCE HAND SANITIZER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 6:40pm:

THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES AT A CICERO NURSING HOME ROSE TODAY, WITH OFFICIALS REPORTING EIGHT RESIDENTS AND ONE WORKER HAVE DIED FROM THE VIRUS. AT LEAST 163 RESIDENTS AT CITY VIEW MULTICARE CENTER HAVE TESTED POSTIVE FOR COVID-19. 41 WORKERS HAVE ALSO TESTED POSITIVE, WITH TEST RESULTS PENDING FOR 39 OTHER WORKERS.

WITH SO MANY PEOPLE SHELTERING AT HOME, SNACK SALES ARE REPORTEDLY UP AT PEPSICO. THE COMPANY HAS SEEN SALES OF THEIR PRODUCTS LIKE CHEETOS AND LAY’S POTATO CHIPS GO WAY UP, AND WITH MORE PEOPLE EATING BREAKFAST AT HOME, SALES OF OATMEAL AND PANCAKE MIXES ARE ALSO UP.

UNIVERSAL PICTURES’ MOVIE TROLLS WORLD TOUR IS BREAKING DIGITAL RECORDS. UNIVERSAL DECIDED TO RELEASE THE MOVIE FOR DIGITAL RENTAL RATHER THAN POSTPONE IT AFTER COVID-19 CLOSED THEATERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND IT BROUGHT IN ALMOST 100-MILLION DOLLARS IN THREE WEEKS – MORE THAN THE ORIGINAL FILM, WHICH HAD A FIVE-MONTH RUN IN THEATERS. THIS HAS CAUSED EXECUTIVES TO RECONSIDER RELEASING THEIR MOVIES IN THEATERS AFTER THE PANDEMIC AND MORE MOVIE STUDIOS MIGHT FOLLOW.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 5:30pm:

MORE THAN ONE MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE U.S., WITH THE DEATH TOLL OVER 58,000. THERE WERE OVER 2,000 NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS REPORTED IN THE PAST DAY IN ILLINOIS, WITH 144 FATALITIES, THE HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY NUMBER SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN. STATEWIDE, THERE ARE OVER 48,000 CASES IN 96 OF ILLINOIS’ 102 COUNTIES.

GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER CALLED THE BLOCKING OF A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER EXTENSION A “CHEAP POLITICAL STUNT.” STATE REPRESENTATIVE DARREN BAILEY FILED SUIT IN CLAY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT SAYING THAT THE GOVERNOR OVERSTEPPED HIS AUTHORITY. IN A BRIEFING TODAY, PRITZKER SAID BAILEY’S DISTRICT IS HOME TO THE HIGHEST COUNTY COVID-19 DEATH RATE IN THE STATE, REEMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF EXTENDING THE ORDER AMID THE PANDEMIC AND THAT HE WILL APPEAL.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE IS TAKING HEAT FOR NOT WEARING A FACE MASK WHILE VISITING THE MAYO CLINIC TODAY. THE CLINIC ISSUED GUIDELINES EARLIER THIS MONTH THAT ALL PATIENTS AND VISITORS ARE REQUIRED TO COVER THEIR FACE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 3:50pm:

STOCKS ARE FINISHING SLIGHTLY DOWN ON WALL STREET AS INVESTORS TRY TO DECIDE WHICH WAY TO GO AS SOME STATES REOPEN, WHILE SOME HEALTH OFFICIALS WARN THAT OPENING TOO EARLY COULD LEAD TO MORE PROBLEMS. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW WAS DOWN 32 POINTS, THE S&P 500 LOST 15 POINTS AND THE NASDAQ GAVE UP 122 POINTS.

A CONNECTICUT MAN IS AMONG A GROUP OF TOURISTS WHO ARE EMERGING FROM A CAVE IN INDIA AFTER A MONTH TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. MICHAEL FALCONE HAD BEEN STAYING IN NEPAL WITH OTHER TOURISTS WHEN THE PANDEMIC STRUCK. FALCONE TESTED NEGATIVE FOR THE VIRUS.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED THE LAUNCH OF STAY HOME. HIT PLAY., A WEEKLY VIDEO SERIES THAT WILL BRING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING FROM CHICAGO INSTITUTIONS TO STUDENTS. VIEWERS WILL TAKE VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS TO PLACES LIKE THE SHEDD AQUARIUM, THE FIELD MUSEUM, AND MORE. THE SERIES PREMIERES TOMORROW ON WWW.HITPLAYCHICAGO.ORG.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 2:50pm:

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 2,219 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS, WITH 144 MORE LIVES LOST. THERE ARE NOW 48,102 CASES IN THE STATE. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS DUE TO THE VIRUS IS NOW OVER 2000.

GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAID THAT WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS PROMISED ON A PHONE CALL TODAY TO PROVIDE 20,000 TESTING SWABS PER DAY IN MAY. PRITZKER SAYS RAMPING UP TESTING IS ONE OF THE KEYS TO REOPENING THE STATE.

MORE AIRLINES ARE REQUIRING WEARING MASKS ONBOARD. JET BLUE WAS THE FIRST AIRLINE TO REQUIRE PASSENGERS TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS ON THEIR PLANES, AND NOW AMERICAN AIRLINES ANNOUNCED THAT FLIGHT ATTENDANTS WOULD BE REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS STARTING MAY 1. SARAH NELSON, PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, SAID THAT COVID-19 SAFETY POLICIES SHOULD BE CONSISTENT ON ALL AIRLINES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 1:45pm:

THE NUMBER OF KNOWN CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE U.S. HAS NOW SURPASSED ONE MILLION, ACCORDING TO JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY. ON APRIL 10, THAT NUMBER WAS 500,000.

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS EXPECTED TO SIGN AN ORDER UNDER THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT TODAY DECLARING MEAT PROCESSING PLANTS AS PART OF CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE U.S. AND MANDATING THAT THEY REMAIN OPEN. AFTER CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS AT PLANTS OWNED BY TYSON AND OTHER MAJOR PRODUCERS, SHUTDOWNS WERE ON TRACK TO REDUCE PROCESSING BY AS MUCH AS 80 PERCENT. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT WILL WORK WITH THE ADMINISTRATION TO ISSUE EMPLOYEE SAFETY GUIDANCE.

RESEARCHERS FROM OXFORD UNIVERSITY ARE SEEING PROMISING RESULTS FROM A POTENTIAL COVID-19 VACCINE. SIX MONKEYS WERE GIVEN THE VACCINE AND EXPOSED TO THE CORONAVIRUS, BUT REMAINED HEALTHY AT LEAST 28 DAYS LATER AND DID NOT TEST POSITIVE. THE TEAM WILL BEGIN HUMAN TRIALS LATER THIS WEEK, WHICH THEY HOPE TO FINISH BY SEPTEMBER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 12:45pm:

A GROUP REPRESENTING CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATORS IS DEMANDING MORE SUPPORT FROM THE DISTRICT DURING THE COVID-19 CLOSURES. THEY ARE REQUESTING PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR ALL SCHOOL STAFF MEMBERS STILL ON SITE, AS WELL AS PAID SECURITY, TECH SUPPORT AND OTHER PERSONNEL TO HELP WITH DISTRIBUTION OF COMPUTERS AND MEAL HANDOUTS.

TWO MORE DETAINEES AT THE COOK COUNTY JUVENILE TEMPORARY DETENTION CENTER TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. OVERALL, FIVE DETAINEES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS BUT WERE NOT ADMITTED INTO GENERAL POPULATION. EIGHT EMPLOYEES HAVE ALSO TESTED POSITIVE.

DOCTOR ANTHONY FAUCI, THE TOP INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR IN THE U.S., SAID TODAY THAT “IT IS INEVITABLE THAT WE WILL HAVE A RETURN OF THE VIRUS.” HE NOTED THAT CASES ARE STARTING TO APPEAR IN ALL PARTS OF THE GLOBE, INCLUDING NEW OUTBREAKS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 11:45am:

WALGREENS IS EXPANDING IT’S DRIVE-THRU TESTING FOR COVID-19. WALGREENS SAID IT’S WORKING WITH GOVERNMENT AND HEALTHY LEADERS TO FOCUS ON UNDER-SERVED COMMUNITIES. THE GOAL IS TO TEST 50,000 PEOPLE A DAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. CVS ALSO SAID IT WOULD OFFER DRIVE-THRU TESTING AT UP TO 1,000 LOCATIONS SOON. IT HOPES TO TEST 1.5 MILLION PEOPLE IN A MONTH.

MANY STATES ARE BEGINNING TO REOPEN, BUT HOW AGGRESSIVE THEY’RE BEING DEPENDS ON EACH INDIVIDUAL STATE. RESTAURANTS IN EIGHT STATES WILL BE ALLOWED TO SERVE CUSTOMERS ON-SITE OVER THE NEXT WEEK. MEANTIME, ALL BUSINESSES IN MISSOURI WILL HAVE STATE APPROVAL TO REOPEN NEXT MONDAY.

FILMS THAT WERE GOING TO PREMIERE AT THIS YEAR’S SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FESTIVAL ARE NOW ON AMAZON PRIME. MORE THAN A DOZEN FILMS ARE BEING STREAMED AFTER THE FESTIVAL WAS CANCELED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. FILMMAKERS WHO AGREED TO HAVE THEIR MOVIES INCLUDED IN THE VIRTUAL FILM FESTIVAL ARE BEING PAID A SCREENING FEE FOR STREAMING THEIR CREATIONS OVER THE TEN-DAY PERIOD.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 10:45am:

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE STEPPING IN TO HELP A DEADLY COVID-19 OUTBREAK AT A NURSING HOME IN CICERO. THE TOWN OF CICERO HAD ISSUED MULTIPLE CITATIONS AGAINST CITY VIEW MULTICARE CENTER, WHERE THERE HAVE BEEN AT LEAST FIVE KNOWN DEATHS AND FAR MORE CASES THAN INITIALLY REPORTED. THE FACILITY HAS 163 RESIDENTS WHO’VE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 WHO ARE NOW ISOLATED ON SEPARATE FLOORS OF THE FACILITY. SO FAR, AT LEAST 30 CITY VIEW EMPLOYEES HAVE ALSO TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS.

QUEST DIAGNOSTICS WANTS TO GIVE AMERICANS THE OPTION FOR TESTING THEMSELVES TO SEE IF THEY HAD THE CORONAVIRUS. THE TEST WOULD CHECK FOR ANTIBODIES THAT WERE GENERATED TO FIGHT THE INFECTION. THE TEST COSTS ABOUT 120-DOLLARS. TO GET ONE, YOU MUST FIRST PASS A QUEST SCREENING TO SEE IF THE TEST IS RIGHT FOR YOU. IF IT IS, YOU’LL GO TO ONE OF THEIR LABS SO THEY CAN TAKE A BLOOD SAMPLE. WITHIN A DAY OR TWO THE RESULTS SHOULD BE RELEASED. IT’S UNKNOWN IF HAVING THE ANTIBODIES MEANS YOU ARE IMMUNE TO COVID-19.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 9:45am:

AMAZON IS DEFENDING ITS CORONAVIRUS SAFETY EFFORTS, DESPITE PROTESTS FROM WAREHOUSE WORKERS. ON SUNDAY, MORE THAN 50 EMPLOYEES WALKED OUT OF A WAREHOUSE AND MORE THAN 500 AMAZON TECHNOLOGY EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATED IN A ‘SICK OUT’ LAST FRIDAY. AN AMAZON SPOKESWOMAN SAYS THE COMPANY HAS BEEN WORKING CLOSELY WITH HEALTH EXPERTS.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT BELIEVES THE CUBS AND WHITE SOX COULD PLAY HOME GAMES THIS YEAR. HOWEVER, THE MAYOR SAYS THE GAMES WILL LIKELY BE PLAYED WITHOUT FANS. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS DETERMINED TO PLAY AT LEAST SOME OF THE REGULAR SEASON AFTER SUSPENDING SPRING TRAINING LAST MONTH AND POSTPONING THE START OF THE SEASON BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. LIGHTFOOT SAYS A DECISION ON WHETHER PROFESSIONAL SPORTS WILL RETURN WILL BE MADE AT THE MAJOR-LEAGUE LEVEL.

HOT DOG MAKER NATHAN’S FAMOUS IS THE LATEST COMPANY TO RETURN A PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN. THE NEW YORK-BASED COMPANY RECEIVED A LOAN OF ABOUT ONE-POINT-TWO-MILLION-DOLLARS THROUGH THE POPULAR SMALL BUSINESS AID PROGRAM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 8:45am:

CHICAGO IS OFFERING AN APP TO SUPPORT RESIDENTS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THE LAUNCH OF THE CHI COVID COACH APP. (AUDIO) THE APP ALLOWS THE CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH LOCAL RESIDENTS WHO MAY BE COVID-19 POSITIVE OR EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS. IT ALSO GIVES CHICAGOANS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRE-REGISTER FOR A CORONAVIRUS VACCINE ONCE IT BECOMES AVAILABLE. RESIDENTS CAN SIGN UP FOR THE APP ON THE CITY’S WEBSITE.

THE U.S. IS LOOKING AT 74,000 DEATHS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS BY AUGUST. THE UPDATED PROJECTION BY A LEADING MODEL IS ADJUSTED BECAUSE OF LONGER PEAKS IN SOME STATES AND GRADUAL RELAXING OF SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS. STATES INCLUDING GEORGIA, MISSOURI, TEXAS, MICHIGAN, HAWAII, AND ALASKA ARE BEGINNING TO REOPEN. THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON’S MODEL FACTORS THAT INTO THE LATEST PROJECTION. THE TEAM THAT OVERSEES THE MODEL SAYS GEORGIA, WHERE SMALL BUSINESSES STARTED REOPENING FRIDAY AND CHURCHES WELCOMED WORSHIPERS SUNDAY, SHOULDN’T BEGIN REOPENING UNTIL LATE JUNE. U.S. DEATHS TOTAL MORE THAN 56,000.

THE IRS WEBSITE’S ‘GET MY PAYMENT’ TOOL IS WORKING. THE WEBSITE MADE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES OVER THE WEEKEND. THE IRS DIDN’T GIVE SPECIFICS, BUT SAYS IT SHOULD BE EASIER TO GET THE STATUS OF A STIMULUS PAYMENT AND ADD DIRECT DEPOSIT INFORMATION.

A NORTH CAROLINA FAMILY’S DOG IS THE FIRST CANINE KNOWN TO TEST POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. THE MOTHER, HEATHER MCLEAN, SAYS THE FAMILY PARTOOK IN A STUDY AT DUKE MEDICAL CENTER WHERE SHE, HER HUSBAND, SON AND EVEN THEIR PUG NAMED WINSTON, TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS. THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR IN THE STUDY BELIEVES THIS IS THE FIRST KNOWN POSITIVE CASE IN THE U.S. THE FAMILY’S OTHER PETS, ANOTHER DOG, A CAT, AND A LIZARD ALL GOT CLEAN BILLS OF HEALTH.

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS WERE GOING TO KICK OFF A 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR, REJOIN WITH MICHAEL MCDONALD, AND GET INDUCTED INTO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME THIS SATURDAY. BUT THOSE PLANS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19. PAT SIMMONS WANTED TO DO SOMETHING IN THE MEANTIME, SO HE GOT TOGETHER WITH BANDMATES TOM JOHNSTON, JOHN MCFEE, AND JOHN COWAN, ALL ISOLATED AT THEIR OWN HOMES, AND PERFORM THEIR CLASSIC HIT, “BLACK WATER”.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 7:10am:

THE OWNER OF A CHICAGO HOME THAT WAS THE SITE OF A CROWDED HOUSE PARTY OVER THE WEEKEND IS IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW. MAYOR LIGHTFOOT BELIEVES EVERYONE INVOLVED BEARS SOME LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY. POLICE HAVE CITED THE NORTHWEST SIDE HOMEOWNER WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT. VIDEO WAS POSTED TO FACEBOOK LIVE SATURDAY NIGHT SHOWING PARTY-GOERS PACKED SHOULDER TO SHOULDER IN VIOLATION OF SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES. THE FOOTAGE HAS SINCE GONE VIRAL. THE PARTY WAS REPORTEDLY HOSTED BY THE PROPERTY OWNER’S ADULT SON.

THOUSANDS OF NURSING HOME WORKERS IN ILLINOIS WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR SAFETY ON THE JOB SAY THEY WILL GO ON STRIKE ON MAY 8. NURSING HOMES HAVE BEEN A GLARING HOTSPOT FOR COVID-19 OUTBREAKS AROUND THE STATE. NOW 4,000 EMPLOYEES WHO STAFF THEM AROUND THE CLOCK SAY THEY’RE READY TO WALK OUT. MOST OF THESE PEOPLE ON THE FRONTLINES OF THE COVID-19 MAKE BETWEEN MINIMUM WAGE AND $14 PER HOUR. THEY WANT BETTER PAY AND GUARANTEED ACCESS TO PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. THE WORKERS SAID THEY ARE DEDICATED TO THEIR PATIENTS, BUT THEY NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES AS WELL.

THE EL MILAGRO TORTILLA PLANT ON CHICAGO’S LOWER WEST SIDE IS CLOSED FOR TWO WEEKS AFTER A WORKER WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS DIED. THE EMPLOYEE HASN’T BEEN AT WORK SINCE APRIL 9TH. TWO OTHER WORKERS HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19. EL MILAGRO HAS HIRED AN OUTSIDE COMPANY TO SANITIZE AND DEEP CLEAN THE FACILITY. EMPLOYEES SCHEDULED TO WORK DURING THE CLOSURE WILL CONTINUE TO BE PAID FOR 40 HOURS A WEEK.

A BID OF JUST $50 COULD SCORE YOU A RECORDING SESSION WITH STING OR A (VIRTUAL) CHAT OVER COFFEE WITH HILLARY CLINTON. OR YOU COULD GET A ZOOM-POWERED ACTING LESSON FROM STAR TREK’S PATRICK STEWART — AND IT’S ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE. THOSE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE ONLINE EXPERIENCES UP FOR GRABS IN AN AUCTION STAGED BY SOTHEBY’S TO BENEFIT THE INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE’S CORONAVIRUS PROGRAM. THE AUCTION WILL BE HELD ONLINE FROM MAY 1 TO 8, WITH THE MINIMUM BID OF $50. OTHER EXPERIENCES ON THE BLOCK INCLUDE CHATS WITH SASHA BARON COHEN OR APOLLO 9 ASTRONAUT RUSSELL SCHWEICKART.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/28/2020 6:10am:

IT HAPPENS LIVE, STARTING FRIDAY AT 7:00 P.M., FEATURING, QUOTE, “OVER 200 GLOBAL LEADERS, ARTISTS, ENTERTAINERS, AND COMMUNITY LEADERS.” CELEBRITIES INCLUDING OPRAH, JULIA ROBERTS, ROB LOWE, JENNIFER GARNER, QUINCY JONES, AND DEEPAK CHOPRA WILL PARTICIPATE IN “THE CALL TO UNITE”, A 24-HOUR LIVESTREAM THIS WEEKEND WHERE THEY’LL OFFER LESSONS, PERFORMANCES, AND CONVERSATIONS. “THE CALL TO UNITE” . .WILL ALSO BE TAKING DONATIONS FOR THE COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT. OTHER FAMOUS NAMES INVOLVED INCLUDE COMMON, ALANIS MORISSETTE, JOSH GROBAN, NAOMI CAMPBELL, PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH, AND MARIE KONDO.

AFTER A CROWDED HOUSE PARTY MADE HEADLINES YESTERDAY IN CHICAGO, NOW ANOTHER PUBLIC GATHERING WAS SEEN ON VIDEO. A VIDEO OF AN ORTHODOX JEWISH WEDDING CEREMONY IN THE CITY’S WEST RIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD IS MAKING PEOPLE MAD. THE WEDDING TOOK PLACE ON APRIL 23 AND WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE FAMILY AND A FEW CLOSE FRIENDS IN A BACKYARD. HOWEVER, VIDEO OUTSIDE THE HOME ON THE 6800 BLOCK OF NORTH FRANCISCO AVENUE SHOWS A LARGER GATHERING OF PEOPLE. THE VIDEO WAS TAKEN BY A RABBI THAT LIVES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. HE POSTED THE VIDEO BUT TOOK IT DOWN AFTER TOO MANY NEGATIVE COMMENTS. HE SAID WHAT THE VIDEO DOESN’T SHOW IS THAT PEOPLE WERE ACTUALLY SOCIAL DISTANCING, AND MOST WERE WEARING MASKS. HE DID ADMIT THAT THE CROWD GOT GET A LITTLE LARGE AND WAS BROKEN UP ABOUT 15 MINUTES LATER. ALD. DEBRA SILVERSTEIN (50TH WARD) TOLD BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO SHE WAS UPSET AFTER THE VIDEO WAS POSTED BECAUSE OF ALL THE CASES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO REPORTED EARLIER IN APRIL THAT WEST RIDGE HAD THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS.

AFTER MORE THAN A MONTH OF STRICT LOCKDOWN, NEW ZEALAND SAYS IT’S ELIMINATED THE CORONAVIRUS. THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH SAYS NEW ZEALAND REPORTED JUST ONE NEW CASE MONDAY, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO FEWER THAN 15-HUNDRED WITH 19 DEATHS IN THE NATION OF FOUR-POINT-NINE MILLION.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 6:40pm:

ILLINOIS HAS PROCESSED OVER 800,000 UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC. THAT’S ABOUT TEN TIMES THE NUMBER OF CLAIMS IT DID THIS TIME LAST YEAR. GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAID TODAY THAT MORE PEOPLE ARE BEING TRAINED TO TAKE CALLS, AS PHONE LINES TO UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICES ARE OVERWHELMED.

CVS AND WALGREENS ARE EXPANDING TESTING FOR CORONAVIRUS. WALGREENS’ GOAL IS TO HAVE 23 SITES IN 15 STATES WITHIN A FEW DAYS, AND TO TEST 50,000 PEOPLE WEEKLY NATIONWIDE. CVS IS AIMING FOR MORE THAN A MILLION A MONTH, AND WILL OFFER SELF-SWAB TESTS AT UP TO ONE-THOUSAND LOCATIONS BY THE END OF MAY.

IF YOU’VE BEEN ENJOYING FREE SHOWS ON HBO, YOU’VE ONLY GOT A FEW DAYS LEFT TO FINISH UP YOUR BINGE WATCHING. THE PREMIUM CABLE CHANNEL’S FREE STREAMING GOES BACK BEHIND THE PAYWALL ON THURSDAY AFTER A FREE MONTH OF ACCESS. HBO UNLOCKED FULL SEASONS OF NINE ORIGINAL SERIES, INCLUDING “THE SOPRANOS” ON APRIL THIRD AS THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN KEPT AMERICANS HOME-BOUND.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 5:30pm:

IN TODAY’S WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING, PRESIDENT TRUMP UNVEILED A BLUEPRINT FOR CORONAVIRUS TESTING ACROSS THE U.S. EXECUTIVES OF COMPANIES INCLUDING WALMART, CVS, WALGREENS, RITE AID, QUEST DIAGNOSTICS AND U.S. COTTON JOINED THE BRIEFING, REPORTING PROGRESS IN DEVELOPING TESTS AND ESTABLISHING DRIVE-UP TESTING SITES.

THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SAID TODAY THAT “THE PANDEMIC IS FAR FROM OVER.” SPEAKING TODAY IN GENEVA, TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS SAID THE W-H-O IS WATCHING SOME TROUBLING SIGNS OUT OF PLACES INCLUDING AFRICA AND EASTERN EUROPE. THE NUMBER OF CASES WORLDWIDE IS NOW OVER THREE MILLION.

THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS ARE RETURNING THE FOUR-POINT-SIX MILLION DOLLAR LOAN THEY RECEIVED THROUGH THE FEDERAL PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. THE LAKERS QUALIFIED FOR THE LOAN AS PART OF THE CARES ACT, BUT DECIDED TO RETURN THE FUNDS ONCE THEY BECAME AWARE THE PROGRAM, MEANT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, HAD RUN DRY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 3:50pm:

STOCKS ARE HIGHER TO START THE WEEK ON WALL STREET, WITH THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE REPORTING ITS FOURTH STRAIGHT DAY OF GAINS. THE DOW GAINED 358 POINTS, THE S&P 500 ROSE 41 POINTS AND THE NASDAQ ADDED 95 POINTS.

AFTER CANCELING THE DAILY WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BRIEFING, PRESS SECRETARY KAYLEIGH MCENANY NOW SAYS PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL BRIEF THE NATION THIS EVENING, ANNOUNCING ADDITIONAL TESTING GUIDANCE AND MORE. THE BRIEFING IS SCHEDULED FOR 4 P.M. CENTRAL TIME.

IT APPEARS THAT DISNEY PARKS WILL BE CLOSED FOR A LOT LONGER. THE LA TIMES REPORTS THAT UBS, A SWISS BANK, HAS INFORMED ITS CLIENTS THAT DISNEY WILL LIKELY WAIT UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2021 TO REOPEN THE PARKS IN NORTH AMERICA. DISNEY HAS NOT COMMENTED ABOUT POSSIBLE REOPENING DATES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 2:45pm:

IN TODAY’S BRIEFING, ILLINOIS OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 1,980 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE STATE, AND 50 MORE DEATHS. TO DATE, THERE ARE 45,883 CONFIRMED CASES AND 1,983 LIVES LOST DUE TO COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS.

THE CDC HAS ADDED SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19: CHILLS, REPEATED SHAKING WITH CHILLS, MUSCLE PAIN, HEADACHE, SORE THROAT, AND NEW LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL APPEARING 2-14 DAYS AFTER EXPOSURE TO THE VIRUS. FEVER, COUGH AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH WERE PREVIOUSLY LISTED AS KNOWN SYMPTOMS.

A FEDERAL JUDGE IS ORDERING COOK COUNTY JAIL OFFICIALS TO IMPLEMENT MORE SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES TO BATTLE THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE ACTION INCLUDES PUTTING AN END TO DOUBLE-INMATE CELLS AND GROUP HOUSING. SHERIFF TOM DART’S OFFICE HAS UNTIL FRIDAY TO PUT THE PROCEDURES INTO ACTION. SIX DETAINEES HAVE DIED AFTER CONTRACTING COVID-19 AT THE JAIL AND ANOTHER 229 INMATES CURRENTLY HAVE THE VIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 1:45pm:

THE TECHNICAL LEAD FOR THE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE WITHIN THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, DR. MARIA VAN KERKHOVE, SAID THERE ISN’T ENOUGH RESEARCH YET TO DETERMINE IF SOMEONE IS IMMUNE TO COVID-19 ONCE THEY RECOVER FROM THE VIRUS. VAN KERKHOVE SAID AT THE PRESENT TIME, IT CAN’T BE CONFIRMED THAT AN ANTIBODY RESPONSE MEANS THAT SOMEONE IS IMMUNE, ALTHOUGH OFFICIALS EXPECT THAT PEOPLE INFECTED WITH COVID-19 WILL HAVE SOME LEVEL OF PROTECTION.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT’S OFFICE PLANS TO RELEASE A NEW MOBILE APP CREATED TO OFFER SUPPORT TO CHICAGOANS DURING THE PANDEMIC. IT’S CALLED CHI-COVID-COACH AND IT WILL ALLOW CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH OFFICIALS TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH LOCALS WHO MAY BE COVID-19 POSITIVE OR WITH SYMPTOMS AND PROVIDE THEM WITH INFORMATION. THE FREE APP WILL ALSO OFFER CHICAGOANS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REGISTER FOR THE VACCINE ONCE ITS AVAILABLE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 12:45pm:

THE U.S. IS APPROACHING TWO MORE MILESTONES IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE NUMBER OF CASES IN THE U.S. IS NEARING ONE-MILLION, AND THE DEATH RATE MAY SOON PASS THE NUMBER OF U.S. FATALITIES IN THE VIETNAM WAR. THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 3 MILLION CASES WORLDWIDE.

THE WHITE HOUSE WILL NOT BE CONDUCTING A BRIEFING OF THE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE TODAY. PRESIDENT TRUMP IS EXPECTED TO MAKE REMARKS DURING AN EARLIER EVENT WITH INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES.

TYSON FOODS SENT OUT A WARNING ABOUT THE NATION’S FOOD SUPPLY, PUTTING A FULL PAGE AD IN THE NEW YORK TIMES YESTERDAY TO WARN OF A SHORTAGE OF THE COMPANY’S PORK, BEEF, AND CHICKEN AS PLANTS CLOSE. THE CLOSURES ARE DUE TO EMPLOYEES TESTING POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 11:45am:

A NEW COVID-19 TESTING SITE IS OPEN ON CHICAGO’S WEST SIDE. THE AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOOD IS ONE OF THE MOST HARD-HIT COMMUNITIES BY THE NUMBER OF POSITIVE CASES OF CORONAVIRUS AND FATAL DEATHS DUE TO THE VIRUS. THE FACILITY IS LOCATED AT LORETTO HOSPITAL AND IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS WELL AS HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS. THE TESTING WILL BRING ABOUT RESULTS IN ABOUT 72 HOURS. THE EXAM IS FREE AND BOTH DRIVE-UP AND WALK-IN TESTING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE.

THE CDC IS ADDING SIX POSSIBLE NEW SYMPTOMS TO ITS LIST OF COVID-19 INDICATORS. IT SAYS CHILLS, REPEATED SHAKING WITH CHILLS, SORE THROAT, MUSCLE PAIN, HEADACHES AND A LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL ARE POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS. CDC GUIDELINES ORIGINALLY TOLD DOCTORS AND PATIENTS TO LOOK FOR FEVER, COUGH AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 10:45am:

THERE’S A PROJECTION THAT SAYS ILLINOIS COULD RELAX RESTRICTIONS IN ABOUT 3 WEEKS. RESEARCH FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SAID THAT COULD HAPPEN ON MAY 19TH. HOWEVER IT DEPENDS ON HOW WELL THE STATE PERFORMS AT WIDESPREAD TESTING, CONTACT TRACING, ISOLATING CASES AND LIMITING LARGE GATHERING. THE RESEARCH SAYS THE DATE WILL LIKELY CHANGE AS MORE INFORMATION COMES IN. SOME OTHER STATES, IT SHOWS, SHOULD NOT EASE RESTRICTIONS UNTIL LATE JUNE OR JULY.

TYSON FOODS IS OUT WITH A DIRE WARNING: THE NATION’S FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN IS BREAKING. THE MEAT PROCESSOR TOOK OUT A FULL PAGE AD IN THE NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY FORECASTING A SHORTAGE OF THE COMPANY’S PORK, BEEF AND CHICKEN AS PLANTS CLOSE DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE OPENING HIGHER ON WALL STREET ON HOPES THE GLOBAL ECONOMY WILL START TO REOPEN AFTER THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. INVESTORS ARE ALSO ANTICIPATING A WAVE OF EARNINGS REPORTS THIS WEEK. AT THE OPENING BELL, THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE, NASDAQ AND S&P 500 ARE ALL UP ABOUT A HALF PERCENT IN EARLY TRADING.

BUSINESSES IN MORE THAN A HALF-DOZEN STATES ARE THROWING OPEN THEIR DOORS TODAY. IN GEORGIA, RESTAURANTS CLOSED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC HAVE BEEN CLEARED FOR IN-PERSON DINING WITH A LAUNDRY LIST OF GUIDELINES. IN MINNESOTA, INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING, AND OFFICE-BASED BUSINESSES “THAT ARE NOT CUSTOMER-FACING” HAVE A GREEN LIGHT FROM THE STATE. INDIANA IS GIVING THE GO-AHEAD TO DENTISTS’ OFFICES, ABORTION CLINICS, DERMATOLOGY PRACTICES, AND VETERINARY CLINICS. COLORADO IS ALLOWING RETAIL BUSINESSES TO PROVIDE CURBSIDE SERVICE. BUSINESSES IN KENTUCKY, MISSISSIPPI, AND TENNESSEE CAN ALSO REOPEN TODAY UNDER SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 8:45am:

A NEW CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITE OPENS TODAY FOR AUSTIN RESIDENTS ON THE WEST SIDE, ONE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS THAT HAS BEEN HARD HIT BY THE NUMBER OF POSITIVE CASES AND FATAL DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19. THE TESTING SITE AT LORETTO HOSPITAL IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ALONG WITH HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS. THE SITE WILL PROVIDE RAPID NOSE SWAB TESTING WITH PATIENT RESULTS AVAILABLE IN ABOUT 72 HOURS. THE TEST IS FREE AND THE SITE IS OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M. BOTH DRIVE-UP AND WALK-IN TESTING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE. THE HOSPITAL RECEIVED 500 TEST KITS FROM THE STATE TO START AND WILL ORDER MORE KITS AS NEEDED. LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS HAVE BEEN PROTESTING FOR MORE TESTING SITES ON THE SOUTH AND WEST SIDES.

STYX, AND SCORPIONS HAVE BOTH SAID THEY’RE USING THE TIME IN QUARANTINE TO WORK ON NEW MUSIC. STYX BASSIST RICKY PHILLIPS EXPLAINED HOW TOMMY SHAW SENDS HIM STUFF FROM HIS HOME STUDIO IN NASHVILLE, AND HE WORKS ON IT IN AUSTIN WHERE HE LIVES. HE SAID, EVENTUALLY WHEN WE ALL COME OUT FROM OUR CAVES WE’RE GONNA GET IN A ROOM AND CARVE A NEW RECORD.”

LIKE STYX, GERMAN ROCKERS THE SCORPIONS ARE LAYING DOWN NEW SONG IDEAS, EVEN WHILE ITS MEMBERS ARE LIVING APART. FRONTMAN KLAUS MEINE SAID “IT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE WE CAN’T BE IN ONE ROOM TOGETHER,” OF COURSE, WE ALL CAN’T WAIT FOR THE DAY WE ALL CAN BE TOGETHER IN THE STUDIO.” UNLIKE THE SCORPIONS LAST RELEASE, 2017’S COMPILATION ALBUM, MEINE INSISTS THE NEW LP WILL BE MADE UP OF “ALL NEW SONGS.”

AS ENTIRE FAMILIES CRAM INSIDE THEIR HOMES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, MANY PARENTS WOULD LOVE A BREAK…THE NEWEST THING? VIRTUAL BABYSITTERS. SEEING THE INCREASED NEED FOR HELP, KYLE REILLY AND KRISTINA HANFORD LAUNCHED VIRTUAL BABYSITTERS CLUB. THE WEB-BASED SERVICE CONNECTS OUT-OF-WORK PERFORMERS WITH PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN WHO ARE WORKING FROM HOME, ACCORDING TO ITS WEBSITE. EACH PROFESSIONAL PERFORMER HAS BEEN CHOSEN TO ENTERTAIN CHILDREN REMOTELY WITH ACTIVITIES INCLUDING GROUP PARTIES, MAGIC AND PUPPET SHOWS, IMPROV GAMES, DANCE PARTIES, SING-A-LONGS, STORYTELLING, TRIVIA COMPETITIONS, HOMEWORK HELP AND MUCH MORE.

SITTERCITY AND VIRTUAL BABYSITTERS CLUB SAID THEY OFFER THE SAME SAFETY CHECKS PARENTS EXPECT FROM IN-PERSON BABYSITTERS. BOTH COMPANIES ANTICIPATE SERVICES TO EXTEND PAST THE COVID-19 CRISIS, PROVIDING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR MANY, AND NEW OPTIONS FOR PARENTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 7:10am:

A VIDEO APPEARING TO SHOW A CROWDED HOUSE PARTY IN CHICAGO OVER THE WEEKEND IS GOING VIRAL. FOOTAGE OF PEOPLE LISTENING TO MUSIC WHILE STANDING SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER WAS POSTED ON FACEBOOK LIVE SATURDAY NIGHT, RUMORED TO BE ON CHICAGO’S WEST SIDE. GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER HAD THIS TO SAY TO THEM (AUDIO) MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT CALLED THE ACTIONS OF THE PEOPLE IN THE VIDEO RECKLESS AND UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE.

YESTERDAY, ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 2,126 NEW COVID-19 CASES AND 59 ADDITIONAL DEATHS ON SUNDAY. THERE ARE NOW 43,903 CASES CONFIRMED IN THE STATE, INCLUDING 1,933 DEATHS.

THE FIRST VIRTUAL NFL DRAFT DREW RECORD TV AUDIENCES. THE NFL SAYS THIS YEAR’S DRAFT WAS THE MOST WATCHED DRAFT EVER, DRAWING 55-MILLION VIEWERS OVER THREE DAYS. THE NUMBERS INCLUDED AT LEAST A 32-PERCENT INCREASE EACH DAY COMPARED TO LAST YEAR. THE NFL ALSO SAYS MORE THAN 100-MILLION-DOLLARS HAS BEEN RAISED TO HELP FIGHT COVID-19.

FACEBOOK IS LOOKING TO HELP PEOPLE DATE IN THESE DAYS OF CORONAVIRUS ISOLATION. THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM PLANS TO OFFER VIRTUAL DATES SO THAT FACEBOOK DATING USERS CAN USE VIDEO MESSAGING WITHOUT HAVING TO ADD EACH OTHER AS FRIENDS. FACEBOOK SAYS THE FEATURE WILL COME OUT IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/27/2020 6:10am:

THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS RELATED DEATHS IN COOK COUNTY IS NEARING 1,400. THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER CONFIRMED YESTERDAY THAT 30 MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF COVID-19 RELATED CAUSES. THE COUNTY’S DEATH TOLL NOW STANDS AT 1,381. COOK COUNTY MAKES UP ABOUT 71% OF THE CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN ILLINOIS.

MORE THAN A HALF-DOZEN STATES ARE BEGINNING TO REOPEN TODAY. IN MINNESOTA, INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING, AND OFFICE-BASED BUSINESSES “THAT ARE NOT CUSTOMER-FACING” HAVE A GREEN LIGHT FROM THE STATE. INDIANA IS GIVING THE GO-AHEAD TO DENTISTS’ OFFICES, ABORTION CLINICS, DERMATOLOGY PRACTICES, AND VETERINARY CLINICS. RETAIL BUSINESSES CAN OPEN WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS IN MONTANA AND COLORADO IS ALLOWING RETAIL BUSINESSES TO PROVIDE CURBSIDE SERVICE. CHURCHES WELCOMED WORSHIPERS IN GEORGIA AND OTHER STATES SUNDAY AND CERTAIN BUSINESSES THERE AND IN KENTUCKY, MISSISSIPPI, AND TENNESSEE CAN REOPEN TODAY UNDER SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/26/2020 6:45pm:

BEGINNING MAY 1, ILLINOIS RESIDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR FACIAL COVERINGS WHEN WORKING IN OR SHOPPING AT BUSINESSES, AND WILL ALSO HAVE TO WEAR MASKS WHILE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, RIDESHARES, OR IN ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO SOCIAL DISTANCE.

A VIDEO SHOWING A MASSIVE HOUSE PARTY ON CHICAGO’S WEST SIDE HAS ANGERED GOVERNOR PRITZKER, WHO BLASTED PARTYGOERS FOR PUTTING EVERYONE AROUND THEM IN DANGER. THE VIDEO SHOWS WHAT APPEARS TO BE A COUPLE OF HUNDRED PEOPLE JAMMED INTO A SINGLE ROOM OF A HOME IN WHAT THE GOVERNOR CALLED A VIOLATION OF THE STATE’S “STAY-AT-HOME” ORDER. “BY STANDING TOGETHER, NOT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND NOT WEARING MASKS, YOU’RE LITERALLY PUTTING EVERYONE AROUND YOU IN DANGER,” PRITZKER SAID.

TOM HANKS AND RITA WILSON ARE OFFERING THEIR BLOOD TO HELP DEVELOP A VACCINE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. THE COUPLE, WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 WHILE IN AUSTRALIA IN MARCH, HAVE DONATED BLOOD AND PLASMA FOR RESEARCH.

VIEWERS CAN TUNE IN TO WATCH A FUNDRAISER AIMED AT SPOTLIGHTING THE LGBTQ RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC LATER TODAY ON GLAAD’S YOUTUBE AND FACEBOOK PAGES. “TOGETHER IN PRIDE — YOU ARE NOT ALONE” WILL BEGIN STREAMING STARTING AT 5:00 P.M., PACIFIC TIME.

UPDATE 4/26/2020 5:45pm:

NO WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING IS ON THE SCHEDULE FOR A SECOND DAY AS PRESIDENT TRUMP WEIGHS HIS OPTIONS. TRUMP SAID ON TWITTER THE MEDIA ONLY ASKS HOSTILE QUESTIONS, AND REFUSES TO REPORT THE TRUTH OR FACTS ACCURATELY. HE WROTE THE BRIEFINGS AREN’T WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT. THE PRESIDENT CAME UNDER CRITICISM AFTER THINKING OUT LOUD DURING ONE OF HIS BRIEFINGS THAT INJECTING DISINFECTANT MIGHT WORK ON COVID-19.

THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IS FAST APPROACHING THREE MILLION WORLDWIDE. ACCORDING TO JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY MORE THAN 940-THOUSAND OF THOSE CASES WERE IN THE U.S. AS OF TODAY, THE DATABASE SHOWS OVER 205-THOUSAND TOTAL DEATHS, WITH MORE THAN 54-THOUSAND OF THEM IN THE U.S. OVER 17-THOUSAND OF THOSE DEATHS WERE IN NEW YORK CITY.

NEW YORK GOV. ANDREW CUOMO ON SUNDAY SKETCHED A ROUGH ROAD MAP FOR NEW YORK’S COMEBACK, SAYING THAT WITH CERTAIN PRECAUTIONS CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AND MANUFACTURING JOBS MAY BE ABLE TO RESUME IN CERTAIN REGION AFTER MAY 15.

THE PANDEMIC IS TAKING ITS TOLL ON THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. DISNEY HAS PUSHED BACK “DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS” TO MARCH OF 2022. THE BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH MOVIE WAS ORIGINALLY SLATED FOR RELEASE NEXT YEAR. MEANWHILE, AT SONY PICTURES, THE NEXT TWO SPIDER-MAN MOVIES ARE BEING PUSHED BACK. THE NEXT SEQUEL WITH TOM HOLLAND IS SLATED TO COME OUT IN NOVEMBER OF 2021.

UPDATE 4/26/2020 4:45pm:

IT WAS ANOTHER DAY OF INCREASED TESTING IN ILLINOIS SUNDAY, AS MORE THAN 2,000 PEOPLE WERE DIAGNOSED WITH THE VIRUS AND MORE THAN 13,000 TESTS WERE PERFORMED. MEANWHILE, THE ALTERNATE CARE FACILITY AT MCCORMICK PLACE IS BEING SCALED BACK. OFFICIALS SAY HOSPITALS ARE LIKELY ABLE TO COPE WITH THE CURRENT NUMBER OF CASES REQUIRING HOSPITALIZATION.

CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS WILL SOON BE LOOSENED IN COLORADO AND THE STATE’S GOVERNOR ISN’T EXACTLY BACKING DOWN FROM THAT DECISION. ON CNN’S STATE OF THE UNION, JARED POLIS SAID HE WISHES HE COULD MAKE DECISIONS WITH FUTURE INFORMATION, BUT CHOICES HAVE TO BE MADE ON WHAT’S KNOWN NOW. COLORADO RESIDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES BEGINNING MONDAY, BUT THE GOVERNOR STRESSED THE CONTINUED NEED FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING.

NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG UN MAY BE JUST FINE AFTER ALL. THE TOP FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER TO SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT MOON JAE-IN TELLS CNN THE YOUNG LEADER IS “ALIVE AND WELL.” THE COMMENTS FROM MOON CHUNG-IN COME AFTER REPORTS THAT THE NORTH KOREAN LEADER WAS IN BAD SHAPE AFTER SURGERY. IT’S BEEN JUST OVER TWO WEEKS SINCE KIM JONG UN HAS BEEN SEEN IN PUBLIC. THAT GAP INCLUDED A NO-SHOW AT HIS GRANDFATHER’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION.

WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISOR KEVIN HASSETT IS ISSUING AN OMINOUS WARNING ABOUT THE NATION’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. SPEAKING ON ABC’S THIS WEEK, HASSETT SAID THE RATE WILL RIVAL WHAT WAS SEEN DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION. HE CALLED THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC “AN UNPRECEDENTED SHOCK TO THE ECONOMY.” HASSETT ADDED THAT THE NATION’S GDP COULD TAKE A DOUBLE DIGIT HIT IN THE SECOND QUARTER.

UPDATE 4/26/2020 3:45pm:

IT WAS ANOTHER DAY OF INCREASED TESTING IN ILLINOIS SUNDAY, AS MORE THAN 2,000 PEOPLE WERE DIAGNOSED WITH THE VIRUS AND MORE THAN 13,000 TESTS WERE PERFORMED. MEANWHILE, THE ALTERNATE CARE FACILITY AT MCCORMICK PLACE IS BEING SCALED BACK. OFFICIALS SAY HOSPITALS ARE LIKELY ABLE TO COPE WITH THE CURRENT NUMBER OF CASES REQUIRING HOSPITALIZATION.

CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS WILL SOON BE LOOSENED IN COLORADO AND THE STATE’S GOVERNOR ISN’T EXACTLY BACKING DOWN FROM THAT DECISION. ON CNN’S STATE OF THE UNION, JARED POLIS SAID HE WISHES HE COULD MAKE DECISIONS WITH FUTURE INFORMATION, BUT CHOICES HAVE TO BE MADE ON WHAT’S KNOWN NOW. COLORADO RESIDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES BEGINNING MONDAY, BUT THE GOVERNOR STRESSED THE CONTINUED NEED FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING.

NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG UN MAY BE JUST FINE AFTER ALL. THE TOP FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER TO SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT MOON JAE-IN TELLS CNN THE YOUNG LEADER IS “ALIVE AND WELL.” THE COMMENTS FROM MOON CHUNG-IN COME AFTER REPORTS THAT THE NORTH KOREAN LEADER WAS IN BAD SHAPE AFTER SURGERY. IT’S BEEN JUST OVER TWO WEEKS SINCE KIM JONG UN HAS BEEN SEEN IN PUBLIC. THAT GAP INCLUDED A NO-SHOW AT HIS GRANDFATHER’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION.

WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISOR KEVIN HASSETT IS ISSUING AN OMINOUS WARNING ABOUT THE NATION’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. SPEAKING ON ABC’S THIS WEEK, HASSETT SAID THE RATE WILL RIVAL WHAT WAS SEEN DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION. HE CALLED THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC “AN UNPRECEDENTED SHOCK TO THE ECONOMY.” HASSETT ADDED THAT THE NATION’S GDP COULD TAKE A DOUBLE DIGIT HIT IN THE SECOND QUARTER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/26/2020 9:45am:

OVER FIVE MILLION AMERICANS HAVE NOW BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19. IN MAKING THE ANNOUNCEMENT THE FDA SAID IT HAS APPROVED 63 DIFFERENT TESTS TO CHECK FOR THE DEADLY DISEASE AND ANTIBODIES. THE FDA SAID WORK IS UNDERWAY WITH 400 DEVELOPERS ON EVEN MORE TESTS, AND THAT IT’S LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED IN SEARCHING FOR A CURE.

BEGINNING MAY 1, ILLINOIS RESIDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR FACIAL COVERINGS WHEN WORKING IN OR SHOPPING AT BUSINESSES, AND WILL ALSO HAVE TO WEAR MASKS WHILE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, RIDESHARES, OR IN ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO SOCIAL DISTANCE.

ILLINOIS’ CORONAVIRUS CASE TOTAL KEEPS GOING UP, AS 2,119 NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS WERE REPORTED, BRINGING THE STATE’S TOTAL TO 41,777 CASES SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN. STATE ALSO REPORTED 80 ADDITIONAL DEATHS, BRINGING THE TOLL OF THE VIRUS TO 1,874 LIVES LOST.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/25/2020 6:45pm:

BEGINNING MAY 1, ILLINOIS RESIDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR FACIAL COVERINGS WHEN WORKING IN OR SHOPPING AT BUSINESSES, AND WILL ALSO HAVE TO WEAR MASKS WHILE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, RIDESHARES, OR IN ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO SOCIAL DISTANCE.

ILLINOIS HAD 2,119 NEW KNOWN COVID-19 CASES AND 80 ADDITIONAL DEATHS REPORTED TODAY, BRINGING THE STATE’S TOTAL KNOWN CASES TO 41,777 AND THE DEATH TOLL TO 1,874 TOTAL DEATHS. OFFICIALS ALSO CAUTIONED AGAINST INGESTING, INJECTING OR SNORTING DISINFECTANTS.

TOM HANKS AND RITA WILSON ARE OFFERING THEIR BLOOD TO HELP DEVELOP A VACCINE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. THE COUPLE, WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 WHILE IN AUSTRALIA IN MARCH, HAVE DONATED BLOOD AND PLASMA FOR RESEARCH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/25/2020 4:45pm:

OVER FIVE MILLION AMERICANS HAVE NOW BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19. IN MAKING THE ANNOUNCEMENT THE FDA SAID IT HAS APPROVED 63 DIFFERENT TESTS TO CHECK FOR THE DEADLY DISEASE AND ANTIBODIES. THE FDA SAID WORK IS UNDERWAY WITH 400 DEVELOPERS ON EVEN MORE TESTS, AND THAT IT’S LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED IN SEARCHING FOR A CURE.

BEGINNING MAY 1, ILLINOIS RESIDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR FACIAL COVERINGS WHEN WORKING IN OR SHOPPING AT BUSINESSES, AND WILL ALSO HAVE TO WEAR MASKS WHILE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, RIDESHARES, OR IN ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO SOCIAL DISTANCE.

ILLINOIS’ CORONAVIRUS CASE TOTAL KEEPS GOING UP, AS 2,119 NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS WERE REPORTED, BRINGING THE STATE’S TOTAL TO 41,777 CASES SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN. STATE ALSO REPORTED 80 ADDITIONAL DEATHS, BRINGING THE TOLL OF THE VIRUS TO 1,874 LIVES LOST.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/25/2020 3:45pm:

DEATHS LINKED TO THE CORONAVIRUS WORLDWIDE NOW TOP 200,000 AS OF TODAY. THE LATEST FIGURES: THE US IS NEARING 1 MILLION CORONAVIRUS CASES AND OVER 53,000 AMERICANS HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO THE PANDEMIC. THE U.S., SPAIN AND ITALY ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN HALF OF THE COVID-19 FATALITIES AROUND THE GLOBE.

CATCHING COVID-19 ONCE MAY NOT PROTECT YOU FROM GETTING IT AGAIN, ACCORDING TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, A FINDING THAT COULD JEOPARDIZE EFFORTS TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO RETURN TO WORK AFTER RECOVERING FROM THE VIRUS. “THERE IS CURRENTLY NO EVIDENCE THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE RECOVERED FROM COVID-19 AND HAVE ANTIBODIES ARE PROTECTED FROM A SECOND INFECTION,” THE UNITED NATIONS AGENCY SAID.

FACEBOOK ON FRIDAY ANNOUNCED A SLEW OF NEW VIDEO CALLING FEATURES. THE NEW FEATURES INCLUDE MESSENGER ROOMS, WHICH WILL ALLOW FACEBOOK AND MESSENGER USERS TO CREATE GROUP VIDEO CALLS OF UP TO 50 PEOPLE. PREVIOUSLY, MESSENGER VIDEO CALLS WERE LIMITED TO EIGHT PEOPLE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/25/2020 1:45pm:

FEDERAL AUTHORITIES SAY THEY’VE BLOCKED A “SIGNIFICANT NUMBER” OF ILLEGAL ANTI-CORONAVIRUS HEALTH PRODUCTS AND DISINFECTANTS FROM ENTERING THE U.S. THROUGH MAIL FACILITIES IN L.A. AND SAN FRANCISCO. EPA OFFICERS AND U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION AGENTS SEIZED 7,800 ILLEGAL IMPORTS FROM ASIA.

AS THE GLOBAL DEATH TOLL FROM THE CORONAVIRUS SURPASSED 200,000 ON SATURDAY, COUNTRIES TOOK CAUTIOUS STEPS TOWARD EASING SOME LOCKDOWNS, WHILE FEARS OF INFECTION MADE EVEN SOME PANDEMIC-WOUNDED BUSINESSES RELUCTANT TO REOPEN. THE STATES OF GEORGIA, OKLAHOMA AND ALASKA STARTED LOOSENING RESTRICTIONS ON BUSINESSES DESPITE WARNINGS FROM EXPERTS THAT SUCH STEPS MIGHT BE COMING TOO SOON. SOME OWNERS SAID THEY WEREN’T YET READY TO REOPEN OR WERE DOING SO ONLY ON A LIMITED BASIS, WORRIED ABOUT A SECOND SURGE OF COVID-19 INFECTIONS.

ILLINOIS SAW NEW ONE-DAY HIGHS FOR NEW CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES OF 2,724, TOPPING THE PREVIOUS HIGH OF 2,049 SET JUST TWO DAYS EARLIER OFFICIALS SAID YESTERDAY AND SAID CHICAGO CONTINUES TO FLATTEN ITS CORONAVIRUS CURVE BUT IS “NOT ON THE WAY BACK DOWN YET”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 6:40pm:

GOLF COURSES IN ILLINOIS WILL REOPEN WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES IN PLACE ON MAY 1. SOME OF THE RESTRICTIONS INCLUDE GROUPING PLAYERS IN MAXIMUM GROUPS OF TWO, SO NO FOURSOMES WILL BE ALLOWED. TEE TIMES WILL BE SPREAD OUT TO 15 MINUTES, AND CARTS WILL BE PROHIBITED.

CAPTAIN BRETT CROZIER MAY GET HIS OLD JOB BACK AS COMMANDER OF THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT. NAVY OFFICIALS REPORTEDLY RECOMMENDED HIS REINSTATEMENT. CROZIER’S CONCERNS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK ABOARD THE ROOSEVELT PROMPTED HIS REMOVAL BY FORMER ACTING NAVY SECRETARY THOMAS MODELY, WHO WAS FORCED TO RESIGN AFTER SUGGESTING CROZIER IS “STUPID.”

FANS ARE IN FOR ANOTHER VIRTUAL EDITION OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. A SECOND EPISODE OF “SNL AT HOME” IS BEING PRODUCED FOR TOMORROW, WITH CAST MEMBERS DOING SKITS FROM HOME. SO FAR, NO WORD IF THERE’S A HOST OR MUSICAL GUEST.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 5:30pm:

TESTING FOR CORONAVIRUS IS UP IN ILLINOIS. OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THAT OVER 16-THOUSAND TESTS WERE CONDUCTED OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS, HIGHER THAN THE DAILY GOAL OF 10-THOUSAND TESTS. HOWEVER, WITH MORE TESTS COME MORE CONFIRMED CASES OF THE VIRUS. ILLINOIS REPORTED OVER 2700 NEW CASES TODAY, THE HIGHEST ONE-DAY TOTAL SINCE THE START OF THE OUTBREAK. THE STATE TOTAL OF CONFIRMED CASES IS OVER 39-THOUSAND. ACROSS THE U.S., OVER 910-THOUSAND CASES OF COVID-19 HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED.

THE FDA IS WARNING AMERICANS NOT TO TAKE TWO ANTI-MALARIA DRUGS WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S ORDER BECAUSE OF THE RISK OF SEVERE HEART PROBLEMS. TODAY’S WARNING CAME AFTER NUMEROUS COVID-19 PATIENTS TAKING HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE AND CHLOROQUINE SUFFERED SERIOUS CARDIAC EVENTS. THE FDA SAID THESE DRUGS CAN CAUSE ABNORMAL HEART RHYTHMS AND SHOULD ONLY BE USED IN HOSPITALS OR CLINICAL TRIALS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 3:50pm:

STOCKS CLOSED HIGHER ON WALL STREET AFTER APPROVAL OF A NEW FISCAL STIMULUS BILL. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE GAINED 260 POINTS, THE S&P 500 ROSE 38 POINTS AND THE NASDAQ ADDED 139 POINTS.

THE NATION’S FEDERAL DEFICIT IS TAKING A HIT WITH ALL THIS STIMULUS SPENDING. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE CLAIMS THIS YEAR’S BUDGET DEFICIT SHOULD BE AROUND THREE-POINT-SEVEN TRILLION DOLLARS, AND ESTIMATES THIS YEAR’S GDP WILL DROP BY 12-PERCENT DURING THE SECOND QUARTER.

THE PANDEMIC IS IMPACTING U.S. BEEF AND PORK PRODUCTION. THE UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION SAID TODAY THAT MEATPACKING PLANT CLOSURES ARE AFFECTING 10% OF BEEF OUTPUT AND 25-PERCENT OF PORK PRODUCTION. THERE IS CONCERN THIS COULD LEAD TO MEAT SHORTAGES AS COVID-19 OUTBREAKS SWEEP THROUGH MAJOR PACKING PLANTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 2:45pm:

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 2,724 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 WERE CONFIRMED SINCE YESTERDAY IN ILLINOIS. THIS IS THE LARGEST INCREASE OF CASES IN A 24-HOUR PERIOD IN THE STATE SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN. 108 DEATHS WERE REPORTED SINCE YESTERDAY. IN TOTAL, THERE ARE NOW 39,658 CASES REPORTED IN THE STATE, WITH 1,795 LIVES LOST DUE TO THE VIRUS.

IN A BRIEFING, GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THAT ILLINOIS CONDUCTED OVER 16,000 TESTS FOR COVID-19 DURING THE PREVIOUS 24 HOURS, MARKING THE FIRST TIME THE STATE HAS PERFORMED OVER 10,000 TESTS PER DAY.

GENERAL MOTORS SENT A THANK YOU NOTE TO THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS AND OTHER HOCKEY TEAMS FOR HELPING THEM PRODUCE MASKS FOR FRONT-LINE WORKERS IN THE PANDEMIC. THE BLACKHAWKS, RED WINGS AND FLYERS ALL TEMPORARILY DONATED THEIR EQUIPMENT-SANITIZING MACHINES TO GM, WHICH ALLOWS THE COMPANY TO STERILIZE UP TO 24-THOUSAND MASKS AN HOUR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 1:45pm:

CHICAGO POLICE REPORTED SIX MORE CASES OF COVID-19 WITHIN THE POLICE FORCE, BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES TO 380. OF THOSE INFECTED, 361 ARE OFFICERS AND 19 ARE CIVILIAN WORKERS. LAST WEEK THE DEPARTMENT REPORTED THE DEATH OF A THIRD POLICE OFFICER FROM THE VIRUS.

VOLUNTEERS ARE EXPECTED TO HAND OUT FREE SURGICAL MASKS ON CHICAGO’S SOUTH SIDE TODAY. 21ST WARD ALDERMAN HOWARD BROOKINS JUNIOR AND MEMBERS OF THE GREATER AUBURN-GRESHAM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION WILL ALSO BE ON HAND TO HELP PASS THEM OUT NEAR 87TH AND LAFAYETTE. THE AREA HAS ONE OF THE CITY’S HIGHEST INFECTION RATES FOR COVID-19.

WEST SUBURBAN AURORA PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD MEMBERS ARE CONSIDERING FURLOUGHING EMPLOYEES DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. MOST OF THE LIBRARY STAFF AREN’T WORKING BECAUSE LIBRARY BUILDINGS HAVE BEEN CLOSED. SOME ARE WORKING REMOTELY, ORGANIZING ONLINE MATERIALS FOR PATRONS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 12:40pm:

A 484-BILLION-DOLLAR PACKAGE TO AID SMALL BUSINESSES, HOSPITALS, AND TO EXPAND COVID-19 TESTING HAS BEEN SIGNED INTO LAW. IT AUTHORIZES 310-BILLION FOR THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM, SET UP TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES CONTINUE TO FUNCTION AND PAY THEIR EMPLOYEES. FUNDING FOR THE PROGRAM QUICKLY RAN DRY EARLIER THIS MONTH AFTER THE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS WAS PASSED.

LYSOL’S PARENT COMPANY IS WARNING AGAINST USING ANY OF ITS DISINFECTANT PRODUCTS ON PEOPLE TO TREAT COVID-19. THE COMPANY ISSUED THE ADVISORY AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP SPECULATED IN A WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING WHETHER SUCH PRODUCTS COULD BE INJECTED TO COMBAT THE VIRUS. THE MAKER OF LYSOL SAID NONE OF ITS DISINFECTANT PRODUCTS SHOULD BE INJECTED OR SWALLOWED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER HAS BEEN EXTENDED IN ILLINOIS UNTIL MAY 30TH, WITH SOME MODIFICATIONS AFTER MAY 1, INCLUDING THE OPENING OF SOME NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES WITH RESTRICTIONS ABOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND HYGIENE. GEORGIA GOVERNOR BRIAN KEMP ALLOWED BUSINESSES RANGING FROM TATTOO SHOPS TO BARBER SHOPS TO OPEN IN THAT STATE TODAY, BUT SOME BUSINESSES HAVE DECIDED TO STAY CLOSED FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY REASONS. MANY HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE CRITICIZED THE GEORGIA GOVERNOR’S DECISION TO OPEN WIDELY AT THIS POINT IN THE PANDEMIC’S CURVE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 11:45am:

THE U.S. DEATH TOLL HAS HIT 50,000. THAT’S ACCORDING TO THE JOHNS HOPKINS CORONAVIRUS RESOURCE CENTER, WHICH IS TRACKING THE VIRUS WORLDWIDE. THERE ARE MORE THAN 870,000 CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE U.S.

THE SMALL BUSINESS AID BILL THAT CLEARED CONGRESS THIS WEEK INCLUDES 25-BILLION-DOLLARS TO EXPAND TESTING.

ONE OF TWO NEW COVID-19 DRIVE THROUGH TESTING SITES, LOCATED AT THE PREMIUM OUTLET MALL IN AURORA WAS AT CAPACITY JUST MINUTES AFTER OPENING TODAY AT 8:00AM. THEY REOPEN TOMORROW AT 8AM AND ARE RUN BY THE NATIONAL GUARD. THEY EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO ADMINISTER 600 TESTS PER DAY THERE, AND AT ANOTHER TEST SITE IN ROCKFORD, WHERE DOCTORS NOTES ARE NOT REQUIRED. BOTH SITES ARE OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 8AM TO 4PM, OR UNTIL THE DAY’S SUPPLIES RUN OUT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 10:45am:

GOV. J.B. PRITZKER ON THURSDAY EXTENDED HIS STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER THROUGH MAY 30TH, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME REQUIRING PEOPLE TO COVER THEIR FACES IN MOST PUBLIC SETTINGS AND EASING SOME OF THE RESTRICTIONS HE CREDITS WITH HELPING SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE NEW CORONAVIRUS. BUT THE BASIC MESSAGE REMAINS THE SAME: STAY HOME, IF YOU CAN.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAME AS OFFICIALS REPORTED 1,826 NEW KNOWN CASES WITH 123 MORE FATALITIES. STILL, STATE LEADERS SAID THEY THINK ILLINOIS IS REACHING THE PEAK, BASED ON MODELS UNVEILED THURSDAY. NATIONALLY, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE CONFIRMED DEAD WAS AT AROUND 50,000, WITH ALMOST 900,000 KNOWN CASES, ACCORDING TO JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY.

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER IS EXTENDING THE STATE’S “STAY HOME, STAY SAFE” ORDER THROUGH MAY 15TH. IN ADDITION TO REQUIRING RESIDENTS TO STAY HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING, THE NEW ORDER INCLUDES A REQUIREMENT FOR WEARING FACE COVERINGS WHEN IN ENCLOSED PUBLIC SPACES.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE IS GOING VIRTUAL AGAIN. A SECOND EPISODE OF “SNL AT HOME” IS BEING PRODUCED FOR TOMORROW, WITH CAST MEMBERS DOING THEIR SKITS FROM THEIR HOMES. TOM HANKS WAS THE SURPRISE HOST WHEN HE KICKED OFF THE FIRST EPISODE FROM HIS KITCHEN A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO. SO FAR, NO WORD IF THERE’S A HOST OR MUSICAL GUEST.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 9:45am:

WALL STREET FUTURES ARE ON THE RISE AS CRUDE OIL PRICES CONTINUE THEIR REBOUND FROM UNBELIEVABLY HISTORIC LOWS. DOW FUTURES WERE UP 150 POINTS, ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF A PERCENT, 90 MINUTES BEFORE THE OPENING BELL. S&P 500 FUTURES ARE UP SIX-TENTHS PERCENT AND NASDAQ FUTURES ARE UP FOUR-TENTHS PERCENT. OIL PRICES ARE GAINING IN TODAY’S TRADING BUT WILL END THE WEEK DEEP IN THE RED AFTER WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE CRUDE FOR MAY DELIVERY FELL INTO NEGATIVE TERRITORY MONDAY AND TUESDAY.

ADULTS ARE HAVING A TOUGH ENOUGH TIME COMPREHENDING COVID-19, BUT FOR CHILDREN IT’S EVEN WORSE. DR. VALERIE CRABTREE IS THE CHIEF OF PSYCHOSOCIAL SERVICES WITH ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL SAYS CHILDREN CAN HANDLE A TONED DOWN VERSION OF THE TRUTH. ST. JUDE HOSPITAL IS HELPING BY PRODUCING BROCHURES, ACTIVITY BOOKS, COLORING BOOKS AND RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES TO BETTER UNDERSTAND AND TALK ABOUT CORONAVIRUS. FIND AGE-APPROPRIATE, MULTILINGUAL COVID-19 DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES TO TEACH KIDS ABOUT THE ILLNESS AT TOGETHER.STJUDE.ORG/ UNDER THE CARE SUPPORT TAB. https://together.stjude.org/en-us/care-support/covid-19-resources.html

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 8:50am:

IT LOOKS LIKE THE DEATH TOLL FROM COVID-19 IN THE US IS LIKELY GOING TO BE OVER 50,000 PEOPLE TODAY. YESTERDAY, THE FIGURES FROM JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SAYS THE PANDEMIC HAS KILLED MORE THAN 49,000 AMERICANS.

ILLINOIS’ STAY AT HOME ORDER HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 31ST. THE MODIFIED STAY-AT-HOME ORDER, WHICH STARTS A WEEK FROM TODAY ON MAY 1ST, REQUIRES THAT ALL ILLINOIS RESIDENTS OVER THE AGE OF 2, WEAR MASKS OR OTHER FACE COVERINGS IN PUBLIC PLACES, SUCH AS STORES AND OTHER SPACES WHERE IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN SIX FEET OF DISTANCE.

THE AMERICAN RED CROSS WILL HOST A BLOOD DRIVE AT THE AMERICAN AIRLINES CONFERENCE CENTER, LOCATED AT 1101 W WAVELAND AVE., NEXT TO WRIGLEY FIELD ON FRIDAY AT 10 A.M. IN AN EFFORT TO SUPPORT BLOOD DONATION NEEDS IN ILLINOIS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

IN THE GLOBAL SCRAMBLE FOR A COVID-19 VACCINE, A SELECT NUMBER OF HUMAN TRIALS ARE NOW UNDER WAY, SCIENTISTS FROM ENGLAND’S UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD APPEAR MOST CONFIDENT THAT THEY’RE ONTO A CURE. PROFESSOR SARAH GILBERT HEADS THE OXFORD TEAM BEHIND THE POTENTIAL VACCINE SAID IT HAS AN “80% CHANCE” OF SUCCESS, AND IT COULD BE AVAILABLE FOR WIDE USE BY THE PUBLIC AS SOON AS SEPTEMBER. HUMAN TRIALS OF THE VACCINE BEGAN THURSDAY IN OXFORD. IT WILL BE ADMINISTERED TO 510 HEALTHY VOLUNTEERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 55.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 7:10am:

CHICAGO IS LAUNCHING A TASK FORCE TO HELP GUIDE THE CITY’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY EFFORTS TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THE CREATION OF THE COVID-19 RECOVERY TASKFORCE. FIVE WORKING GROUPS OF EXPERTS WILL OFFER RECOMMENDATIONS AND PLANS TO THE LIGHTFOOT ADMINISTRATION. THE TASK FORCE’S WORK WILL INCLUDE CREATING A PLAN TO HELP RESIDENTS COPING WITH GRIEF, FEAR AND LOSS, ADDRESSING COVID-CREATED UNEMPLOYMENT, KEEPING CHICAGO A HOT SPOT FOR TOURISM AND EVENTS, AND MAKING SURE RECOVERY EFFORTS ARE ALIGNED ACROSS MULTIPLE JURISDICTIONS.

ILLINOIS’ STAY AT HOME ORDER HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 30TH. THE EXTENSION COMES AS ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORTED 1,826 NEW CASES AND ANOTHER 123 DEATHS FROM CORONAVIRUS. THERE ARE NOW 36,934 PATIENTS WHO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS, INCLUDING 1,688 DEATHS.

THE MODIFIED STAY-AT-HOME ORDER BEGINS ON MAY 1 –IT REQUIRES THAT ALL ILLINOIS RESIDENTS OVER THE AGE OF 2, WEAR MASKS OR OTHER FACE COVERINGS IN PUBLIC PLACES, SUCH AS STORES AND OTHER SPACES WHERE IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN SIX FEET OF DISTANCE. THERE WILL BE A PHASED RE-OPENING OF STATE PARKS. RETAIL STORES NOT DESIGNATED AS ESSENTIAL WILL BE ABLE TO REOPEN TO FILL PHONE AND ONLINE ORDERS FOR PICKUP AND DELIVERY. GARDEN CENTERS, NURSERIES, AND GROOMING SERVICES FOR ANIMALS ARE AMONG THE BUSINESSES ALLOWED TO REOPEN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/24/2020 6:10am:

123 MORE PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS HAVE DIED FROM COVID-19. UIC BIOENGINEERING PROFESSOR SERGEI MASLOV SAYS IF THE STATE DIDN’T HAVE A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER, THE NUMBERS WOULD BE A LOT HIGHER. CLOSE TO 37,000 PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER IS MODIFYING THE STAY AT HOME ORDER AND EXTENDING IT THROUGH MAY 30TH. HE SAYS IF HE WERE TO LIFT THE RESTRICTIONS THERE WOULD BE A SECOND WAVE OF INFECTIONS AND EVENTUALLY DEATHS. STARTING MAY 1ST RESIDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR FACIAL MASKS WHEN OUT IN PUBLIC. SEVERAL STATE PARKS WILL RE-OPEN AND FISHING AND BOATING IN GROUPS OF ONLY TWO WILL BE ALLOWED.

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS HIT FOOD PRODUCTION INDUSTRIES UNEXPECTEDLY HARD. DAIRY FARMERS IN PARTICULAR HAVE HAD TO DUMP MILK BECAUSE THE BUSINESSES THAT BUY MANY OF THEIR PRODUCTS JUST AREN’T OPEN. BUT A LOCAL DAIRY FARMER FOUND A WAY TO GET THAT EXTRA PRODUCT TO PEOPLE WHO NEED IT MOST. BLOOM TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR TJ SOMER GOT THE IDEA AFTER SEEING A REPORT LAST WEEK ABOUT HOW DAIRY FARMERS ARE BEING FORCED TO DUMP MILK BECAUSE SCHOOLS AND MANY BUSINESSES ARE NO LONGER ORDERING. SO HE CALLED KILGUS FARMS NEAR FAIRBURY, ILL., WHICH IS NOW SELLING ABOUT 700 GALLONS A WEEK TO THE TOWNSHIP AT THEIR COST. MIKE NOONAN WHO RUNS THE FOOD PANTRY SAID “AS WE’RE PUTTING FOOD IN CARS THEY ARE TELLING US THEY NEVER EXPECTED TO BE HERE. THEY NEVER THOUGHT THEY’D NEED THIS,” THEY PLAN TO CONTINUE THIS MILK GIVEAWAY AS LONG AS THERE IS NEED. AND WITH THE GOVERNOR’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER EXTENDED ANOTHER 30 DAYS, THAT NEED MAY INCREASE.

THE CAST OF “PARKS AND RECREATION” IS REUNITING FOR A CORONAVIRUS BENEFIT SPECIAL. AMY POEHLER, CHRIS PRATT, ROB LOWE AND THE ENTIRE CAST JUMPED AT THE CHANCE TO REUNITE FOR A GOOD CAUSE. PARKS AND RECREATION WRAPPED UP FIVE YEARS AGO, AND THE NEW UPDATE WILL BE CENTERED AROUND SOCIAL DISTANCING. THE 30-MINUTE SPECIAL AIRS NEXT THURSDAY ON NBC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 6:40pm:

THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER IN ILLINOIS HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 30TH. GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE EXTENSION TODAY AND SAID IT IS NECESSARY TO COMBAT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, AS NEW MODELS ESTIMATE THE PEAK OF THE VIRUS WILL COME IN LATE APRIL OR EARLY MAY. MODIFICATIONS TO THE ORDER WILL COME ON MAY 1, INCLUDING ELECTIVE SURGERIES RESUMING. SOME NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES WILL BE ALLOWED TO OPEN FOR PICKUP AND DELIVERY. A MASK OR FACE COVERING WILL BE A REQUIREMENT WHEN IN PUBLIC PLACES WHERE A SIX-FEET DISTANCE FROM OTHER PEOPLE ISN’T POSSIBLE. OVER 1800 NEW CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS WERE REPORTED IN ILLINOIS SINCE YESTERDAY.

THE HOUSE PASSED A NEARLY 500-BILLION DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS AID PACKAGE TODAY. THE MEASURE PROVIDES A BOOST TO THE SMALL BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM TO HELP BUSINESSES KEEP EMPLOYEES ON THE PAYROLL DURING THE PANDEMIC SHUTDOWN. THE SENATE PASSED THE BILL EARLIER THIS WEEK. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS INDICATED THAT HE WOULD SIGN THE BILL TONIGHT.

THE US NAVAL SHIP COMFORT IS PREPARING TO LEAVE NEW YORK CITY. THE SHIP DOCKED ON THE WEST SIDE THREE WEEKS AGO, PROVIDING SOME RELIEF TO HOSPITALS THAT WERE OVERLOADED WITH COVID-19 PATIENTS. THE SHIP TREATED 180 PATIENTS AND 50 ARE STILL ON BOARD.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 5:30pm:

THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER IN ILLINOIS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MAY 30. GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE EXTENSION TODAY AS THE STATE BRACES FOR THE CORONAVIRUS PEAK, EXPECTED TO HIT LATER THAN ANTICIPATED. SOME MODIFICATIONS WILL BE MADE TO THE ORDER ON MAY 1, WITH SOME NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL STORES OPENING FOR PICK-UP AND DELIVERY AND A PHASED RE-OPENING OF STATE PARKS. AS PART OF THAT MAY 1 MODIFICATION, PEOPLE WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK OR FACE COVERING IN PUBLIC WHEN A SIX-FOOT DISTANCE FROM OTHERS CAN’T BE AVOIDED.

A LEAKED CLINICAL TEST STUDY BROUGHT WALL STREET DOWN TODAY. THE MAJOR INDEXES ALL STARTED THE DAY ON AN UPTICK, UNTIL NEWS BROKE THAT CLINICAL TRIALS OF THE EBOLA DRUG REMDESIVIR HAD DISAPPOINTING RESULTS IN TESTING, CAUSING MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS IN PATIENTS. THAT SENT THE INDEXES DOWN TO A NEARLY FLAT FINISH.

TONIGHT’S VIRTUAL NFL DRAFT WILL LOOK VERY DIFFERENT. IT STARTS AT 7 P.M. CENTRAL TIME AND WILL BE SHOWN ON ESPN, ABC AND THE NFL NETWORK. THIS IS A FIRST-EVER VIRTUAL DRAFT FOR THE LEAGUE, AND THE NFL SAY THEY WILL REVIEW THE DRAFT ONCE ITS OVER IN CASE ANOTHER SITUATION EVER FORCES THE LEAGUE TO MAKE CHANGES IN THE FUTURE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 3:50pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE EXTENSION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER IN THE STATE TO MAY 30TH AS THE STATE PREPARES FOR THE PEAK OF THE VIRUS TO HIT LATER THAN ORIGINALLY EXPECTED. SOME MODIFICATIONS TO THE ORDER WILL COME INTO PLAY ON MAY 1, INCLUDING A REQUIREMENT FOR PEOPLE TO WEAR A MASK OR FACE COVERING WHEN IN A PUBLIC PLACE WHERE A SIX-FOOT DISTANCE FROM OTHER PEOPLE CANNOT BE MAINTAINED. OTHER MODIFICATIONS INCLUDE SOME NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL STORES OPENING FOR PICK-UP AND DELIVERY, AND A PHASED RE-OPENING OF STATE PARKS. OVER 1800 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS WERE CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS SINCE YESTERDAY.

THE U.S. HOUSE WILL SOON VOTE ON AN AID BILL TO PROVIDE MORE MONEY INTO LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. REPRESENTATIVES ARE CURRENTLY VOTING TO ESTABLISH A SPECIAL SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER STIMULUS DOLLARS ARE BEING SPENT PROPERLY. THE HOUSE IS EXPECTED TO APPROVE BOTH MEASURES AND SEND TO THE PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE TODAY.

A REPORT ABOUT AN EBOLA TREATMENT DRUG THAT MANY HAD HIGH HOPES FOR BEING ABLE TO TREAT COVID-19 IS SHOWING DISAPPOINTING RESULTS IN TESTING. IN A W-H-O REPORT, 18 PATIENTS HAD TO BE TAKEN OFF THE DRUG REMDESIVIR BECAUSE OF SIGNIFICANT SIDE EFFECTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 3:00pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THAT TO CONTINUE TO BEAT BACK COVID-19, THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER IN THE STATE WILL BE EXTENDED TO MAY 30, WITH SOME MODIFICATIONS THAT WILL TAKE EFFECT ON MAY 1. THOSE MODIFICATIONS INCLUDE A REQUIREMENT FOR FACE COVERINGS OR MASKS TO BE WORN WHEN IN PUBLIC AND AT LEAST SIX FEET OF HUMAN DISTANCE IS NOT POSSIBLE, AND A PHASED RE-OPENING OF STATE PARKS. ADDITIONALLY, RETAIL STORES NOT DESIGNATED AS ESSENTIAL WILL BE ABLE TO REOPEN TO FILL PHONE AND ONLINE ORDERS FOR PICKUP AND DELIVERY. GARDEN CENTERS, NURSERIES, AND GROOMING SERVICES FOR ANIMALS WILL BE AMONG THE BUSINESSES ALLOWED TO REOPEN.

THERE WERE 1,826 NEW CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS REPORTED IN ILLINOIS SINCE YESTERDAY, WITH 123 MORE DEATHS. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES IS NOW 36,934 IN THE STATE, WITH 1,688 TOTAL DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19.

THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IS ISSUING NEW GUIDANCE ON THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM AFTER A NUMBER OF LARGE COMPANIES WERE GIVEN LOANS. CRITICS HAVE POINTED OUT THAT SOME LARGE COMPANIES GOT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WHILE MANY SMALL BUSINESSES GOT NOTHING. THE NEW GUIDANCE MAKES IT HARDER FOR THAT TO HAPPEN. THE AGENCY IS ALSO ASKING THE BIG COMPANIES WHO GOT THE LOANS TO GIVE THAT MONEY BACK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 2:55pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED AN EXTENSION OF THE STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER TO SATURDAY, MAY 30th. MORE INFO TO COME.

UPDATE 4/23/2020 1:45pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER IS EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE AN EXTENSION TO THE STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER TODAY. EARLIER THIS WEEK, IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT THE PEAK OF THE VIRUS WOULD HIT THE STATE IN MID-MAY, LATER THAN THE APRIL PEAK THAT MODELS WERE PREVIOUSLY PREDICTING. YESTERDAY, OVER 2000 NEW CASES WERE CONFIRMED IN THE STATE, THE LARGEST NUMBER REPORTED IN ONE DAY SINCE THE OUTBREAK STARTED.

THE FIRST OF THREE VIRTUAL TOWN HALL MEETINGS WILL TAKE PLACE TODAY FOR CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOODS THAT HAVE BEEN HARDEST HIT BY COVID-19, IN AUSTIN, SOUTH SHORE AND AUBURN GRESHAM. TODAY’S VIRTUAL TOWN HALL IS HOSTED BY SOUTH SHORE WORKS AND WILL AIR LIVE ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE FROM 4:30 TO 6 PM. ON SATURDAY, GREATER AUBURN GRESHAM DC AND AUSTIN COMING TOGETHER WILL HOST SIMILAR MEETINGS.

THE ROLLING STONES HAVE RELEASED A NEW SONG ABOUT THE SITUATION WE’RE ALL IN RIGHT NOW. IT’S CALLED “LIVING IN A GHOST TOWN” AND ACCORDING TO MICK JAGGER, THEY STARTED WRITING IT BEFORE THE LOCKDOWN, AND DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO PUT IT OUT NOW, SO THEY CONTINUED TO WORK ON IT WHERE THEY ARE ISOLATING IN LOS ANGELES AND LONDON. IT’S AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD OR STREAM ON ALL THE USUAL OUTLETS, AND YOU CAN SEE THE VIDEO ON THE STONES’ YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 12:45pm:

THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS CONTINUES TO WREAK HAVOC ON THE JOB FRONT. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT TODAY REPORTED THAT 4.4 MILLION AMERICANS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS LAST WEEK. THAT’S DOWN FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK’S REPORT OF OVER 6.5 MILLION NEW CLAIMS, AND IS IN LINE WITH WHAT LABOR EXPERTS ESTIMATED. OVER 26-MILLION PEOPLE HAVE FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT OVER THE PAST FIVE WEEKS.

A GROUP OF COOK COUNTY SHERIFF’S CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS ARE SUING TO BE COMPENSATED FOR TIME SPENT CLEANING UP AFTER SHIFTS AT THE COOK COUNTY JAIL DURING THE PANDEMIC. ELEVEN OFFICERS FILED A LAWSUIT THIS WEEK IN FEDERAL COURT AGAINST THE COUNTY AND SHERIFF TOM DART. THE OFFICERS WANT TO BE PAID FOR UP TO 30 MINUTES THEY SPEND AFTER EVERY SHIFT SANITIZING THEMSELVES AND THEIR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.

CHIPOTLE IS DONATING BURRITOS TO HEALTHCARE WORKERS. THE CHAIN SAYS IT WILL MAKE A DONATION WHEN CUSTOMERS BUY A BURRITO ON THE WEBSITE OR APP AND NAME IT “4HEROES.” THAT ACTION WILL EQUAL ONE BURRITO DONATED TO A HEALTH CARE WORKER, EACH TIME. THE PROMO RUNS THROUGH SUNDAY, AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS CAN SIGN UP FOR FREE BURRITOS ON MAY 6TH, WHICH IS NURSES DAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 11:45am:

MORE THAN 40 CHICAGO ALDERMEN ARE BACKING LEGISLATION THAT WOULD MAKE PROTECTIVE MASKS MANDATORY. MANY CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS BELIEVE THE FACE COVERINGS SHOULD BE REQUIRED BECAUSE CORONAVIRUS CASES ARE EXPECTED TO SPIKE IN ILLINOIS BY THE MIDDLE OF NEXT MONTH. THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE CALLS FOR FINING CHICAGO BUSINESSES 750 DOLLARS FOR NOT ENFORCING SOCIAL DISTANCING OR FOR EMPLOYEES WHO DON’T WEAR MASKS. THE MEASURE STILL NEEDS TO BE APPROVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL.

NORTH SUBURBAN EVANSTON HAS BECOME THE MOST RECENT CHICAGO SUBURB TO REQUIRE MASKS TO BE WORN IN PUBLIC TO HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. THE ORDER WENT INTO EFFECT THIS MORNING. THE ACTION REQUIRES ALL PERSONS WORKING IN OR PATRONIZING ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND OPERATIONS TO WEAR CLOTH FACE COVERINGS. THOSE EXEMPT FROM THE ORDER ARE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF TWO, ANYONE WHO HAS TROUBLE BREATHING OR ANYONE WHO IS UNCONSCIOUS OR INCAPACITATED.

THE BEATLES MOVIE “YELLOW SUBMARINE” IS BEING SHOWN ON YOUTUBE FOR ONE DAY ONLY. THE 1968 ANIMATED MOVIE WILL BE SHOWN THIS SATURDAY WITH LYRICS ON THE BOTTOM, AS A SING-ALONG EVENT DURING THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN. THE MOVIE FEATURES CLASSIC BEATLES SONGS LIKE “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE,” “NOWHERE MAN” AND “ELEANOR RIGBY.” THE SING-ALONG VERSION BEGINS AT 11AM. LATER THIS YEAR, A NEW BEATLES FILM IS COMING OUT, THE PETER JACKSON DOCUMENTARY “THE BEATLES: GET BACK.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 10:45am:

THE HOUSE IS EXPECTED TO VOTE TODAY ON A NEARLY HALF-A-TRILLION DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS AID PACKAGE. MOST OF THE MONEY IS AIMED AT REPLENISHING A POPULAR SMALL BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM. DEMOCRATS SUCCESSFULLY NEGOTIATED TENS OF BILLIONS OF ADDITIONAL DOLLARS FOR HOSPITALS AND CORONAVIRUS TESTING. THE SENATE PASSED THE BILL TUESDAY AND PRESIDENT TRUMP IS EXPECTED TO SIGN IT.

SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN’S BROTHER HAS DIED FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. WARREN TWEETED HER BROTHER 86-YEAR-OLD DON REED WAS CHARMING, FUNNY AND A NATURAL LEADER. SHE ALSO NOTED THAT REED JOINED THE AIR FORCE AT 19 AND SPENT HIS CAREER IN THE MILITARY.

ELTON JOHN HAS POSTPONED THE REMAINDER OF HIS FAREWELL YELLOW BRICK ROAD TOUR, WHICH INCLUDED 2 SHOWS IN CHICAGO AT THE UNITED CENTER JUNE 19TH AND 20TH. THE SHOWS ARE GOING TO BE RESCHEDULED. BON JOVI HAS ALSO CANCELED THEIR TOUR WITH A STOP ORIGINALLY PLANNED FOR CHICAGO IN JULY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 9:45am:

FOR THE FIFTH WEEK IN A ROW, MILLIONS OF AMERICAN WORKERS APPLIED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS TOTALED 4.4 MILLION IN THE WEEK ENDING APRIL 18. THE LAST FIVE WEEKS HAVE MARKED THE MOST SUDDEN SURGE IN JOBLESS CLAIMS SINCE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR STARTED TRACKING THE DATA IN 1967. AMERICAN WORKERS FILED 26.5 MILLION INITIAL CLAIMS SINCE MARCH 14.

STOCKS ARE HIGHER IN EARLY TRADING ON WALL STREET, DESPITE MORE THAN 4 MILLION AMERICANS FILING UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTS JUST OVER FOUR-POINT-FOUR-MILLION WORKERS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS LAST WEEK, BRINGING THE TOTAL FOR THE PAST FIVE WEEKS TO MORE THAN 26-MILLION AS THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC GRINDS DOWN THE ECONOMY. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE, NASDAQ AND S&P 500 ARE ALL TRADING MORE THAN A HALF PERCENT HIGHER.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE OPENING OF TWO MORE STATE-RUN DRIVE-THRU TESTING FACILITIES. ONE IS IN AURORA, OPENS TODAY AT THE PREMIUM OUTLET MALL PARKING LOT, AND THE OTHER, IN ROCKFORD, WILL OPEN FRIDAY. THE TESTING IS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WITH SYMPTOMS OF THE CORONAVIRUS, WITH NO DOCTOR’S NOTE REQUIRED.

CHICAGO’S ANNUAL PRIDE PARADE, THE THIRD LARGEST IN THE U.S., HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE PARADE, WHICH DRAWS OVER A MILLION PEOPLE, WAS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 28. ORGANIZERS PLAN TO RESCHEDULE FOR LATE SUMMER OR EARLY FALL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 8:50am:

ILLINOIS REACHED A DAILY HIGH YESTERDAY WITH MORE THAN 2,000 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS. PART OF THAT IS AN INCREASE IN TESTING, ALMOST REACHING GOVERNOR PRITZGERS GOAL OF 10,000 TESTS PER DAY. BUT STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR ENGOZI EZIKE SAYS ANOTHER 98 PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO THE VIRUS AND RESIDENTS MUST STAY THE COURSE. MORE THAN 35,000 PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AND 1,565 HAVE PASSED AWAY.

DAVID BROWN IS OFFICIALLY CHICAGO’S TOP COP. THE FORMER DALLAS POLICE CHIEF WAS SWORN IN YESTERDAY AS THE PERMANENT POLICE SUPERINTENDENT. BROWN’S APPOINTMENT WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL. HE REPLACES CHARLIE BECK, A FORMER LOS ANGELES POLICE CHIEF WHO TOOK OVER AS INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT AFTER MAYOR LIGHTFOOT FIRED EDDIE JOHNSON LATE LAST YEAR.

TARGET WORKERS ARE PLANNING A “SICKOUT” FOR MAY 1. ORGANIZERS SAY THEY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH PROTECTION ON THE FRONT LINES OF COVID-19. TARGET WORKERS WANT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THE HEALTH RISKS THEY FACE EVERYDAY. A GROUP CALLED TARGET WORKERS UNITE CLAIMS THE COMPANY IS MORE FOCUSED ON SALES THAN EMPLOYEE HEALTH. THE ACTIVIST GROUP SAYS THE COMPANY IS ONLY TAKING HALF MEASURES TO PROTECT THEM AGAINST THE VIRUS. TARGET HAS REDUCED STORE HOURS AND SUPPLIED MASKS TO ITS WORKERS, BUT THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED TO WEAR THEM. IN A STATEMENT, THE COMPANY SAYS IT IS IMPORTANT THAT TARGET TEAM MEMBERS FEEL COMFORTABLE SHARING THEIR CONCERNS.

A NEW COALITION OF INDEPENDENT CONCERT VENUES ACROSS THE COUNTRY HAS ISSUED A LETTER TO CONGRESS ASKING LEGISLATORS FOR FURTHER ASSISTANCE TO CUSHION THE BLOW THEY’VE FACED AS LIVE MUSIC HAS SHUTTERED IN THE WAKE OF THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT VENUE ASSOCIATION, MADE UP OF MORE THAN 800 PROMINENT VENUES INCLUDING THE TROUBADOUR IN LOS ANGELES, THE HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM IN NEW YORK, AND THE METRO IN CHICAGO…ARE ASKING FOR HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT, BECAUSE THIS PANDEMIC HAS CREATED “A LEGITIMATE FEAR FOR OUR COLLECTIVE EXISTENCE.”

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA’S HIT MUSICAL HAMILTON IS THE FOUNDATION OF AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS STUCK AT HOME BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE FREE DIGITAL PROGRAM IS CALLED EDUHAM AT HOME. MIRANDA INTRODUCED IT ON YOUTUBE TUESDAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 7:10am:

THE CORONAVIRUS SEEMS TO BE CAUSING SUDDEN STROKES IN CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS WHO ARE NOT THAT OLD AND NOT THAT SICK. DOCTORS AT NEW YORK’S MOUNT SINAI HEALTH SYSTEM SAY THEY ARE SEEING PEOPLE IN THEIR ’30S AND ’40S WHO WERE NOT SEVERELY ILL DEVELOP BLOOD CLOTS CAUSED BY THE CORONAVIRUS LEADING TO STROKES.

TWO CATS LIVING IN SEPARATE AREAS OF NEW YORK STATE ARE THE FIRST PETS IN THE US TO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE FELINES HAD MILD RESPIRATORY ILLNESS AND ARE EXPECTED TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY. A VETERINARIAN TESTED THE FIRST CAT AFTER IT SHOWED MILD RESPIRATORY SIGNS. NO HUMANS IN THE HOUSEHOLD WERE CONFIRMED TO BE ILL WITH COVID-19. THE AGENCIES SAID THE VIRUS MAY HAVE BEEN TRANSMITTED TO THIS CAT BY MILDLY ILL OR ASYMPTOMATIC HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS OR THROUGH CONTACT WITH AN INFECTED PERSON OUTSIDE ITS HOME. SAMPLES FROM THE SECOND CAT WERE TAKEN AFTER IT’S OWNER TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AND THEN THE ANIMAL SHOWED SIGNS OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESS. ANOTHER CAT IN THE HOUSEHOLD HAS SHOWN NO SIGNS OF ILLNESS.

UNTIL WE KNOW MORE, THE CDC SAYS:

– DO NOT LET PETS INTERACT WITH PEOPLE OR OTHER ANIMALS OUTSIDE THE HOUSEHOLD.
– KEEP CATS INDOORS WHEN POSSIBLE TO PREVENT THEM FROM INTERACTING WITH OTHER ANIMALS OR PEOPLE.
– WALK DOGS ON A LEASH, MAINTAINING AT LEAST 6 FEET FROM OTHER PEOPLE AND ANIMALS.
– AVOID DOG PARKS OR PUBLIC PLACES WHERE A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AND DOGS GATHER.

SIXTEEN SUBURBS OF CHICAGO HAVE MADE FACE MASKS OR FACE COVERINGS MANDATORY, AND THE CITY OF CHICAGO IS CONSIDERING ISSUING AN ORDER, BUT HAS NOT YET. IN ALMOST ALL CASES, THE ORDERS MANDATE PEOPLE WEAR MASKS WHEN IN PUBLIC AND VISITING ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES LIKE GROCERY STORES, VISITING HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS, RIDING IN TAXIS OR RIDESHARES, AND WHILE RIDING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

HERE IS THE FULL LIST OF TOWNS REQUIRING FACE MASKS TO BE WORN IN PUBLIC. ALL OF THESE ORDERS ARE CURRENTLY IN EFFECT OR GO INTO EFFECT ON FRIDAY APRIL 24 OR SATURDAY APRIL 25. IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER:

CICERO
DEERFIELD
DES PLAINES
EVANSTON
GLENVIEW
HIGHLAND PARK
MORTON GROVE
NILES
NORTHBROOK
NORTH RIVERSIDE
OAK BROOK
OAK LAWN
PARK RIDGE
SKOKIE
TINLEY PARK
WILMETTE

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/23/2020 6:10am:

THERE ARE ABOUT TO BE FIVE STATE-RUN CORONAVIRUS TESTING LOCATIONS IN ILLINOIS. THE STATE HAS ADDED 2 SITES IN AURORA AND ROCKFORD. HERE’S GOVERNOR PRITZGER. THE AURORA FACILITY IS LOCATED AT THE CHICAGO PREMIUM OUTLETS AND IS BEING OPERATED BY THE NATIONAL GUARD. THE SITE CAN COLLECT 600 SPECIMENS PER DAY. ANOTHER TESTING SITE IS EXPECTED TO OPEN TOMORROW IN ROCKFORD. THE OTHER THREE LOCATIONS ARE IN MARKHAM, HARWOOD HEIGHTS AND BLOOMINGTON.

HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY OVER 2,000 NEW CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS AS OF WEDNESDAY, MARKING THE LARGEST SINGLE-DAY INCREASE IN REPORTED CASES TO DATE AS TESTING EXPANDS ACROSS THE STATE. THE RISE IN THE NUMBER OF CASES COMES WITH AN INCREASE IN TESTING ACROSS ILLINOIS. GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER SAID THE STATE ALSO SET A SINGLE-DAY RECORD OF 9,300 TESTS, NEARING HIS DAILY GOAL OF 10,000.

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTED 2,049 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 AND 98 RELATED DEATHS WEDNESDAY, BRINGING THE STATEWIDE TOTAL TO 35,108 CASES AND 1,565 DEATHS.

HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THERE ARE MORE THAN 4,600 PEOPLE CURRENTLY HOSPITALIZED WITH COVID-19. ABOUT A FOURTH ARE IN INTENSIVE CARE, AND OF THOSE IN THE ICU ABOUT 60 PERCENT ARE ON VENTILATORS.

BRADLEY-MORRIS AND RECRUITMILITARY HAS CONVERTED THE ORGANIZATION’S IN-PERSON HIRING AND NETWORKING EVENTS FOR THE MILITARY COMMUNITY INTO VIRTUAL EVENTS TO ALLOW AMERICAN VETERAN JOB SEEKERS AND EMPLOYERS TO CONTINUE TO SECURE EMPLOYMENT AND SUSTAIN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. IN THIS CASE, THEY ARE RESPONDING AND ADAPTING TO THE EFFECTS OF THE ECONOMY DUE TO COVID-19. TODAY IS THE CHICAGO ARE VIRTUAL CAREER FAIR FOR VETERANS ON THURSDAY, APRIL 23RD FROM 11AM TO 3PM CT ONLINE. THE VIRTUAL EVENT IS OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY COMMUNITY, PAST AND PRESENT, AS WELL AS MILITARY SPOUSES. GOTO WWW.RECRUITMILITARY.COM

THE FIRST VIRTUAL NFL DRAFT BEGINS TONIGHT. THE DRAFT WAS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED TO BE HELD IN LAS VEGAS, BUT LIVE EVENTS WERE CANCELED IN MARCH DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. TEAMS WILL MAKE THEIR PICKS FROM HOME, WITH COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL ANNOUNCING SELECTIONS FROM HIS HOUSE.

THE BEATLES MOVIE “YELLOW SUBMARINE” IS BEING SHOWN ON YOUTUBE FOR ONE DAY ONLY. THE 1968 ANIMATED MOVIE WILL BE SHOWN THIS SATURDAY WITH LYRICS ON THE BOTTOM, AS A SING-ALONG EVENT DURING THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN. THE MOVIE FEATURES CLASSIC BEATLES SONGS LIKE “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE,” “NOWHERE MAN” AND “ELEANOR RIGBY.” THE SING-ALONG VERSION BEGINS AT 11AM. LATER THIS YEAR, A NEW BEATLES FILM IS COMING OUT, THE PETER JACKSON DOCUMENTARY “THE BEATLES: GET BACK.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 6:40pm:

ONE OF THE NATION’S TOP VACCINE EXPERTS SAYS HE WAS DEMOTED FOR QUESTIONING THE DRUG HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE AS A TREATMENT FOR CORONAVIRUS. DR. RICK BRIGHT CALLED FOR MORE STRINGENT TESTING OF THE DRUG AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP RECOMMENDED IT AS A CURE. BRIGHT HAS A NEW ROLE AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH AND PLANS TO FILE A WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT TO INVESTIGATE HIS DISMISSAL.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE OPENING OF TWO MORE STATE-RUN DRIVE-THRU TESTING FACILITIES. ONE IS IN AURORA AND THE OTHER, IN ROCKFORD, WILL OPEN FRIDAY. THE TESTING IS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WITH SYMPTOMS OF THE CORONAVIRUS, WITH NO DOCTOR’S NOTE REQUIRED.

CHICAGO’S ANNUAL PRIDE PARADE, THE THIRD LARGEST IN THE U.S., HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE PARADE, WHICH DRAWS OVER A MILLION PEOPLE, WAS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 28. ORGANIZERS PLAN TO RESCHEDULE FOR LATE SUMMER OR EARLY FALL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 5:30pm:

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL SAYS HE WANTS TO “TAKE A PAUSE” AND WAIT UNTIL SENATORS RETURN TO WASHINGTON BEFORE CONSIDERING A FOURTH PHASE OF THE CORONAVIRUS FUNDING PACKAGE. SENATORS ARE SCHEDULED TO COME BACK ON MAY 4TH.

HARVARD IS RETURNING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FEDERAL FUNDS GIVEN TO THE UNIVERSITY UNDER THE CARES ACT HIGHER EDUCATION EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND. IN A STATEMENT, HARVARD SAID THE FOCUS ON ITS CONNECTION WITH THE PROGRAM “MAY UNDERMINE PARTICIPATION IN A RELIEF EFFORT” CREATED TO HELP STUDENTS AND INSTITUTIONS IN NEED.

MICHAEL JORDAN IS DONATING ALL OF THE PROCEEDS FROM “THE LAST DANCE” DOCUSERIES TO CHARITY. FORBES REPORTS THAT THE NBA LEGEND IS SET TO MAKE BETWEEN THREE TO FOUR MILLION DOLLARS FROM THE ESPN SERIES, WHICH FOCUSES ON THE CHICAGO BULLS’ 1997 TO 1998 SEASON. THE FIRST TWO PARTS OF “THE LAST DANCE” PREMIERED OVER THE WEEKEND.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 3:50pm:

ON WALL STREET, THE THREE MAJOR INDEXES WERE UP ABOUT 2% OR MORE AT THE CLOSING BELL. ONE FACTOR HELPING THE MARKET IMPROVE IS THAT THE OIL MARKET APPEARS TO HAVE STABILIZED. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS UP 457 POINTS. THE S&P GAINED 63 POINTS. AND THE NASDAQ ADDED 232 POINTS.

A DEFENSE OFFICIAL SAYS THE DEPARTMENT IS OPERATING AT FULL CAPACITY DESPITE MORE THAN 970,000 ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE MEMBERS WORKING FROM HOME. DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY DAVID NORQUIST SAYS THE PENTAGON WILL CONTINUE TO “EVOLVE” THEIR APPROACH TO STOPPING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

SEE’S CANDIES ARE ROLLING OFF THE PRODUCTION LINE ONCE AGAIN. IT HAD BEEN HALTED FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE WORLD WAR TWO DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. A SOCIALLY-DISTANCED CREW IS BACK IN THEIR SAN FRANCISCO FACTORY, MAKING AND PACKING LIMITED SUPPLIES OF CHOCOLATES. WEBSITE SALES AT SEES-DOT-COM WILL SOON BE BACK ONLINE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 2:45pm:

OFFICIALS TODAY ANNOUNCED 2,049 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS, WITH 98 DEATHS SINCE YESTERDAY. THERE ARE NOW 35,108 TOTAL KNOWN CASES IN THE STATE WITH 1,565 LIVES LOST.
ACROSS THE U.S., THERE ARE OVER 840,000 CONFIRMED CASES AND NEARLY 47,000 DEATHS. THERE ARE OVER 76,000 RECOVERIES REPORTED NATIONWIDE.

THE WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN PARTY IS RESCHEDULING ITS STATE CONVENTION DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. IT WAS ORIGINALLY SET FOR NEXT MONTH IN GREEN BAY, BUT NOW HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL JULY 10TH.

SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMEO SAYS CHINA’S GOVERNMENT DID NOT REVEAL THE FULL EXTENT OF THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN A TIMELY MANNER. HE TOLD REPORTERS THAT CHINA HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO ISSUE A THOROUGH AND CANDID ALERT TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. PRESIDENT TRUMP RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THAT HE IS FREEZING U.S. FUNDING TO THE W-H-O.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 1:45pm:

SOME CHICAGO HOMELESS SHELTERS ARE SEEING A SPIKE IN CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS. CITY HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THE INCREASE IS A RESULT OF MORE TESTING. MOST OF THE PEOPLE TESTING POSITIVE SHOWED NO SYMPTOMS BUT WERE CHECKED BECAUSE THERE WERE CONFIRMED CASES IN THEIR SHELTERS. PEOPLE WITH CONFIRMED CASES ARE ELIGIBLE TO MOVE INTO CITY-RENTED HOTEL ROOMS OF AN ISOLATION WING SET UP BY THE GROUP A SAFE HAVEN.

KROGER IS OFFERING TO HELP OTHER BUSINESSES ACROSS THE COUNTRY REOPEN. CEO RODNEY MCMULLEN SAYS THEIR GROCERY STORES, WAREHOUSES, AND PLANTS HAVE BEEN OPEN THROUGHOUT THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK, AND THE COMPANY IS WILLING TO SHARE VALUABLE LESSONS THEY’VE LEARNED. KROGER’S BLUEPRINT IS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE ONLINE.

TYSON FOODS IS CLOSING ITS PLANT IN WATERLOO, IOWA AFTER RUNNING AT LOWER PRODUCTION LEVELS DUE TO WORKER ABSENCES AMID THE COVID-19 CRISIS. THE COMPANY SAYS THE 2,800 WORKERS WILL BE INVITED TO THE PLANT LATER THIS WEEK FOR TESTING. THE WATERLOO FACTORY IS TYSON’S LARGEST PORK PROCESSING PLANT, BUT COMPANY OFFICIALS SAY SOME OF THEIR OTHER LOCATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE AT REDUCED LEVELS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 12:45pm:

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT’S CHOICE FOR THE CITY’S POLICE SUPERINTENDENT HAS BEEN APPROVED TODAY BY THE CITY COUNCIL. FORMER DALLAS POLICE CHIEF DAVID BROWN WAS CONFIRMED UNANIMOUSLY BY ALL 50 ALDERMEN. THE 59-YEAR-OLD POLICE VET INHERITS A FORCE THAT IS ON THE FRONT LINE OF THE CITY’S WAR AGAINST COVID-19. CPD HAS ALREADY LOST THREE OF ITS MEMBERS TO THE VIRUS, WITH HUNDREDS MORE NOW TESTING POSITIVE.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER IS PREDICTING THAT THE COVID-19 PEAK IN CASES COULD COME IN MID-MAY. PRITZKER SAYS DISPARITIES IN INFECTION RATES IN DIFFERENT REGIONS COULD INFORM CHANGES TO THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER.

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE IS MAKING CUTS DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. COMPANY-WIDE FURLOUGHS WERE ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY AS ADVERTISING REVENUE HAS DECLINED SINCE THE OUTBREAK. THE THREE-WEEK FURLOUGHS WILL BE FOR NON-UNION EMPLOYEES MAKING BETWEEN $40,000 and $67,000 PER YEAR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 11:45am:

DOW IS UP 462 POINTS. THE NASDAQ IS UP 195 POINTS. S & P IS UP 59 POINTS.

A NURSING HOME ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTS OVER 70% OF THEIR RESIDENTS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE SYMPHONY SOUTH SHORE NURSING HOME IS ONE OF SEVERAL HOMES THAT ARE PART OF THE SYMPHONY CARE NETWORK, WHICH HAS HIRED AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT TO HELP THROUGH THE CRISIS. AT THE SYMPHONY HOME ON 71ST, 111 OF THE 158 RESIDENTS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE AND ONE PERSON HAS DIED.

A NEW COVID-19 ANTIBODY TESTING SITE IS SET UP IN CHICAGO’S LINCOLN PARK NEIGHBORHOOD. THE GROUP PROVIDING THE TEST SAYS ITS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE THAT IS FEELING WELL AND HAS NOT HAD ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 IN THE LAST 14 DAYS. THE COVID-19 ANTIBODY TEST IS A BLOOD DRAW AND THE TENT IS SET UP AT THE CORNER OF ASHLAND AND FULLERTON. THE EXAMS LOOK FOR ANTIBODIES AND ARE EXPECTED TO PROVIDE VALUABLE DATA ABOUT THE VIRUS AND HOW IT DEVELOPS IN THE BODY. SAMPLES COLLECTED WILL BE ANALYZED AND RESULTS WILL BE READY IN TWO TO FIVE DAYS. INSURANCE IS ACCEPTED OR YOU CAN PAY 250 DOLLARS OUT OF POCKET.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 10:45am:

THE CORONAVIRUS COULD COME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE. DR. ROBERT REDFIELD SAID THIS WINTER COULD BE MORE DIFFICULT THAN THE CURRENT STRAIN COVID-19 IS HAVING ON THE U.S. RIGHT NOW. HE NOTED ANOTHER WAVE COULD OCCUR DURING FLU SEASON AND HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE COUNTRY’S HEALTH SYSTEM.

CNN AND SESAME STREET ARE PUTTING ON A TOWN HALL ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS THIS WEEKEND. THE EVENT THAT’S SCHEDULED FOR 8 A.M. SATURDAY IS AIMED AT BOTH KIDS AND PARENTS. BIG BIRD WILL MAKE A SPECIAL APPEARANCE – THE SPECIAL CALLED THE ABC’S OF COVID-19 WILL GO FOR 90 MINUTES AND THE SESAME STREET MUPPETS WILL ALSO BE ON THE SHOW.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 9:45am:

WALL STREET INVESTORS ARE BUYING AT THE OPENING BELL. ALL THREE MAJOR STOCK INDEXES ARE UP MORE THAN ONE-AND-A-HALF PERCENT IN EARLY TRADING ON WALL STREET. IT COMES AFTER A COUPLE OF DAYS OF STEEP DECLINES BECAUSE OF THE FALLING PRICE OF OIL. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS UP MORE THAN 400 POINTS AT THE START.

THE FCC IS EXPECTED TO APPROVE A NEW FASTER LANE FOR WIRELESS INTERNET TRAFFIC TOMORROW. WITH SO MANY PEOPLE FINDING THEMSELVES HAVING TO WORK OR STUDY FROM HOME DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS, IT’S PUT A BURDEN ON OUR HOME WI-FI CAPACITY. FOR PEOPLE WITH OLDER ROUTERS, SERVICE CAN BE SPOTTY WITH EVERYONE USING IT AT ONCE. THE NEW SIX-GIGAHERTZ FREQUENCY IS FASTER THAN EXISTING TWO-POINT-FOUR AND FIVE GIGAHERTZ RANGES IN USE NOW. OF COURSE, DEVICES THAT CAN USE THE NEW LANE AREN’T AVAILABLE YET, BUT SHOULD BE FOR SALE SOMETIME THIS SUMMER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 8:50am:

DES PLAINES AND PARK RIDGE ARE THE LATEST SUBURBS TO REQUIRE CITIZENS TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS IN PUBLIC PLACES TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. DES PLAINES REPORTED THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN SUBURBAN COOK COUNTY THIS WEEK, WITH 458. DES PLAINES’ POLICE CHIEF SAYS PEOPLE NOT WEARING MASKS WILL BE WARNED, CITATIONS WILL ONLY BE GIVEN OUT AS A LAST RESORT.

THERE WERE OVER 1,500 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS REPORTED YESTERDAY, AND 119 MORE DEATHS. GOVERNOR PRITZGER ESTIMATES THE PEAK WILL LIKELY COME IN MID MAY. WITH MORE THAN 33 THOUSAND CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19, GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE’S NOT BUDGING WHEN IT COMES TO LIFTING THE STAY AT HOME ORDER.

TOM HANKS AND RITA WILSON ARE DONATING PLASMA TO POTENTIALLY HELP SAVE LIVES, BECAUSE THEY NOW CARRY THE ANTIBODIES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 7:10am:

CHICAGO HAS CANCELED THE CHICAGO MEMORIAL DAY PARADE AND WREATH LAYING CEREMONY, THE CHICAGO GOSPEL MUSIC FESTIVAL, THE CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL, AND THE CHICAGO HOUSE MUSIC CONFERENCE AND FESTIVAL. THE CHICAGO LAKEFRONT AND RIVERWALK REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL THE STAY AT HOME ORDER IS LIFTED.

NEW COVID-19 ANTIBODY TESTING WILL BE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC AT A CHICAGO FACILITY STARTING THIS MORNING. THE GROUP PROVIDING THE TEST SAY THE BLOOD DRAW TEST IS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE THAT IS FEELING WELL AND HAS NOT HAD ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 IN THE LAST 14 DAYS. THIS TESTING TENT ON THE CORNER OF ASHLAND AND FULLERTON AVENUES IS USING ABBOTT’S SEROLOGICAL TESTS. THE EXAMS LOOK FOR ANTIBODIES CAN INDICATE IF YOU’VE HAD THE VIRUS AND MIGHT NOW BE IMMUNE. IN THEORY YOU WOULD NOT GET INFECTED AGAIN AND YOU WOULDN’T BE A RISK TO OTHERS. SOME PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERTS AND LABORATORY OWNERS HAVE BEEN SOUNDING THE ALARM ABOUT THE LAX OVERSIGHT. THEY SAID THE TESTS NEED TO MEET STANDARDS AND PROVE THAT THEY ACTUALLY WORK.

AIR QUALITY IS GETTING HEALTHIER AROUND THE WORLD AS TRAVEL AND INDUSTRY HAVE SEEN A MASSIVE REDUCTION AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. CITIES WITH SOME OF THE WORST AIR POLLUTION IN THE WORLD HAVE SEEN THINGS IMPROVE BY AS MUCH AS 60% COMPARED WITH LAST YEAR. THE STUDY, CONDUCTED BY TECH COMPANY IQAIR, LOOKED AT TEN MAJOR CITIES WITH HIGH NUMBERS OF COVID-19 CASES, INCLUDING WUHAN, NEW DELHI AND SEOUL. IT WAS RELEASED TO COINCIDE WITH THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF EARTH DAY WHICH IS TODAY.

MICHAEL JORDAN IS DONATING ALL THE PROCEEDS FROM HIS DOCUMENTARY SERIES ON ESPN. FORBES SAYS THE NBA LEGEND IS SET TO MAKE BETWEEN THREE TO FOUR-MILLION FROM “THE LAST DANCE,” WHICH FOCUSES ON THE CHICAGO BULLS’ 1997-98 SEASON. THE FIRST TWO PARTS PREMIERED OVER THE WEEKEND. JORDAN HAS NOT YET ANNOUNCED WHICH CHARITIES HE WILL DONATE TO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/22/2020 6:10am:

MCDONALD’S IS SERVING FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS FOR FREE, STARTING TODAY. FRONTLINE WORKERS WHO HAVE A WORK BADGE OR ARE IN UNIFORM CAN GET A FREE MEAL DURING BREAKFAST, LUNCH, OR DINNER. TODAY THRU MAY 5TH.

THERE WERE OVER 1,500 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS REPORTED YESTERDAY, AND 119 MORE DEATHS. GOVERNOR PRITZGER ESTIMATES THE PEAK WILL LIKELY COME IN MID MAY. WITH MORE THAN 33 THOUSAND CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19, GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE’S NOT BUDGING WHEN IT COMES TO LIFTING THE STAY AT HOME ORDER.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THE STATE IS OFFERING MORE HELP FOR STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS AND LOW-INCOME FAMILIES WHO ARE STRUGGLING DURING THE PANDEMIC. HE ADDS THAT SNAP RECIPIENTS WITH SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO PUT MORE FOOD ON THE TABLE.

U.S. HEALTH REGULATORS HAVE OK’D THE FIRST CORONAVIRUS TEST THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO COLLECT THEIR OWN SAMPLE AT HOME, THAT COULD HELP EXPAND TESTING OPTIONS IN MOST STATES. THE TEST WILL INITIALLY ONLY BE AVAILABLE TO HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS UNDER A DOCTOR’S ORDERS. THE SAMPLE WILL STILL HAVE TO BE SHIPPED FOR PROCESSING BACK TO LABCORP, WHICH OPERATES DIAGNOSTIC LABS THROUGHOUT THE U.S.THE FDA HAS ENDORSED THE SELF-SWAB METHOD. LABCORP’S TEST IS THE FIRST THAT ALLOWS IT TO BE DONE AT HOME WITHOUT SUPERVISION. THE COMPANY SAID IT WILL MAKE THE TEST AVAILABLE IN THE COMING WEEKS. EACH KIT WILL COST $119.

SOURCE: TTW

UPDATE 4/21/2020 5:30pm:

A SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF BILL IS HEADED TO THE HOUSE AFTER PASSAGE BY THE SENATE. THE BIPARTISAN MEASURE WOULD PUMP MORE THAN 382-BILLION DOLLARS BACK INTO A FUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES HURT BY THE PANDEMIC, ALONG WITH 75-BILLION FOR HOSPITALS AND 25-BILLION FOR EXPANDED COVID-19 TESTING. IT WILL NEED TO BE PASSED BY THE HOUSE BEFORE IT CAN GO TO THE PRESIDENT’S DESK FOR SIGNATURE. TRUMP HAS INDICATED HE WILL SIGN IT.

ORGANIZERS OF THE SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE ARE CANCELING THE COMPETITION FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE WORLD WAR II. THE DECISION TO CANCEL THE BEE COMES AFTER PROCEEDINGS WERE INITIALLY SUSPENDED LAST MONTH. NEXT YEAR’S SPELLING CONTEST WILL TAKE PLACE JUNE 1ST THROUGH THE 3RD.

NETFLIX IS ONE OF THE BRIGHT SPOTS IN THE STOCK MARKET. THE STREAMING GIANT REPORTED EARNINGS AFTER THE BELL TODAY AND REVEALED IT ADDED MORE THAN 15-MILLION NEW SUBSCRIBERS IN THE FIRST QUARTER. MEANTIME, THE MAJOR INDEXES ALL LOST AROUND TWO-AND-A-HALF PERCENT OR MORE TODAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 3:50pm:

STOCKS CONTINUE TO TRADE LOWER AS INVESTORS GRAPPLE WITH A HISTORIC FALL IN OIL PRICES, AND MANY TECH STOCKS ALSO SAW BIG DROPS. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE LOST 631 POINTS, THE S&P FELL 87 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ SLIPPED 297 POINTS.

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS IS REPORTING A DROP OF EXISTING HOME SALES OF 8.5% IN MARCH. MOST OF THAT CAME BEFORE LARGE PORTIONS OF THE COUNTRY SHUT DOWN. SOME EXPERTS SAY THEY MAY DECLINE BY MORE THAN 30% IN THE NEXT REPORT.

IN-FLIGHT INTERNET COMPANY GOGO, BASED IN CHICAGO, WILL FURLOUGH MORE THAN 600 EMPLOYEES, OR ROUGHLY 60% OF ITS WORKFORCE TO CUT COSTS DURING THE PANDEMIC. MOST REMAINING EMPLOYEES WILL HAVE THEIR COMPENSATION REDUCED. AIRLINES ARE SEEKING BILLIONS IN FINANCIAL HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT AS AIR TRAVEL HAS ALL BUT CEASED.

FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS WILL EAT FOR FREE STARTING TOMORROW AT MCDONALD’S. ANY FRONTLINE WORKER WEARING A UNIFORM OR WITH A WORK BADGE CAN GET A FREE MEAL DURING BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER. THE OFFER GOES THROUGH MAY 5TH AT PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 2:50pm:

OFFICIALS TODAY ANNOUNCED 1,551 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS, WITH 119 NEW FATALITIES. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES IN THE STATE IS NOW 33,059, WITH 1,468 LIVES LOST DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. EARLIER TODAY, GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAID THAT NEW MODELS PROJECT THE VIRUS WILL PEAK IN MID-MAY.

THE FIRST AT-HOME CORONAVIRUS TEST IS NOW APPROVED, ACCORDING TO AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE FDA TODAY. THE PIXEL, AS THE TEST IS KNOWN, IS A NASAL SWAB KIT THAT WILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO TEST THEMSELVES AND SEND IT TO A LAB. IT WILL INITIALLY ONLY BE AVAILABLE TO HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS UNDER A DOCTOR’S ORDERS.

CNN IS PARTNERING WITH SESAME STREET FOR A SPECIAL TOWN HALL THIS SATURDAY AT 9 A.M. EASTERN TIME. “THE ABC’S OF COVID 19: A CNN/SESAME STREET TOWN HALL FOR KIDS AND PARENTS” WILL TACKLE ISSUES ABOUT THE VIRUS INCLUDING EDUCATION, ANXIETY, AND SCREEN TIME. THE TOWN HALL WILL RUN 90 MINUTES AND WILL FEATURE EXPERTS AND CHARACTERS FROM SESAME STREET, INCLUDING ELMO, GROVER, AND MORE ANSWERING QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY FAMILIES. BIG BIRD WILL JOIN DR. SANJAY GUPTA AS A MODERATOR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 1:45pm:

GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAID TODAY THAT MODELS ARE NOW PREDICTING THE CORONAVIRUS WON’T PEAK IN ILLINOIS UNTIL MID-MAY. PREVIOUS MODELS HAD PROJECTED THE PEAK OF THE OUTBREAK TO COME IN MID-TO-LATE APRIL. MEANWHILE, CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT SAID ON A CONFERENCE CALL WITH REPORTERS THAT SHE EXPECTS PRITZKER’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER COULD EXTEND INTO JUNE.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT IS LAUNCHING A NEW CAMPAIGN TO URGE CHICAGO’S MOST VULNERABLE RESIDENTS TO WEAR MASKS DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE INITIATIVE IS NAMED CHICAGO TOGETHER! MAKE A MASK, GIVE A MASK, WEAR A MASK. LIGHTFOOT IS ASKING RESIDENTS TO MAKE AND DONATE HOMEMADE CLOTH MASKS THAT WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE CITY’S POPULATION IN THE HOMELESS SHELTERS, COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINICS AND MORE. MASK DONATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT DROP-OFF LOCATIONS ACROSS THE CITY BETWEEN APRIL 25TH AND MAY 16TH. LOCATIONS ARE LISTED AT CHICAGO.GOV/CORONAVIRUS.

SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER THINKS A DEAL IS IN PLACE ON A SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PACKAGE. SCHUMER TOLD CNN THAT A TENTATIVE DEAL WOULD PUMP ANOTHER 350-BILLION-DOLLARS INTO A SMALL BUSINESS LOAN FUND THAT HAS RUN DRY. THE BILL WOULD ALSO INCLUDE 75-BILLION DOLLARS FOR HOSPITALS AND 25-BILLION TO EXPAND TESTING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 12:40pm:

SOME MAJOR ANNUAL EVENTS IN CHICAGO SCHEDULED FOR MAY AND JUNE HAVE BEEN CANCELED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE CITY OF CHICAGO’S DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPECIAL EVENTS ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE CHICAGO MEMORIAL DAY PARADE AND WREATH LAYING CEREMONY, THE HOUSE MUSIC CONFERENCE & FESTIVAL, GOSPEL MUSIC FESTIVAL, AND THE CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL WILL BE CANCELED. CHICAGO IN TUNE, A NEW 18-DAY CELEBRATION OF MUSIC, HAS ALSO BEEN CANCELED.

THE ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THE SPRING SPORTS SEASON HAS BEEN CANCELED. THIS DECISION FOLLOWS GOVERNOR PRITZKER’S ANNOUNCEMENT ON FRIDAY TO KEEP SCHOOLS CLOSED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE ACADEMIC TERM.

LEADERS OF BOTH PARTIES SAY THAT A DEAL TO APPROVE MORE FUNDS FOR THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM IS NEAR TO CLOSING. MONEY HAS REPORTEDLY BEEN ADDED TO THE PROGRAM FOR HOSPITALS, CORONAVIRUS TESTING AND STATE-AND-LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. THE HOUSE AND SENATE WILL HAVE TO APPROVE THE DEAL BEFORE IT IS SENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE FOR SIGNATURE BY THE PRESIDENT.

BEARS LINEBACKER KHALIL MACK IS GIVING BACK DURING THE PANDEMIC. MACK HAS DONATED 350-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO A COVID-19 EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND OPERATED BY A BETTER CHICAGO. THE FUNDS WILL GO TO CHICAGO NONPROFITS PROVIDING CRITICAL SUPPORT TO VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 11:45am:

THE CITY OF CHICAGO’S DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPECIAL EVENTS (DCASE) HAS ANNOUNCED TODAY THE CANCELLATION OF SEVERAL ANNUAL EVENTS IN MAY AND JUNE, INCLUDING THE CHICAGO MEMORIAL DAY PARADE AND WREATH LAYING CEREMONY, THE HOUSE MUSIC CONFERENCE & FESTIVAL, GOSPEL MUSIC FESTIVAL, AND THE CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL.
THE CHICAGO LAKEFRONT AND RIVERWALK WILL ALSO REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL THE GOVERNOR’S STAY AT HOME ORDER IS LIFTED.

IT’S ANOTHER BAD DAY ON WALL STREET DUE TO THE COLLAPSE OF OIL PRICES. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE HAS FALLEN BY MORE THAN 700 POINTS DURING EARLY TRADING. THE S&P 500 ALONG WITH THE NASDAQ HAVE FALLEN MORE THAN 3%.

A KEY NEGOTIATOR BELIEVES THERE’S A DEAL ON A NEW SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PACKAGE. SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER SAYS A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WOULD GIVE THE POPULAR PROGRAM ANOTHER 350-BILLION-DOLLARS. HOSPITALS WOULD GET 75-BILLION-DOLLARS WHILE ANOTHER 25-BILLION WOULD BE PUT TOWARD EXPANDED CORONAVIRUS TESTING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE DROPPING AT THE OPENING BELL ON WALL STREET AS U.S. OIL PRICES ARE RATTLING THE MARKETS. WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE CRUDE FUTURES FOR MAY ARE TRADING WITH A NEGATIVE PRICE WHILE INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARK BRENT CRUDE IS DOWN MORE THAN 23% TO $19.59 A BARREL. SHARES OF EXXON MOBILE ARE TRADING AROUND FOUR-PERCENT LOWER AMID THE NEWS ON OIL PRICES.

IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES APPEARS HEADED FOR A TEMPORARY HALT. IN A TWEET LATE MONDAY NIGHT, PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED HE’S GOING TO SUSPEND IMMIGRATION TO THE U.S. TO BLOCK THE CORONAVIRUS AND PROTECT JOBS.

A NEW SURVEY SHOWS THAT NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF RESTAURANT WORKERS ARE NOW UNEMPLOYED. THE NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION REPORTS MORE THAN 8 MILLION WORKERS HAVE BEEN LAID OFF OR FURLOUGHED SINCE THE START OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IN THE UNITED STATES. THE INDUSTRY IS LOOKING AT MORE THAN 240-BILLION-DOLLARS IN LOSSES BY THE END OF THE YEAR. THE ASSOCIATION SAID IN A RELEASE THAT MORE THAN 60% OF RESTAURANT OWNERS SAY FEDERAL RELIEF PROGRAMS WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO KEEP EMPLOYEES DURING THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 8:50am:

GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER SAID ILLINOIS HAS NOT YET REACHED THE PEAK OF COVID-19 INFECTIONS AS HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 1,151 NEW CASES AND 59 ADDITIONAL DEATHS YESTERDAY. AS GOV. PRITZKER MULLS OVER EXTENDING THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER BEYOND MAY 1, HE SAID HE’S STRONGLY THINKING ABOUT REQUIRING MASKS IN PUBLIC PLACES, ESPECIALLY GROCERY STORES. BUT HE ADMITS SUCH AN ORDER IS COMPLICATED.

THERE ARE NOW 31,508 PATIENTS WHO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS, INCLUDING 1,349 DEATHS. THE GOVERNOR SAID REOPENING THE ECONOMY MUST BE UNDERSTOOD PROPERLY AS WELL. OPENING IT UP REGION BY REGION IS SOMETHING GOV. PRITZKER IS CONSIDERING, BUT HE SAYS SAID ALL OF IT WILL BE BASED ON ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS.
THERE ARE 219 COOK COUNTY SHERIFF’S EMPLOYEES WHO ARE CURRENTLY BATTLING COVID-19. TWO PASSED AWAY OVER THE WEEKEND. 47 YEAR OLD SHEILA RIVERA AND ANTOINE STEWART, WHO WAS FOUND DEAD IN HIS CRESTWOOD HOME OVER THE WEEKEND. A TOTAL OF 321 COOK COUNTY SHERIFF’S EMPLOYEES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS TO DATE — WITH 185 BEING CORRECTIONS OFFICERS. 109 HAVE RECOVERED AND RETURNED TO WORK. IN ADDITION, 398 COOK COUNTY JAIL DETAINEES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, AND SIX HAVE DIED.

GLASSES FOGGING UP BECAUSE OF YOUR COVID-19 FACE MASK? YES, IT HAPPENS TO ANYONE WEARING SUNGLASSES OR GLASSES. WHILE THIS FOGGY GLASSES PHENOMENON MAY BE NEW TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, IT’S OLD NEWS FOR NEARSIGHTED NURSES AND DOCTORS, WHO HAVE BEEN WEARING FACE MASKS LONG BEFORE COVID-19. HERE’S WHAT YOU DO: “IMMEDIATELY BEFORE WEARING A FACE MASK, WASH THE SPECTACLES WITH SOAPY WATER AND SHAKE OFF THE EXCESS. THEN, LET THE SPECTACLES AIR DRY OR GENTLY DRY OFF THE LENSES WITH A SOFT TISSUE BEFORE PUTTING THEM BACK ON.

THE FIRST METEOR SHOWER SINCE JANUARY WILL LIGHT UP THE SKY TONIGHT AND EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING. THE LYRID METEOR SHOWER SOMETIMES FLASHES NEARLY 100 METEORS AN HOUR. ASTRONOMY MAGAZINE SAYS THE VIEW SHOULD BE PARTICULARLY GOOD, SINCE THE ALMOST-NEW MOON WON’T WASH OUT THE METEOR SHOWERS.

MORE THAN 40 FACTORY WORKERS IN MARCUS HOOK, PENNSYLVANIA DECIDED TO QUARANTINE TOGETHER AT WORK, SO THEY COULD MAKE FACE MASK FABRIC NON-STOP, AROUND THE CLOCK. THEY ATE, SLEPT, AND WORKED AT THE FACTORY TO GET MORE DONE. THEY JUST WENT HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES AFTER AN EPIC, 28-DAY WORK SHIFT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 7:10am:

GOVERNORS IN A NUMBER OF STATES ARE ROLLING OUT TIMELINES FOR ROLLING BACK CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS. SOME STATES ARE DROPPING STAY-AT HOME ORDERS AS OF MAY 1ST. GEORGIA ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY SOME BUSINESSES, INCLUDING GYMS AND HAIR SALONS, CAN REOPEN ON FRIDAY. FLORIDA HAS ALREADY ALLOWED SOME BEACHES TO REOPEN FOR LIMITED RECREATIONAL ACTIVATES AND SOUTH CAROLINA REPORTEDLY PLANS TO DO THE SAME NEXT WEEK. MINNESOTA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, AND WISCONSIN ARE AMONG THE STATES ALSO EASING SOME RESTRICTIONS THIS WEEK.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE’S NOT SURE YET ABOUT EXTENDING THE CURRENT STAY AT HOME ORDER BUT IS CONSIDERING OPENING AREAS BY REGION EVENTUALLY. PRITZKER ADDED THAT FACTORS WOULD INCLUDE THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN A CERTAIN AREA AND A REGION’S HOSPITAL CAPACITY.

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT HAS LAUNCHED A NEW INITIATIVE CLOTH MASK DRIVE CALLED, “CHICAGO TOGETHER! MAKE A MASK, GIVE A MASK, WEAR A MASK.” LIGHTFOOT IS ASKING RESIDENTS TO MAKE AND DONATE HOMEMADE CLOTH MASKS THAT WILL BE PROVIDED TO CHICAGO’S VULNERABLE POPULATION IN HOMELESS SHELTERS, COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINICS, MORE. THE MAYOR IS NOW PROVIDING CLOTH MASKS TO ESSENTIAL CITY WORKERS AS WELL AND COVID SAFETY OFFICERS WILL ALSO MAKE SURE SOCIAL DISTANCING TECHNIQUES ARE PRACTICED ACROSS DEPARTMENTS. THE MASKS CAN BE MADE FROM RECYCLED CLOTH, SUCH AS T-SHIRTS, BANDANAS, JEANS, THICK COTTON AND OTHER BREATHABLE FABRICS.

MASK DONATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR THE PROGRAM WITH DROP-OFF LOCATIONS AVAILABLE ACROSS THE CITY. DONATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED FROM 10 A.M. TO 2 P.M. ON TUESDAYS AND SATURDAYS BEGINNING THIS SATURDAY APRIL 25. FOR DROP-OFF LOCATIONS, VISIT CHICAGO.GOV/CORONAVIRUS.

TODAY MARKS THREE MONTHS SINCE THE FIRST CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASE IN THE U.S. IT WAS A WASHINGTON STATE MAN IN HIS 30S IN WHO HAD JUST COME BACK FROM WUHAN, CHINA, WHERE THE OUTBREAK FIRST EXPLODED. LIFE IN AMERICA HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN, WITH LOCKDOWNS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING IN PLACE FROM COAST TO COAST TO FIGHT THE SPREAD. SINCE THAT FIRST CASE, NEARLY 800,000 OTHERS HAVE BEEN RECORDED IN ALL 50 STATES, WITH MORE THAN 42,000 DEATHS.

A BIT OF GOOD NEWS AS MOSQUITO-SWATTING SEASON APPROACHES: THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SAYS THE BLOOD-SUCKING PESTS CAN’T SPREAD CORONAVIRUS. THE ORGANIZATION SAYS THERE’S NO EVIDENCE THAT ANYONE HAS BEEN INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS AS A RESULT OF A MOSQUITO BITE. THE USUAL WAYS TO CATCH THE RESPIRATORY VIRUS ARE IF AN INFECTED PERSON SNEEZES OR COUGHS NEARBY, OR IF YOU TOUCH A SURFACE THAT’S CONTAMINATED WITH THE VIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/21/2020 6:10am:

THE LATEST STATISTICS FROM THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAY 1,151 NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 31,508 CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS AND 1,349 RELATED DEATHS IN THE STATE. TO DATE, 148,358 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TESTED.

THIS IS THE 15TH STRAIGHT DAY HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE ANNOUNCED MORE THAN 1,000 NEW CONFIRMED CASES IN ILLINOIS. AS TESTING INCREASES, THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES FOR THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES TO DOUBLE IS INCREASING AS WELL, WHICH HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY INDICATES THE STATE IS “BENDING THE CURVE.”

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THE STATE IS WORKING TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS NURSING HOMES BY BOOSTING TESTING AT THE FACILITIES, ESPECIALLY IN MINORITY COMMUNITIES. NURSING HOMES HAVE ALREADY LIMITED OR BANNED VISITORS AND INCREASED SANITATION EFFORTS. INFECTION DATA FOR ILLINOIS LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT’S WEBSITE.

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SUSPENDING IMMIGRATION INTO THE U.S. DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. IN A TWEET MONDAY NIGHT, TRUMP CLAIMED HIS EXECUTIVE ORDER WILL PROTECT JOBS FOR AMERICANS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 5:30pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER TOLD REPORTERS THAT AS HE CONSIDERS WHETHER TO LIFT THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER SCHEDULED TO EXPIRE AT THE END OF THE MONTH, HE COULD CONSIDER DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO REOPENING CERTAIN PARTS OF THE STATE. THE GOVERNOR POINTED OUT THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN DISTANCE BETWEEN PEOPLE’S HOMES IN RURAL AREAS VERSUS CONGESTED CITIES. PRITZKER SAID THE DECISION ON HOW AND WHEN TO OPEN WILL BE BASED ON KEEPING RESIDENTS SAFE WHILE GIVING THEM THE ABILITY TO DO AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT SPREADING THE VIRUS.

SOME EMPLOYEES AT THE ROSE MEAT PACKING COMPANY ON CHICAGO’S SOUTH SIDE ARE DEMANDING MORE EQUIPMENT TO STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. SO FAR, THERE HAVE BEEN 21 CASES REPORTED AT THE PLANT. ROSE PACKING OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE USING STRICT PROTOCOLS TO CLEAN THE FACILITY EVERY NIGHT AND ARE HANDING OUT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO THEIR WORKERS. DESPITE THAT CLAIM, SOME EMPLOYEES SAY THEY HAVE NO FACE MASKS AND ONLY HAVE BEEN GIVEN INEXPENSIVE HAIR NETS. WORKERS ARE ASKING FOR A FORMAL INVESTIGATION TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS IN ORDER AT THE FACILITY.

BON JOVI IS CANCELING ITS SUMMER TOUR DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. A STATEMENT RELEASED TODAY SAYS THE BAND MADE THE DIFFICULT DECISION BECAUSE IT IS NO LONGER FEASIBLE TO GO ON THE ROAD. INSTEAD OF POSTPONING THE BON JOVI 2020 TOUR, THE BAND SAYS THEY’VE CANCELED SO THEIR FANS CAN BE REIMBURSED FOR TICKETS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 3:50pm:

STOCKS ARE SHARPLY LOWER AT THE CLOSE ON WALL STREET AS U.S. CRUDE PRICES HIT HISTORIC LOWS. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE DROPPED 592 POINTS, THE S&P 500 LOST 51 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ FELL 89 POINTS.

OFFICIALS IN WUHAN, CHINA WHERE THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK BEGAN, ARE RAISING THE CITY’S DEATH TOLL BY 50%. ALMOST 1,300 DEATHS WERE ADDED TO THE COUNT, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO MORE THAN 4600. WUHAN OFFICIALS SAID CASES WERE MISSED EARLIER BECAUSE THE CITY’S MEDICAL STAFF WERE OVERWHELMED AS INFECTIONS MULTIPLIED, LEADING TO LATE REPORTING, OMISSIONS, OR INACCURATE REPORTING.

WHOLE FOODS IS RAMPING UP ITS ONLINE OPERATION TO MEET DEMAND DURING THE CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN. THE AMAZON GROCERY CHAIN SAYS WITH STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS IN PLACE, CUSTOMERS HAVE GENERATED “UNPRECEDENTED DEMAND” FOR GROCERY DELIVERY. AMAZON ALSO PLANS TO LAUNCH A NEW FEATURE ALLOWING CUSTOMERS TO SECURE A TIME TO SHOP AT WHOLE FOODS, GIVING DELIVERY CUSTOMERS A VIRTUAL “PLACE IN LINE.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 2:50pm:

STATE OFFICIALS IN ILLINOIS REPORTED 1,151 NEW KNOWN COVID-19 CASES ON MONDAY, AS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF KNOWN INFECTIONS REACHED 31,508. 59 DEATHS WERE REPORTED STATEWIDE SINCE YESTERDAY, BRINGING THE TOLL SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN TO 1,349. GOVERNOR PRITZKER HAS SAID HE IS WEIGHING PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE ECONOMY AS HE CONSIDERS WHEN TO LIFT STAY-AT-HOME RESTRICTIONS.

THE DIRECTOR OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION IS WARNING THE PUBLIC THAT THE PEAK OF THE CORONAVIRUS IS YET TO COME. DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS SAYS THE WORST OF THE PANDEMIC IS NOT OVER AS SOME NATIONS ARE SLOWLY EASING GATHERING RESTRICTIONS.

WHILE A NEW SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PACKAGE IS STILL BEING DISCUSSED AMONG LAWMAKERS IN D.C., RESTAURANT CHAIN SHAKE SHACK IS GIVING BACK THE TEN-MILLION DOLLARS IT GOT FROM THE FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE, IN ORDER TO GIVE SMALLER RESTAURANTS A CHANCE AT THE MONEY. IT WAS ONE OF SEVERAL LARGE CHAINS THAT GOT A CHUNK OF THE 349-BILLION-DOLLARS AIMED AT HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES KEEP THEIR WORKERS ON THE PAYROLL. SHAKE SHACK SAID THE LOANS WERE AVAILABLE FOR RESTAURANT LOCATIONS WITH LESS THAN 500 EMPLOYEES, WHICH INCLUDES EVERY ONE OF THE CHAIN’S 189 RESTAURANTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 1:45pm:

A HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM ON CHICAGO’S SOUTH SIDE IS BACK OPEN AFTER IT WAS SHUT DOWN FOR TWO WEEKS WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS. PROVIDENT HOSPITAL’S EMERGENCY ROOM HAS RE-CONFIGURED SEATING TO MEET SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES, ALONG WITH HAVING A DESIGNATED SEATING AREA FOR PATIENTS SUSPECTED OF HAVING COVID-19.

NURSING HOME FACILITIES, HIT HARD NATIONWIDE BY THE PANDEMIC, WILL NOW HAVE TO REPORT ALL CASES OF CORONAVIRUS TO PATIENTS AND FAMILIES, AS WELL AS THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. THOUSANDS OF NURSING HOME RESIDENTS HAVE DIED FROM COVID-19, AND MANY FAMILIES HAVE COMPLAINED THAT THEY HAVEN’T BEEN TOLD WHAT’S HAPPENING. NOW, NURSING HOMES WILL HAVE TO TELL PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES WITHIN 12 HOURS OF A CORONAVIRUS DIAGNOSIS AND GIVE WEEKLY UPDATES. FACILITIES WILL ALSO HAVE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ON CONFIRMED AND SUSPECTED CASES TO THE CDC.

FACEBOOK IS REMOVING SOME EVENTS ON ITS PLATFORM AIMED AT PROTESTING STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS MANDATED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. FACEBOOK HAS REMOVED EVENTS PLANNED IN CALIFORNIA, NEBRASKA AND NEW JERSEY, BECAUSE THEY VIOLATED PROTECTIVE MEASURES IMPOSED BY GOVERNORS. A SPOKESPERSON FOR FACEBOOK SAID “EVENTS THAT DEFY GOVERNMENT’S GUIDANCE ON SOCIAL DISTANCING AREN’T ALLOWED ON FACEBOOK.”

SOURCE: TTWN
UPDATE 4/20/2020 12:45pm:

THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD IS HELPING A RESIDENTIAL CENTER FOR ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES IN SUBURBAN PARK FOREST THAT IS DEALING WITH AN OUTBREAK OF COVID-19. MEMBERS OF THE GUARD WILL BE TAKING TEMPERATURE CHECKS AND HEALTH SCREENINGS AT ENTRANCES TO THE STATE-RUN LUDEMAN DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER. DOZENS OF LUDEMAN RESIDENTS AND 28 EMPLOYEES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS.

UNITED AIRLINES IS REPORTING A TWO-BILLION DOLLAR LOSS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE YEAR AS TRAVEL DEMAND FELL AMID THE PANDEMIC. UNITED SAID TODAY REVENUE DROPPED 17 PERCENT IN THE FIRST QUARTER FROM A YEAR AGO. THE CHICAGO-BASED CARRIER HAS APPLIED FOR UP TO FOUR-AND-A-HALF-BILLION DOLLARS IN GOVERNMENT LOANS TO HELP WEATHER THE CRISIS.

MORE THAN 100,000 DISNEY EMPLOYEES WILL NOT BE GETTING A PAYCHECK THIS WEEK. THE COMPANY IS SUSPENDING PAY FOR THOUSANDS OF THEIR SO-CALLED CAST MEMBERS TO SAVE DISNEY UP TO 500-MILLION DOLLARS A MONTH ACROSS ITS THEME PARKS AND HOTELS. DISNEY FACILITIES HAVE BEEN CLOSED FOR FIVE WEEKS DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. THE FINANCIAL TIMES REPORTS THE COMPANY PROJECTS EXECUTIVE-BONUS WILL BE PAID LATER IN JULY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 11:45am:

THE U.S., CANADA AND MEXICO ARE EXTENDING BORDER TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS DUE TO THE ONGOING CORONAVIRUS THREAT. THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED THAT RESTRICTIONS ON NON-ESSENTIAL BORDER TRAVEL WILL BE EXTENDED FOR ANOTHER 30-DAYS. THERE ARE EXEMPTIONS FOR VEHICLES INVOLVED IN COMMERCE AND TRADE.

SOME EMPLOYEES AT A MEAT PACKING COMPANY ON CHICAGO’S SOUTH SIDE ARE DEMANDING MORE EQUIPMENT TO STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. SO FAR, THERE HAVE BEEN 21 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS AT THE ROSE PACKING PLANT. A RELATIVE OF TWO OF THE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE QUARANTINED AFTER TESTING POSITIVE SAYS THE OWNER NEEDS TO SHUT DOWN, CLEAN AND STERILIZE. MEANWHILE, ROSE PACKING OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE USING STRICT PROTOCOLS TO CLEAN THE FACILITY EVERY NIGHT AND ARE HANDING OUT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO THEIR WORKERS. DESPITE THAT CLAIM, SOME EMPLOYEES SAY THEY HAVE NO FACE MASKS AND ONLY HAVE BEEN GIVEN INEXPENSIVE HAIR NETS. WORKERS ARE ASKING FOR A FORMAL INVESTIGATION TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS IN ORDER AT THE FACILITY.

CHICAGO SKY ALL-STAR CENTER STEFANIE DOLSON HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS. SHE IS THE FIRST CHICAGO PRO ATHLETE TO HAVE CONTRACTED COVID-19. DOLSON ANNOUNCED LAST MONTH THAT HER ENTIRE FAMILY TESTED POSITIVE, INCLUDING HER MOTHER WHO WAS HOSPITALIZED WITH SEVERE SYMPTOMS AND PNEUMONIA. SKY OWNER MICHAEL ALTER SAID DOLSON’S SYMPTOMS NEVER GOT REALLY BAD AND SHE IS WELL ON HER WAY TO RECOVERY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 10:45am:

STOCKS ARE LOWER ON WALL STREET. INVESTORS ARE REACTING TO A PLUNGE IN U.S. CRUDE PRICES AND THE LATEST NEWS ON THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE CRUDE IS DOWN MORE THAN SEVEN-DOLLARS A BARREL TO TEN-DOLLARS-88-CENTS A BARREL, A MORE THAN 36% DECLINE THAT’S DROPPED THE PRICE TO 11-65 A BARREL. WTI HASN’T BEEN THAT LOW SINCE DECEMBER OF 1999. INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARK BRENT CRUDE IS DOWN A DOLLAR-69, TO 26-39 A BARREL. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE HAS BEEN DOWN MORE THAN 500 POINTS AT TIMES.

UNITED AIRLINES IS REPORTING A TWO-BILLION-DOLLAR LOSS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER AS TRAVEL DEMAND FELL SHARPLY AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE CHICAGO-BASED CARRIER HAS APPLIED FOR UP TO 4.5 BILLION-DOLLARS IN GOVERNMENT LOANS TO HELP WEATHER THE CRISIS. UNITED SAID TODAY REVENUE DROPPED 17% IN THE FIRST QUARTER FROM A YEAR AGO. SHARES IN UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS WERE DOWN MORE THAN 5% IN EARLY TRADING ON WALL STREET.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO IS CANCELING ALL PLANNED EVENTS FOR JUNE IN NEW YORK CITY BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS. THAT INCLUDES PARADES, RALLIES, LARGE GATHERINGS AND ANY OTHER NON-ESSENTIAL PERMITTED EVENT. THE MAYOR SAYS HE IS WORKING WITH ORGANIZERS OF LARGE EVENTS TO TRY AND RESCHEDULE SOME OF THEM TO LATER IN THE YEAR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE SHARPLY LOWER IN EARLY TRADING ON WALL STREET. INVESTORS ARE REACTING TO A PLUNGE IN U.S. CRUDE PRICES NOT SEEN IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS. WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE CRUDE IS DOWN OVER SIX-DOLLARS A BARREL WHILE INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARK BRENT CRUDE IS DOWN ABOUT A DOLLAR-20. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE HAS BEEN DOWN MORE THAN 500 POINTS AT TIMES THIS MORNING, WITH THE NASDAQ AND S&P 500 OFF AROUND ONE PERCENT.

WALMART AND SAM’S CLUB EMPLOYEES ACROSS THE U.S. WILL BE WEARING MASKS STARTING TODAY. THE RETAIL GIANT NOTIFIED WORKERS ON FRIDAY THAT THEY MUST WEAR FACE COVERINGS WHILE WORKING, EITHER THEIR OWN OR THOSE PROVIDED BY THE COMPANY. WALMART IS ENCOURAGING CUSTOMERS TO WEAR MASKS AS WELL, BUT WON’T REQUIRE THEM.

THE BURGER CHAIN SHAKE SHACK SAYS IT WILL RETURN A SMALL-BUSINESS LOAN IT GOT TO HELP WEATHER THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS AFTER TOPPING UP ITS FUNDING. IN A STATEMENT THEY SAID THEY WERE ABLE TO GET EXTRA FUNDING LATE LAST WEEK THROUGH AN “EQUITY TRANSACTION” AND DECIDED TO IMMEDIATELY RETURN THE $10 MILLION PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOAN OBTAINED THROUGH THE CARES ACT. THEY SAID SHAKE SHACK WAS RETURNING THE MONEY “SO THAT THOSE RESTAURANTS WHO NEED IT MOST CAN GET IT NOW.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 8:50am:

FIVE NORTHERN ILLINOIS MAYORS HAVE ASKED GOV. JB PRITZKER FOR THE AUTHORITY TO REOPEN BUSINESSES NEXT MONTH, URGING LOCAL CONTROL OVER RESTRICTIONS AND “COMMON SENSE MODIFICATIONS” TO A STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

THE REQUEST COMES AS PROTESTS OVER THE RESTRICTIONS HAVE TAKEN PLACE AT STATE CAPITOLS, INCLUDING A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE DEMONSTRATING SUNDAY IN SPRINGFIELD. PRITZKER SAID HE’S CONTINUALLY EVALUATING A POSSIBLE EXTENSION OF THE ORDER, WHICH EXPIRES APRIL 30, AS OTHER STATES HAVE DONE.

THE RESPONSE COORDINATOR OF THE FEDERAL CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE SAYS THERE ARE A FEW SPOTS WHERE THE CORONAVIRUS IS OF GREAT CONCERN RIGHT NOW. SPEAKING ON CBS’ FACE THE NATION, DR. DEBORAH BIRX SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED BOSTON AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS. BIRX SAYS THERE’S ALSO CONCERN ABOUT CHICAGO.

THE NUMBER OF CASES IN ILLINOIS CONTINUES TO CLIMB…ON SUNDAY, ILLINOIS PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 1,197 NEW COVID-19 CASES AND 33 DEATHS. OVERALL, THERE HAVE BEEN 30,357 CASES WITH 1,290 DEATHS IN THE STATE.

THREE CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES DUE TO COVID-19 RELATED ILLNESS, AND AS FAMILY MEMBERS, THE CITY AND CPD PREPARE TO MOURN 56-YEAR-OLD SARGENT CLIFFORD MARTIN ON TUESDAY, A LOCAL EFFORT HOPES TO KEEP THEM ALL SAFE FROM THE VIRUS.

LOCAL FASHION DESIGNER BARBRA BATES HOPES TO FINISH A TOTAL OF 1,000 MASKS BEFORE TOMORROW SO OFFICERS LINING THE PROCESSIONAL ROUTE TUESDAY CAN HONOR MARTIN’S SACRIFICE WITHOUT PUTTING THEIR OWN LIVES IN DANGER. THE MASKS HAVE A SPECIAL DESIGN FOR THE CPD BUT BATES HAS ALSO MADE THOUSANDS OF MASKS FOR OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND PATIENTS AT HOSPITALS.

WHILE CRUISES SEEM LIKE A TERRIBLE IDEA RIGHT NOW, THERE IS ONE CRUISE THAT WAS THE PLACE TO BE. THE ITALIAN COSTA DELIZIOSA SHIP THAT SET OFF ON A ROUND-THE-WORLD EXCURSION BEFORE THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC BEGAN, AND IT WILL DOCK IN BARCELONA TODAY AFTER 34 DAYS AT SEA. THE SHIP SAILED FROM VENICE IN EARLY JANUARY. IT LAST DOCKED IN PERTH, AUSTRALIA MORE THAN A MONTH AGO. THE NEARLY TWO-THOUSAND PASSENGERS HAVE ALL TESTED NEGATIVE FOR THE VIRUS THAT’S KILLED MORE THAN 160,000 PEOPLE WORLDWIDE. NEARLY 170 SPANISH CITIZENS WILL BE ALLOWED OFF THE SHIP TODAY AND THE REMAINING PASSENGERS WILL STAY ON BOARD UNTIL THE SHIP DOCKS IN ITALY NEXT WEEK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 7:10am:

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 214 IS SAD TO REPORT THAT A STUDENT DIED EARLIER THIS WEEK, DUE LIKELY TO COMPLICATIONS FROM COVID-19. 16 YEAR OLD ZACH LEVITON’S MOTHER REVEALED HIS IDENTITY LAST NIGHT. SHE SAID ZACH TESTED NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19, BUT SHE THINKS IT’S POSSIBLE HE MIGHT HAVE HAD THE VIRUS. ZACH’S MOTHER SAID HE HAD MILD SYMPTOMS, BUT HIS HEART STARTED FAILING. DOCTORS ARE STILL WAITING ON 2ND TEST RESULTS. THE HIGH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT SAYS THERE IS AT LEAST ONE OTHER STUDENT WITH COVID-19 CURRENTLY IN THE ICU. SUPERINTENDENT SCHULER URGED DISTRICT 214 FAMILIES TO CONTINUE FOLLOWING GOV. JB PRITZKER’S AND OTHER HEALTH OFFICIALS’ GUIDELINES DURING THE PANDEMIC.

TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN SAYS A DEAL FOR A 300-BILLION DOLLAR EMERGENCY CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES COULD GET SENATE APPROVAL TODAY. THE MONEY WOULD RE-STOCK A 350-BILLION DOLLAR SMALL BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM THAT RAN OUT OF CASH LAST WEEK.

THE “ONE WORLD: TOGETHER AT HOME” BENEFIT CONCERT RAISED MORE THAN $128 MILLION TO ADDRESS THE FIGHT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND GLOBAL CITIZEN, FEATURED SOME OF MUSIC’S BIGGEST PERFORMERS SAT NIGHT, INCLUDING ELTON JOHN, STEVIE WONDER, AND THE ROLLING STONES. THE HISTORIC BROADCAST, WAS HOSTED BY JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY FALLON AND STEPHEN COLBERT, ALONGSIDE FRIENDS FROM SESAME STREET. PAUL MCCARTNEY SANG THE BEATLES’ “LADY MADONNA” AND TALKED ABOUT THE WORK HIS MOTHER DID AS A NURSE. GLOBAL CITIZEN SAID $55.1 MILLION WILL BENEFIT THE COVID-19 SOLIDARITY RESPONSE FUND AND THE REMAINING $72.8 MILLION WILL GO TOWARD LOCAL AND REGIONAL RESPONDERS.

A MICHIGAN WOMAN IS TRYING TO GET THE WORD OUT TO PREGNANT WOMEN WHO HAVE COVID-19 THAT THEY CAN HAVE HEALTHY BABIES. COLLEEN OSTWALD TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS DURING HER 37TH WEEK OF PREGNANCY, BUT WAS ABLE TO DELIVER HER SON WITHOUT COMPLICATIONS. =OSTWALD SAYS HER HOSPITAL WAS READY WITH A NEGATIVE PRESSURE ROOM AND DOCTORS AND NURSES OUTFITTED FULLY IN PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. SHE CONVINCED THEM TO ALLOW HER TO HOLD HIM WHILE SHE WORE A MASK. OSTWALD SAYS SON REMINGTON DEVELOPED A SLIGHT FEVER AND WAS MONITORED FOR FOUR DAYS, BUT TESTED NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/20/2020 6:10am:

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 214 IS SAD TO REPORT THAT A STUDENT DIED EARLIER THIS WEEK, DUE LIKELY TO COMPLICATIONS FROM COVID-19. 16 YEAR OLD ZACH LEVITON’S MOTHER REVEALED HIS IDENTITY LAST NIGHT. SHE SAID ZACH TESTED NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19, BUT SHE THINKS IT’S POSSIBLE HE MIGHT HAVE HAD THE VIRUS. ZACH’S MOTHER SAID HE HAD MILD SYMPTOMS, BUT HIS HEART STARTED FAILING. DOCTORS ARE STILL WAITING ON 2ND TEST RESULTS. THE HIGH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT SAYS THERE IS AT LEAST ONE OTHER STUDENT WITH COVID-19 CURRENTLY IN THE ICU. SUPERINTENDENT SCHULER URGED DISTRICT 214 FAMILIES TO CONTINUE FOLLOWING GOV. JB PRITZKER’S AND OTHER HEALTH OFFICIALS’ GUIDELINES DURING THE PANDEMIC.

TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN SAYS A DEAL FOR A 300-BILLION DOLLAR EMERGENCY CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES COULD GET SENATE APPROVAL TODAY. THE MONEY WOULD RE-STOCK A 350-BILLION DOLLAR SMALL BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM THAT RAN OUT OF CASH LAST WEEK.

THE “ONE WORLD: TOGETHER AT HOME” BENEFIT CONCERT RAISED MORE THAN $128 MILLION TO ADDRESS THE FIGHT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND GLOBAL CITIZEN, FEATURED SOME OF MUSIC’S BIGGEST PERFORMERS SAT NIGHT, INCLUDING ELTON JOHN, STEVIE WONDER, AND THE ROLLING STONES.

THE HISTORIC BROADCAST, WAS HOSTED BY JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY FALLON AND STEPHEN COLBERT, ALONGSIDE FRIENDS FROM SESAME STREET. PAUL MCCARTNEY SANG THE BEATLES’ “LADY MADONNA” AND TALKED ABOUT THE WORK HIS MOTHER DID AS A NURSE. GLOBAL CITIZEN SAID $55.1 MILLION WILL BENEFIT THE COVID-19 SOLIDARITY RESPONSE FUND AND THE REMAINING $72.8 MILLION WILL GO TOWARD LOCAL AND REGIONAL RESPONDERS.

A MICHIGAN WOMAN IS TRYING TO GET THE WORD OUT TO PREGNANT WOMEN WHO HAVE COVID-19 THAT THEY CAN HAVE HEALTHY BABIES. COLLEEN OSTWALD TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS DURING HER 37TH WEEK OF PREGNANCY, BUT WAS ABLE TO DELIVER HER SON WITHOUT COMPLICATIONS.

OSTWALD SAYS HER HOSPITAL WAS READY WITH A NEGATIVE PRESSURE ROOM AND DOCTORS AND NURSES OUTFITTED FULLY IN PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. SHE CONVINCED THEM TO ALLOW HER TO HOLD HIM WHILE SHE WORE A MASK. OSTWALD SAYS SON REMINGTON DEVELOPED A SLIGHT FEVER AND WAS MONITORED FOR FOUR DAYS, BUT TESTED NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/19/2020 2:45pm:

EUROPE IS NOW DEALING WITH SECOND WAVE OF CORONAVIRUS CASES, SPARKING CONCERN THAT SOMETHING SIMILAR COULD OCCUR HERE IN THE US.

NEIMAN MARCUS GROUP IS PREPARING TO SEEK BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION AS SOON AS THIS WEEK, BECOMING THE FIRST MAJOR AMERICAN DEPARTMENT STORE OPERATOR TO SUCCUMB TO THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK.

DRUG CARTELS ARE SCRAMBLING AS THE COVID-19 VIRUS HAS SNARLED GLOBAL DRUG TRADE WITH VIRTUALLY EVERY ILLICIT DRUG BEING IMPACTED. THE SUPPLY CHAIN HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY DISRUPTED AT BOTH THE WHOLESALE AND RETAIL LEVEL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/19/2020 1:45pm:

HIGHLAND PARK AND WILMETTE JOIN MORTON GROVE, CICERO AND GLENVIEW AND NUMEROUS OTHER SUBURBS REQUIRING PEOPLE TO WEAR FACE MASKS IN PUBLIC. SO FAR, IT’S NOT A REQUIREMENT IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO, BUT THE VAST MAJORITY ARE ALREADY DOING SO. THIS WEEK, GOV. PRITZKER SAID HE’S CONSIDERING A CONSIDERING A STATE-WIDE REQUIREMENT.

THE U.S. DEATH TOLL FROM CORONAVIRUS HAS RISEN TO MORE THAN 40,000 AS OF TODAY, THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD AND ALMOST DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF DEATHS IN THE NEXT HIGHEST COUNTRY ITALY. THE US HAS BY FAR THE WORLD’S LARGEST NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES, WITH MORE THAN 744,000 INFECTIONS.

THE OUTBREAK IS FORCING THE CANCELLATION OF A LONGTIME TRADITION AT THE MAGIC KINGDOM. GRAD NITE AT DISNEYLAND WILL NOT BE HELD THIS YEAR DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. THE ANAHEIM THEME PARK CLOSED INDEFINITELY ON MARCH 14TH. GRAD NITE STARTED IN THE EARLY 1960S AND WAS PROMOTED AS A SAFE, CLEAN WAY FOR HIGH SCHOOLERS TO CELEBRATE THEIR GRADUATIONS. ABOUT 1,000 HIGH SCHOOLS USUALLY PARTICIPATE IN THE AFTER-HOURS PARTY WITH SPECIAL DISCOUNT TICKETS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/19/2020 12:45pm:

THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 DEATHS IN THE U.S. IS APPROACHING 39,000. MORE THAN 734,000 HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. ABOUT 3.7 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE BEEN TESTED. WORLDWIDE, MORE THAN 160,000 HAVE DIED AND MORE THAN 2.3 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED.

125 MORE PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS HAVE DIED FROM THE NEW CORONAVIRUS, BRINGING THE DEATH TOLL TO 1,259 SINCE THE START OF THE OUTBREAK. THAT MATCHES THE LARGEST NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DEATHS IN A 24-HOUR PERIOD. OFFICIALS ALSO ANNOUNCED 1,585 NEW KNOWN COVID-19 CASES YESTERDAY, RAISING THE NUMBER OF KNOWN INFECTIONS IN THE STATE TO 29,160. ON FRIDAY, GOVERNER PRITZKER ORDERED ILLINOIS SCHOOLS TO REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH THE END OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR.

WORD OUT OF WASHINGTON IS THAT A DEAL TO PROVIDE MORE MONEY FOR SMALL BUSINESSES COULD BE REACHED AS EARLY AS TUESDAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/18/2020 6:45pm:

GOOGLE IS REPORTING A HUGE SPIKE IN CORONAVIRUS SCAMS. THE BROWSER SAYS THERE’S BEEN 18-MILLION CORONAVIRUS-RELATED MALWARE AND PHISHING EMAILS SENT PER DAY IN THE LAST WEEK. IT SAYS EMAILS WOULD CLAIM TO BE FROM THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION LOOKING FOR DONATIONS AND WOULD THEN INFECT COMPUTERS. GOOGLE SAYS ITS SOFTWARE HAS BLOCKED NEARLY EVERY SUSPICIOUS EMAIL, BUT URGES USERS TO TRASH MESSAGES THEY DON’T RECOGNIZE.

THE U.S. AND CANADA HAVE AGREED TO KEEP THE BORDER CLOSED TO NONESSENTIAL TRAVEL FOR ANOTHER 30 DAYS. THE U.S. HAS MORE CONFIRMED CASES AND DEATHS FROM COVID-19 THAN ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. THE U.S. AND CANADA AGREED LAST MONTH TO LIMIT BORDER CROSSINGS TO ESSENTIAL TRAVEL AMID THE PANDEMIC. THE AGREEMENT WAS DUE TO EXPIRE THIS WEEK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/18/2020 5:45pm:

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED SATURDAY ANOTHER 125 DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS, MATCHING THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF DEATHS ATTRIBUTED TO THE VIRUS IN A SINGLE DAY. THE STATE ALSO RECORDED ANOTHER 1,585 CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS, BRINGING THE STATEWIDE TOTAL TO ALMOST 30,000 CONFIRMED CASES AND 1,259 DEATHS SINCE THE OUTBREAK HIT THE STATE. THE VIRUS HAS SPREAD ACROSS MOST OF THE STATE MAP, NOW CONFIRMED IN 93 OF THE STATE’S 102 COUNTIES.

WALMART AND SAM’S CLUB WILL BEGIN REQUIRING ALL EMPLOYEES TO WEAR FACE MASKS STARTING MONDAY. WALMART ALSO ANNOUNCING THE HIRING OF TENS OF THOUSANDS MORE NEW EMPLOYEES.

GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO DRASTICALLY DROP WITH MORE THAN A DOZEN STATES SELLING GAS FOR UNDER $1 A GALLON. WITH CONSUMERS DRIVING LESS AS THE PANDEMIC KEEPS THEM HOME, THE NATIONAL AVERAGE GAS PRICE FRIDAY WAS $1.82. IN OUR AREA, SOME PLACES IN WISCONSIN AND MICHIGAN COULD BE FOUND OFFERING GAS AT UNDER $1.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/18/2020 4:45pm:

THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE U.S. IS STILL RISING. CONFIRMED CASES SURPASSED THE 700,000 MARK YESTERDAY AND THE NUMBER OF DEATHS FROM COVID-19 ROSE TO OVER 37,000. NO OTHER COUNTRY HAS OVER 200,000 CASES OF THE VIRUS. NEW YORK BY ITSELF HAS THE SECOND MOST CASES IN THE WORLD.

A ONCE-POPULAR FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS MAKING A HUGE COMEBACK OVERSEAS THANKS TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATERS ARE THRIVING IN GERMANY AND SOUTH KOREA DUE TO THE PANDEMIC THAT HAS FORCED THE CLOSURE OF WALK-IN CINEMAS ACROSS THE WORLD. TICKET SALES AT DRIVE-INS IN BOTH NATIONS HAVE INCREASED THE LAST TWO MONTHS SINCE LOCAL LAWS REQUIRE CITIZENS TO COMPLY WITH SOCIAL-DISTANCING MEASURES. THE MANAGER OF A THEATER IN GERMANY SAYS “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT WE SHOW — PEOPLE JUST WANT TO GET OUT AND WATCH A MOVIE.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/18/2020 3:45pm:

THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE IS WORKING WITH STATE GOVERNORS TO INCREASE TESTING FOR THE VIRUS. UTAH, WYOMING, NORTH DAKOTA, NEW YORK AND VERMONT ARE AMONG THE STATES WITH THE MOST TESTING. OREGON, MONTANA, OKLAHOMA AND MAINE ARE AMONG THE STATES WITH THE LEAST TESTING.

FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THREE DAYS, ILLINOIS SET A NEW SINGLE-DAY HIGH IN COVID-19 DEATHS, AS 125 RESIDENTS LOST THEIR LIVES AS A RESULT OF THE VIRUS. STATE OFFICIALS SAY 1,259 PEOPLE HAVE NOW DIED AS A RESULT OF THE VIRUS SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN. AN ADDITIONAL 1,585 CASES OF THE VIRUS HAVE BEEN REPORTED, BRINGING THE STATEWIDE TOTAL TO NEARLY 30,000.

PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM LAB EXPERIMENTS SHOW THAT THE CORONAVIRUS DOES NOT SURVIVE LONG IN HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY, AND IS QUICKLY DESTROYED BY SUNLIGHT, OFFERING HOPE THAT SUMMERTIME MAY OFFER CONDITIONS LESS HOSPITABLE FOR THE VIRUS, THOUGH EXPERTS CAUTION IT WILL BY NO MEANS ELIMINATE COVID-19.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/18/2020 2:45pm:

THE WHITE HOUSE IS ASSURING AMERICANS THAT THERE ARE ENOUGH CORONAVIRUS TESTS FOR STATES TO BEGIN THE FIRST PHASE OF REOPENING THE ECONOMY. HOWEVER, THE NATION’S TOP INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT SAYS THAT’S ONLY ONE PIECE OF TACKLING THE VIRUS. DOCTOR ANTHONY FAUCI SPOKE DURING THE WHITE HOUSE TASK FORCE UPDATE YESTERDAY, AND SAID PEOPLE WILL ALSO NEED ANTIBODY TESTING TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE NO LONGER INFECTED. SO FAR, ONLY THREE STATES ARE TRYING TO GET BACK TO NORMAL — MINNESOTA, VERMONT, AND TEXAS.

THE U.S. AND CANADA HAVE AGREED TO KEEP THE BORDER CLOSED TO NONESSENTIAL TRAVEL FOR ANOTHER 30 DAYS. THE U.S. HAS MORE CONFIRMED CASES AND DEATHS FROM COVID-19 THAN ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. THE U.S. AND CANADA AGREED LAST MONTH TO LIMIT BORDER CROSSINGS TO ESSENTIAL TRAVEL AMID THE PANDEMIC. THE AGREEMENT WAS DUE TO EXPIRE THIS WEEK.
ILLINOIS REPORTING 62 MORE DEATHS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS AND A RECORD-HIGH NUMBER OF NEWLY CONFIRMED CASES, CAPPING A TOPSY-TURVY WEEK FOR THE STATE THAT HAD SHOWN SIGNS OF PROGRESS MORE THAN FIVE WEEKS INTO THE PANDEMIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/18/2020 12:45pm:

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS HE’S CONFIDENT THE COUNTRY IS GOING TO COME BACK STRONG DESPITE STILL CLIMBING COVID-19 NUMBERS AT PRESENT. TRUMP TOLD A WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING FRIDAY THAT HE THINKS SCHOOLS WILL REOPEN SOONER RATHER THAN LATER. HOWEVER HERE IN ILLINOIS YESTERDAY, GOVERNOR PRITZKER ORDERED SCHOOLS TO REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH THE END OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR WITH STUDENTS FINISHING THEIR CLASSES THIS YEAR THROUGH REMOTE LEARNING. OUR NUMBERS HERE IN ILLINOIS THIS MORNING ARE 25,575 KNOWN CASES AND 1,134 DEATHS ACCORDING TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

GOOGLE IS REPORTING A HUGE SPIKE IN CORONAVIRUS SCAMS. THEY SAY THERE’S BEEN 18 MILLON CORONAVIRUS RELATED MALWARE AND PHISHING EMAILS SENT PER DAY IN THE LAST WEEK. GOOGLE SAYS SOME EMAILS CLAIM TO BE FROM THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION LOOKING FOR DONATIONS AND THEN INFECT COMPUTERS. GOOGLE SAYS ITS SOFTWARE HAS BLOCKED NEARLY EVERY SUSPICIOUS EMAIL BUT URGES USERS TO TRASH MESSAGES THEY DON’T RECOGNIZE.

NEW YORKERS ARE NOW REQUIRED TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS WHEN THEY ARE OUT IN PUBLIC AND SOCIAL DISTANCING IS NOT POSSIBLE. THE NEW MANDATE REQUIRES A MASK OR FACE COVERING ON BUSY STREETS, PUBLIC TRANSIT OR ANY SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE ARE UNABLE TO MAINTAIN A DISTANCE OF SIX FEET. OFFICIALS SAY ACCEPTABLE FACE COVERINGS ALSO INCLUDE BANDANAS AND SCARVES. THE RULE ALSO APPLIES WHEN USING PRIVATE CAR SERVICES INCLUDING UBER AND TAXIS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/18/2020 11:45am:

THE WHITE HOUSE IS ASSURING AMERICANS THAT THERE ARE ENOUGH CORONAVIRUS TESTS FOR STATES TO BEGIN THE FIRST PHASE OF REOPENING THE ECONOMY DESPITE STILL RISING COVID 19 NUMBERS. THE NATION’S TOP INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT SAYS TESTING FOR NEW CASES IS STILL ONLY ONE PIECE OF TACKLING THE VIRUS. DR. ANTHONY FAUCI SPOKE DURING THE WHITE HOUSE TASK FORCE UPDATE YESTERDAY AND SAID PEOPLE ALSO NEED ANTIBODY TESTING TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE NO LONGER INFECTED. SO FAR, ONLY THREE STATES ARE TRYING TO GET BACK TO NORMAL CONDITIONS, MINNESOTA, VERMONT AND TEXAS. PROTESTS HAVE BEEN STAGED IN MICHIGAN AND A RALLY IS SCHEDULED FOR NEXT FRIDAY IN MADISON, WISCONSIN.

TWO INMATES WHO ESCAPED FROM A WISCONSIN PRISON WERE TURNED IN YESTERDAY BY A HOMELESS SHELTER OPERATOR IN ROCKFORD. CARLY RICE OF THE NON-PROFIT CARLY’S PLACE SAYS SHE FOUND THE TWO YESTERDAY STILL WEARING THEIR PRISON UNIFORMS AS THEY STOOD WAITING FOR HER TO OPEN HER SHELTER WHERE SHE FEEDS AND HOUSES THE HOMELESS. THE TWO INMATES ESCAPED FROM COLUMBIA COUNTY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION IN PORTAGE, WISCONSIN ON THURSDAY.

A ONCE POPULAR FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT IN THE U.S. IS MAKING A HUGE COMEBACK OVERSEAS. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER SAYS DRIVE IN MOVIES ARE THRIVING IN GERMANY AND SOUTH KOREA DUE TO THE PANDEMIC WHICH HAS FORCED THE CLOSURE OF CINEMAS AROUND THE WORLD. THE MANAGER OF A THEATRE IN GERMANY SAYS. “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT WE SHOW, PEOPLE JUST WANT TO GET OUT AND WATCH A MOVIE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/18/2020 10:45am:

THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE U.S. IS STILL RISING TODAY. CONFIRMED CASES CLIMBED OVER THE 700,000 MARK YESTERDAY AND THE NUMBER OF DEATHS FROM COVID 19 ROSE TO OVER 37,000. NO OTHER COUNTRY HAS OVER 200,000 CASES OF THE VIRUS. NEW YORK BY ITSELF HAS THE SECOND MOST CASES IN THE WORLD. OUR NUMBERS HERE IN ILLINOIS THIS MORNING ARE 27,575 CASES REPORTED AND 1,134 CORONAVIRUS RELATED DEATHS. 130,163 TESTS HAVE BEEN PERFORMED IN ILLINOIS ACCORDING TO THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

MEANWHILE DESPITE THE RISING TOTALS, PRESIDENT TRUMP IS TWEETNG HIS SUPPORT FOR ANT-LOCKDOWN PROTESTS IN THREE STATES. HE FIRED OFF THREE TWEETS YESTERDAY THAT SAID “LIBERATE MINNESOTA”, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” AND “LIBERATE VIRGINIA”. ALL THREE STATES HAVE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS.

TRAVELERS GOING TO CANADA WILL HAVE TO WEAR SOME FORM OF FACE COVERING IF GOING BY PLANE. THE MEASURE TAKES AFFECT MONDAY. TRAVELERS WILL BE ASKED TO WEAR FACE MASKS AT AIRPORT SCREENING CHECKPOINTS AND ALL POINTS WHERE PEOPLE CANNOT MAINTAIN PROPER SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES OF SIX FEET. THOSE TRAVELING BY BOAT, TRAIN, OR BUS ARE BEING STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO WEAR MASKS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 6:40pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER IS CLOSING SCHOOLS FOR THE REST OF THIS TERM. HE MADE IT OFFICIAL TODAY AS THE STATE ANNOUNCED ITS BIGGEST SINGLE-DAY INCREASE IN CORONAVIRUS CASES WITH MORE THAN 1,800 NEW POSITIVES. HE SAYS TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS ARE DOING EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO GIVE STUDENTS A POSITIVE VIRTUAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE. THERE ARE OVER 27,000 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED IN THE STATE, AND OVER 690,000 INFECTIONS IN THE U.S.

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER IS RESPONDING TO PROTESTORS WHO ARE DEMANDING AN END TO STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS. THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS CAUSED A TRAFFIC JAM TO PROTEST THE ORDERS EARLIER THIS WEEK. WHITMER SAID WITHOUT THE ORDER, THE STATE WAS PROJEDCTED TO HAVE ABOUT 46,000 PEOPLE INFECTED BY NOW. INSTEAD, JUST OVER 30,000 HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

UPS HAS DONATED 10-THOUSAND N95 RESPIRATOR MASKS TO THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT. UPS REPORTS THAT THEY HAVE PROCURED A SUFFICIENT SUPPLY TO MEET INTERNAL NEEDS FOR EMPLOYEES, AND IS SHARING THE SURPLUS TO HELP PROTECT HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS. THE MASKS FOR CPD WERE DELIVERED YESTERDAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 5:30pm:

NBA PLAYERS ARE AGREEING TO TAKE A 25% PAY CUT BECAUSE OF THE SLOWDOWN CAUSED BY THE PANDEMIC. ESPN REPORTS THAT THE LEAGUE REACHED A DEAL WITH THE PLAYERS’ UNION TODAY. PLAYERS WILL GET THEIR FULL PAYCHECK ON MAY 1ST, THEN THERE WILL BE A GRADUAL REDUCTION IF THE LEAGUE CANCELS THE REGULAR SEASON.

YACHT ROCK ICON CHRISTOPHER CROSS SAYS HE IS UNABLE TO WALK AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH CORONAVIRUS LAST MONTH. IN A LETTER TO FANS POSTED ON FACEBOOK, CROSS SAYS HE IS SUFFERING FROM INTENSE MUSCLE WEAKNESS AND PARALYSIS OF HIS LEGS. HE IS IN PHYSICAL THERAPY AND DOCTOR’S HAVE ASSURED HIM IT IS TEMPORARY. HE SAYS HE NEVER DEVELOPED RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS FROM THE VIRUS.

MORE AMERICANS COOKING WHILE STUCK INSIDE THEIR HOMES IS LEADING TO A SHARP INCREASE IN KITCHEN FIRES AND BURN VICTIMS. FIRE OFFICIALS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE UPTICK IN HOUSE FIRES AND BURN UNITS, AND ARE WORRIED THOSE VICTIMS COULD USE ICU BEDS NEEDED FOR CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 3:50pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS ACROSS THE STATE FOR THE REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. E-LEARNING WILL CONTINUE. THE GOVERNOR MADE THE DECISION OFFICIAL ON THE SAME DAY THE STATE REPORTED THE HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY NUMBER OF NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES, WITH OVER 1800 INFECTIONS REPORTED SINCE YESTERDAY.

STOCKS FINISHED THE WEEK HIGHER WITH NEWS OF A PHASED PLAN TO REOPEN THE ECONOMY AND A JUMP IN BOEING SHARES. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE AND S&P 500 WERE BOTH UP MORE THAN 2%, AND THE NASDAQ GAINED JUST OVER A PERCENT.

RED FLAGS ARE FLYING IN THE RACE TO CREATE ANTIBODY TESTS TO HELP COMBAT THE CORONAVIRUS. NBC NEWS REPORTS THAT SOME TESTS IN THE U.S. WERE SUPPLIED BY CHINESE MANUFACTURERS THAT WERE NOT APPROVED BY CHINA’S GOVERNMENT MEDICAL UNIT, WHICH IS SIMILAR TO THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THERE ARE CONCERNS THAT UNRELIABLE TESTS COULD PRODUCE FALSE RESULTS, POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE. THE FDA RELAXED ITS GUIDELINES FOR TESTING IN MID-MARCH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 2:50pm:

GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED IN HIS DAILY BRIEFING TODAY THAT IN-PERSON LEARNING IN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE, IS SUSPENDED THROUGH THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. LESSONS WILL CONTINUE VIA E-LEARNING ACROSS THE STATE. PRITZKER WILL REPORTEDLY ANNOUNCE A DECISION ABOUT THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK.

WITH INCREASED TESTING BECOMING AVAILABLE, HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORTED THE LARGEST NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES IN A SINGLE DAY IN ILLINOIS, WITH 1,842 NEW INFECTIONS REPORTED AND 62 ADDITIONAL LIVES LOST DUE TO THE VIRUS SINCE YESTERDAY. THE STATE NOW HAS A TOTAL OF 27,575 KNOWN CASES, AND THERE ARE OVER 1,134 DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19 SINCE THE START OF THE OUTBREAK.

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS GIVING YOUNGER AMERICANS A LESSON IN FINANCIAL PLANNING. A SURVEY FOUND 49% OF 24-TO-35 YEAR OLDS HAVE BEEN CONSIDERING LONG-TERM HEALTHCARE COSTS FOR EITHER THEMSELVES OR THEIR PARENTS, WHILE OTHER RESPONDENTS ADMIT THEY CAN’T AFFORD THE INSURANCE THEY CURRENTLY HAVE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 1:45pm:

THE GOVERNMENT IS CALLING FOR A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO HELP DEVELOP A VACCINE FOR COVID-19. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY ALEX AZAR SAYS THE PLAN BRINGS TOGETHER 16 PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES AND FIVE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.

PROMISING SIGNS THAT AN EBOLA DRUG MAY BE EFFECTIVE ON THE VIRUS IS HELPING STOCKS TREND UP ON WALL STREET. THERE ARE REPORTS OF SEVERELY ILL PATIENTS RESPONDING WELL TO THE DRUG REMDESIVIR AT A CHICAGO HOSPITAL. HOWEVER, THE TRIAL ONLY INVOLVED 125 PATIENTS AND NEEDS FURTHER TESTING.

A SOUTHWEST SIDE CHICAGO ALDERMAN WANTS TO CREATE A FUND TO PAY BENEFITS TO THE FAMILIES OF CITY EMPLOYEES WHO LOSE THEIR LIVES WHILE WORKING DURING A DISASTER LIKE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. FIFTEENTH WARD ALDERMAN RAYMOND LOPEZ SAID CITY WORKERS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL DURING A CATASTROPHE SHOULD GET BENEFITS LIKE POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS WHO DIE IN THE LINE OF DUTY. HE IS SEEKING AN INITIAL ONE-MILLION-DOLLAR PAYMENT IN THE FUND, WHICH WOULD COVER AN EIGHT-THOUSAND DOLLAR PAYMENT FOR THE EMPLOYEE’S FUNERAL EXPENSES, PLUS PAYMENTS OF BETWEEN 20,000 AND 40,000 DOLLARS TO THE SURVIVING FAMILIES BASED ON HOW MANY CHILDREN ARE IN THE HOUSEHOLD. LOPEZ IS EXPECTED TO INTRODUCE THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE AT WEDNESDAY’S CITY COUNCIL MEETING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 12:45pm:

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE PLANNING TO HAND OUT THOUSANDS OF FREE MOBILE INTERNET ACCESS DEVICES TO STUDENTS WHO ARE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS. SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY 12,000 4G LTE INTERNET HOTSPOTS WITH FOUR MONTHS OF FREE INTERNET SERVICE WILL BE DISTRIBUTED. CPS ESTIMATES THAT APPROXIMATELY 12,000 STUDENTS ARE CURRENTLY LIVING IN TEMPORARY SITUATIONS. THE DISTRICT IS ALREADY IN THE PROCESS OF LENDING 100,000 LAPTOPS AND TABLETS TO ITS STUDENTS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER IS REPORTEDLY EXPECTED TO ORDER THAT THE STATE’S SCHOOLS REMAIN CLOSED FOR THE REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.

LAWMAKERS ARE WORKING TO SAVE THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES HURT BY THE PANDEMIC. THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO HELP BUSINESSES THAT ARE STRUGGLING TO PAY THEIR WORKERS, BUT IT RAN OUT OF FUNDS YESTERDAY AND ITS FUTURE IS UNCERTAIN. THE 349-BILLION-DOLLAR PROGRAM IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS AFTER APPROVING MORE THAN ONE-AND-A-HALF MILLION LOANS.

LAS VEGAS IS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO REOPEN. THE CITY HAS GROUND TO A HALT AS PEOPLE STAY AWAY DURING THE PANDEMIC, AND THE SHUTDOWN ORDER IS IN PLACE FOR THE STATE OF NEVADA UNTIL APRIL 30TH. CASINO EXECUTIVES ARE EXPLORING IDEAS INCLUDING HAVING DEALERS WEAR MASKS AND GLOVES, CHECKING GUEST TEMPERATURES, AND GAMBLERS SITTING FARTHER APART AT TABLES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 11:45am:

A THIRD CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER HAS DIED FROM COMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19, THE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCED FRIDAY. THE OFFICER PASSED AWAY OVERNIGHT. HIS IDENTITY HAS NOT YET BEEN RELEASED. ACCORDING TO THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, THE OFFICER WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 4TH DISTRICT ON THE CITY’S SOUTH SIDE.

WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER LARRY KUDLOW IS VENTING HIS FRUSTRATION OVER CONGRESS’ FAILURE TO PROVIDE MORE MONEY TO THE POPULAR PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. THE SMALL BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM IN THE STIMULUS PACKAGE RAN OUT OF FUNDS YESTERDAY. KUDLOW URGED LAWMAKERS TO GET MOVING AND ADD MORE MONEY.

CHINA’S ECONOMY IS TAKING A HUGE HIT DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMY SHRANK NEARLY 7% BETWEEN JANUARY AND MARCH AS IT SHUT DOWN FACTORIES, TRANSPORTATION AND PLACED MANY AREAS UNDER QUARANTINE. IT’S CHINA’S FIRST SUCH DECLINE SINCE 1992.

UPDATE 4/17/2020 10:45am:

THURSDAY WAS ANOTHER RECORD DAY FOR CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN THE U.S. DURING THE 24 HOURS ENDING LAST NIGHT, MORE THAN 4,500 PEOPLE DIED. THAT SHATTERS THE PREVIOUS ONE-DAY RECORD OF ABOUT 2,500, REPORTED WEDNESDAY.

HERE IN ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORTED 1,140 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 AND 125 ADDITIONAL DEATHS STATEWIDE THURSDAY, THAT IS THE HIGHEST SINGLE DAY TOTAL. THERE ARE NOW 25,733 TOTAL CASES CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS, WITH 1,072 LIVES LOST DUE TO THE VIRUS.

A SENATE INVESTIGATION IS REVEALING THAT U.S. DOMESTIC AIRLINES ARE SITTING ON AN ESTIMATED TEN-BILLION-DOLLARS IN “CUSTOMER CASH” DUE TO CANCELLATIONS AS A RESULT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. AIRLINES ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO ISSUE CASH REFUNDS TO TRAVELERS FOR FLIGHTS THE COMPANY CANCELS BUT THEY ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO OFFER CASH IF A CUSTOMER CANCELS THE FLIGHT BY THEMSELVES. A GROUP OF DEMOCRATIC SENATORS ARE URGING AIRLINES TO ISSUE CASH REFUNDS TO AMERICANS WHO ARE STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY, SINCE CONGRESS HAS ALREADY APPROVED A 25-BILLION-DOLLAR AID PACKAGE FOR THE INDUSTRY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE OPENING SHARPLY HIGHER ON WALL STREET. MARKETS ARE GETTING A BOOST AFTER A REPORT THAT A CORONAVIRUS DRUG TRIAL SHOWED PROMISING RESULTS. PRESIDENT TRUMP’S PLAN FOR REOPENING THE ECONOMY IS ALSO BOOSTING INVESTOR SENTIMENT. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS UP MORE THAN 500 POINTS AFTER THE OPENING BELL. THE NASDAQ ADVANCED MORE THAN TWO-PERCENT WHILE THE S&P 500 IS AHEAD MORE THAN ONE PERCENT IN EARLY TRADING.

WHOLE FOODS IS CONVERTING SOME OF ITS STORES TO ONLINE-ONLY TO MEET DEMAND DURING THE CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN. THE AMAZON GROCERY CHAIN SAYS WITH STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS IN PLACE, CUSTOMERS HAVE GENERATED “UNPRECEDENTED DEMAND” FOR GROCERY DELIVERY. AMAZON ALSO SAID IN THE COMING WEEKS, IT PLANS TO LAUNCH A NEW FEATURE ALLOWING CUSTOMERS TO SECURE A TIME TO SHOP AT WHOLE FOODS, GIVING DELIVERY CUSTOMERS A VIRTUAL “PLACE IN LINE.”

BROADWAY THEATERS AREN’T LIKELY TO REOPEN ANYTIME SOON, SO A STREAMING SERVICE IS ABOUT TO BRING THE SHOWS TO THEATER FANS. A NEW STREAMING SERVICE CALLED BROADWAY ON DEMAND WILL LAUNCH IN MID-MAY. THE SERVICE WILL LAUNCH WITH A LIVE CONCERT SERIES CALLED “30 DAYS OF OPENING NIGHTS.” BROADWAY ON DEMAND WILL HELP RAISE MONEY FOR ACTORS, COMPOSERS, PLAYWRIGHTS, STAGEHANDS, AND MUSICIANS WHO HAVE BEEN HURT BY THE SHUTDOWN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 8:50am:

OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS, ILLINOIS SAW ITS DEADLIEST DAY SINCE THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC BEGAN. ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORTED 1,140 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 AND 125 ADDITIONAL DEATHS STATEWIDE THURSDAY, THAT IS THE HIGHEST SINGLE DAY TOTAL. THERE ARE NOW 25,733 TOTAL CASES CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS, WITH 1,072 LIVES LOST DUE TO THE VIRUS.

YESTERDAY WAS ANOTHER RECORD DAY FOR CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN THE U.S. DURING THE 24 HOURS ENDING LAST NIGHT, MORE THAN 4,500 PEOPLE DIED. THAT SHATTERS THE PREVIOUS ONE-DAY RECORD OF ABOUT 2,500, REPORTED WEDNESDAY.

BOB DYLAN IS RELEASING HIS SECOND NEW SONG IN THREE WEEKS. “I CONTAIN MULTITUDES” IS A FOUR-AND-A-HALF MINUTE BALLAD WITH A MINIMAL ARRANGEMENT AND LOTS OF PLAYFUL REFERENCES, INCLUDING NODS TO EDGAR ALLAN POE, ANNE FRANK AND INDIANA JONES. DYLAN RELEASED A 17-MINUTE SONG CALLED “MURDER MOST FOUL,” HIS FIRST ORIGINAL SONG IN EIGHT YEARS. THIS SUDDEN BURST OF NEW, ORIGINAL MUSIC FROM DYLAN HAS MANY THINKING HE HAS A NEW ALBUM IN THE WORKS.

ESPN’S TEN-PART DOCUMENTARY ABOUT MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE 90S BULLS IS SET TO BEGIN AIRING THIS WEEKEND. THE DOCUSERIES TITLED “THE LAST DANCE” TAKES AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE BULLS’ DYNASTY THROUGH THE LENS OF THE PLAYERS, COACHES AND FANS OF THE DYNASTY. A FILM CREW HAD COMPLETE ACCESS TO THE TEAM DURING THAT TITLE RUN AND SOME OF THAT NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN FOOTAGE WILL BE FEATURED IN THE DOCUMENTARY, IT WILL DEBUT ON ON SUNDAY.
JOHN KRASINSKI IS HOSTING A VIRTUAL PROM TONIGHT FOR HIGH SCHOOLERS WHO MIGHT BE GETTING HOSED OUT OF THE ACTUAL THING THIS YEAR. HE SAYS HE’LL DJ WITH SOME FRIENDS.” IT GOES DOWN AT 7:00 P.M. ON THE YOUTUBE CHANNEL FOR HIS ONLINE SHOW, “SOME GOOD NEWS”.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 7:10am:

AS A MEANS OF PROVIDING EXTRA SUPPORT TO THE HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS ON THE FRONTLINES OF THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS, SAM’S CLUB HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL BE OFFERING THEIR EXCLUSIVE “HERO” SHOPPING HOURS TO MEDICAL EMPLOYEES, REGARDLESS OF MEMBERSHIP STATUS. CURRENTLY, COMPANY EMPLOYEES ARE GIVEN AN EXCLUSIVE 2-HOUR BLOCK OF SHOPPING TIME BETWEEN 8AM TO 10AM ON SUNDAY MORNINGS. STARTING THIS SUNDAY APRIL 19TH, HOWEVER, THE STORE ASSOCIATE “HERO HOURS” WILL ALSO BE OPEN TO HEALTHCARE WORKERS FOR FREE. COMPLIMENTARY FACE MASKS WILL ALSO BE PROVIDED TO SHOPPERS AT THE DOOR. COSTCO IS ALSO LETTING HEALTHCARE WORKERS SKIP THE LINE AT ANY TIME.

STATE OFFICIALS SAY 125 MORE LIVES HAVE BEEN LOST TO COVID -19 AND YESTERDAY’S NUMBERS BRING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS TO 1,072. ILLINOIS PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR NGOZI EZIKE EXPLAINED THAT THEY’RE LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE VIRUS EACH DAY.THERE ARE NOW OVER 25,000 CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS.

SEVEN MIDWESTERN GOVERNORS FROM MICHIGAN, OHIO, WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA, ILLINOIS, INDIANA AND KENTUCKY ANNOUNCED THEY WILL WORK TOGETHER TO REOPEN THEIR ECONOMIES.

UNITED AIRLINES EXPECTING TO GET FIVE-BILLION-DOLLARS IN FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO AVOID LAYOFFS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. IN A LETTER TO EMPLOYEES THIS WEEK, THE CHICAGO-BASED AIRLINE SAYS TOUGH TIMES COULD BE AHEAD DESPITE THE FUNDING. UNITED HAS SLASHED ABOUT 90-PERCENT OF ITS FLYING CAPACITY IN MAY AND EXPECTS TO RUN A SIMILAR SCHEDULE OF FLIGHTS IN JUNE. THE COMPANY HAS PLEDGED TO AVOID INVOLUNTARY FURLOUGHS AND PAY RATE CUTS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30TH.

SOME CBD SELLERS ARE MAKING CLAIMS THAT THEIR PRODUCTS CAN HELP TREAT COVID-19. SALLY GREENBERG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CONSUMER’S LEAGUE, OFFERS A STERN WARNING ABOUT THIS FOR CONSUMERS. SHE SAYS THAT LAST MONTH ALONE, THE FDA SENT WARNING LETTERS TO 13 COMPANIES THAT WERE MAKING FALSE HEALTH CLAIMS ABOUT THEIR CBD-BASED PRODUCTS. GREENBERG SAYS THAT A LOT OF COMPANIES ARE PEDDLING THEIR PRODUCTS IN THE HOPE OF CAPITALIZING ON PEOPLE’S FEARS, AND WARNS THAT JUST BECAUSE A PRODUCT IS ON A SHELF DOES NOT MEAN IT IS EFFECTIVE OR EVEN SAFE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/17/2020 6:10am:

THE CHINESE CITY OF WUHAN, WHERE THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK BEGAN, HAS CHANGED THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO DIED THERE, ACTUALLY THEY HAVE RAISED THE DEATH TOLL BY 50%. THE CITY GOVERNMENT SAID IN A SOCIAL MEDIA POST TODAY THAT IT HAS ADDED ALMOST 1,300 DEATHS TO THE COUNT, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO MORE THAN 4,600. WUHAN OFFICIALS SAID CASES WERE MISSED EARLIER BECAUSE THE CITY’S MEDICAL STAFF WERE OVERWHELMED AS INFECTIONS MULTIPLIED, LEADING TO LATE REPORTING, OMISSIONS, OR INACCURATE REPORTING. THEY ALSO BLAMED INSUFFICIENT TESTING AND TREATMENT FACILITIES, AND SAID SOME VICTIMS DIED AT HOME SO THEIR DEATHS WEREN’T PROPERLY REPORTED.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER HAS BEEN TALKING WITH LEADERS IN STATES LIKE WISCONSIN, MICHIGAN AND INDIANA ABOUT HOW THEY PLAN TO REOPEN THE REGIONAL ECONOMY. HE SAYS THEY’VE BEEN EXCHANGING IDEAS ABOUT WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO START GETTING BACK TO NORMAL. PRITZKER ADDED THAT HIS PRIORITY INCLUDES SUSTAINED CONTROL OF THE RATE OF NEW INFECTIONS AND HOSPITALIZATIONS AND BEST PRACTICES FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING IN THE WORKPLACE.

PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS SAY CORONAVIRUS TESTING MUST DOUBLE OR TRIPLE BEFORE THE U.S. CAN SAFELY REOPEN. PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED FEDERAL GUIDELINES YESTERDAY THAT WOULD BEGIN THE PROCESS OF LIFTING STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS. HEALTH EXPERTS TELL NBC NEWS, HOWEVER, THAT TESTING FOR COVID-19 WOULD HAVE TO BE AT LEAST DOUBLED FROM ITS CURRENT LEVELS TO ALLOW FOR EVEN A PARTIAL REOPENING OF AMERICA’S ECONOMY.

THE BRITISH WORLD WAR TWO VET WHO’S BEEN WALKING FOR CHARITY HAS NOW RAISED OVER $20 MILLION. NOW HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED A PETITION FOR HIM TO BE KNIGHTED BY THE QUEEN. TOM MOORE’S GOAL WAS TO WALK ACROSS HIS BACK PATIO 100 TIMES BY HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY. HE FINISHED YESTERDAY, TWO WEEKS EARLY. A GROUP OF SOLDIERS STOOD BY SALUTING HIM FOR THE FINAL LEG.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 6:40pm:

THE PRESIDENT OUTLINED A PHASED APPROACH TO REOPENING THE COUNTRY TODAY. GOVERNORS WILL MAKE DECISIONS ON LIFTING RESTRICTIONS BASED ON INDIVIDUAL NEEDS. IN THE FIRST PHASE, SCHOOLS THAT ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED SHOULD REMAIN SO. LARGE VENUES COULD OPERATE UNDER STRICT SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS, BUT BARS WOULD REMAIN SHUTTERED. THE PLAN ALSO ENCOURAGES EMPLOYERS TO CONDUCT SOCIAL DISTANCING, TEMPERATURE CHECKS, TESTING AND SANITATION PRACTICES.

AMAZON IS DEVELOPING ITS OWN TEST FOR CORONAVIRUS TO HELP GET THE ECONOMY BACK UP AND RUNNING. CEO JEFF BEZOS WROTE IN HIS ANNUAL LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS HE HAS ASSEMBLED A TEAM TO CREATE NEW TOOLS TO TEST FOR COVID-19. HE HOPES TO BEGIN TESTING SMALL NUMBERS OF EMPLOYEES SOON.

NFL STAR AND SUPER BOWL 50 MVP VON MILLER HAS TESTED POSITIVE FORTHE VIRUS. NFL NETWORK REPORTS THE DENVER BRONCOS PASS RUSHER IS RESTING AT HOME AND IN GOOD SPIRITS. THIS COMES AFTER RAMS CENTER BRIAN ALLEN BECAME THE FIRST KNOWN NFL PLAYER TO HAVE THE VIRUS. MILLER PLANS TO SPEAK PUBLICLY TOMORROW.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 5:30pm:

IN TODAY’S ADDRESS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, THE PRESIDENT SAID THE DATA SHOWS AMERICA CAN BEGIN REOPENING FROM CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWNS, CITING A LOWER DEATH RATE FROM THE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS. THE GUIDELINES TAKE A PHASED APPROACH, WITH GOVERNORS IN EACH STATE MAKING THE DECISION ABOUT WHEN IT IS SAFE TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS.

NBC NEWS REPORTS THE U.S INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IS LOOKING AT WHETHER THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS ACCIDENTALLY EMERGED FROM A CHINESE RESEARCH LAB STUDYING DISEASES IN BATS. INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS TELL NBC NEWS THAT AGENCIES HAVE RULED OUT THE CORONAVIRUS WAS MAN-MADE. THE OFFICIALS SAY SCIENTISTS AT A LAB IN WUHAN, WHERE THE VIRUS ORIGINATED, ARE KNOWN TO HAVE CONDUCTED ONGOING RESEARCH ON CORONAVIRUSES.

THE CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT IS STILL PLANNING TO MOVE FORWARD WITH SUMMER CAMPS AND OTHER PROGRAMS, BUT THE DATE HAS BEEN PUSHED BACK. ONLINE SIGN UP WILL NOW TAKE PLACE ON MAY 11TH. IN-PERSON SIGN-UP WILL BE HELD ONCE GOVERNOR PRITZKER AND THE CDC SAY ITS SAFE TO DO SO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 3:50pm:

IN HIS DAILY BRIEFING TODAY, GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAID ILLINOIS IS EXPANDING TESTING FOR COVID-19 TO INCLUDE ANYONE WITH SYMPTOMS, EVEN WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S ORDER. PRITZKER DETAILED THE STATE’S INCREASED TESTING CAPACITY, INCLUDING ADDITIONAL MACHINES AND LABS AND MORE TESTING LOCATIONS. UNIVERSITY PARTNERS AND OUTSIDE VENDORS ARE ALSO HELPING THE CAUSE BY PRODUCING A VAST AMOUNT OF VIRAL TRANSPORT MEDIUM AND SWABS, WHICH GIVES HEALTH CENTERS THE ABILITY TO TEST A GREATER NUMBER OF PEOPLE.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND IRS OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE WORKING TO FIX PROBLEMS IN GETTING AMERICANS THEIR STIMULUS CHECKS. THE WASHINGTON POST REPORTS MANY AMERICANS HAVE NOT GOTTEN THE CHECK YET OR HAVE GOTTEN THE WRONG AMOUNT. SOME PARENTS SAY THEY DID NOT GET THE EXTRA 500-DOLLARS FOR EACH CHILD UNDER 17. IRS OFFICIALS SAY THEY HAVE PROCESSED NEARLY 80-MILLION PAYMENTS IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS. THAT’S LITTLE MORE THAN HALF THE EXPECTED NUMBER OF PAYMENTS.

THE MAJOR STOCK INDEXES ARE FINISHING SLIGHTLY UP AFTER A TOUGH JOBS REPORT THIS MORNING. ALMOST 5.25 MILLION AMERICANS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT LAST WEEK, AND NEARLY 24 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE APPLIED SINCE MOST OF THE NATION WENT INTO LOCKDOWN LAST MONTH. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW GAINED 33 POINTS, THE S&P WAS UP 16 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ ADDED 139 POINTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 2:50pm:

IN TODAY’S BRIEFING, ILLINOIS OFFICIALS REPORTED 1,140 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS SINCE YESTERDAY IN THE STATE, WITH 125 MORE DEATHS, THE MOST SINGLE-DAY TOTAL TO DATE. THERE ARE NOW 25,733 TOTAL CASES CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS, WITH 1,072 LIVES LOST DUE TO THE VIRUS.

GOVERNORS ACROSS THE MIDWEST ARE GETTING TOGETHER TO FOCUS ON WHEN TO REOPEN THE ECONOMY. THE ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY MEANS GOVERNORS OF ILLINOIS, MICHIGAN, OHIO, WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA, INDIANA, AND KENTUCKY WILL PUT TOGETHER A PLAN THAT TAKES MULTIPLE THINGS INTO ACCOUNT. CONTROLLING THE RATE OF NEW INFECTIONS AND HOSPITALIZATIONS AND A BETTER WAY TO TEST AND TRACE ARE TOP PRIORITIES. WISCONSIN GOVERNOR TONY EVERS HAS EXTENDED HIS STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER TO MAY 26, BUT EVERS IS MAKING SOME CHANGES. GOLF COURSES, WHICH HAD BEEN ORDERED CLOSED, WILL NOW BE ALLOWED TO OPEN UNDER THE LATEST ORDER.

THE PGA IS THE FIRST SPORTS ORGANIZATION TO ANNOUNCE PLANS TO RESUME PLAYING DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE PGA TOUR SAYS IT WILL RESUME MATCHES ON JUNE 8TH AT THE CHARLES SCHWAB CHALLENGE IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS. THERE WILL BE NO FANS ALLOWED FOR AT LEAST THE FIRST FOUR TOURNAMENTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 1:45pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER WILL WORK WITH GOVERNORS OF SIX OTHER NEIGHBORING STATES ON REOPENING AND LIFTING STAY-AT-HOME RESTRICTIONS. SIMILAR COLLABORATIONS HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY GOVERNORS IN RECENT DAYS ON THE WEST AND EAST COASTS. “ILLINOIS, MICHIGAN, OHIO, WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA, INDIANA AND KENTUCKY WILL WORK IN CLOSE COORDINATION TO RE-OPEN ECONOMIES IN A WAY THAT PRIORITIZES OUR WORKERS HEALTH,” THE GOVERNORS OF THOSE STATES SAID IN A JOINT STATEMENT. WISCONSIN GOVERNOR TONY EVERS HAS EXTENDED HIS STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER TO MAY 26, ACCORDING TO A STATEMENT FROM HIS OFFICE.

ONE OF THE KEY PROGRAMS IN THE STIMULUS PROGRAM IS OUT OF MONEY. OFFICIALS HAVE LOANED OUT 350-BILLION-DOLLARS TO SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM, MAXING IT OUT. THE PROGRAM IS AIMED AT HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES KEEP WORKERS ON THEIR PAYROLLS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. LAWMAKERS HAVE OFFERED AMENDMENTS TO PROVIDE MORE FUNDING, BUT HAVE NOT AGREED ON HOW TO GET THAT DONE YET.

STOCKS ARE MIXED TODAY DUE TO NEWS FROM THE JOB MARKET. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL OPENED ON AN UPTICK, BUT FELL AFTER THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTED 5.24 MILLION PEOPLE SUBMITTED FIRST TIME CLAIMS LAST WEEK. THAT MEANS AN ESTIMATED 22-MILLION PEOPLE HAVE NOW SOUGHT JOBLESS BENEFITS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE NASDAQ AND THE S&P REMAIN IN POSITIVE TERRITORY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 12:45pm:

SOME GROCERY STORES IN CHICAGO ARE STARTING TO REMOVE LIMITS THAT WERE PLACED ON CERTAIN MERCHANDISE DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. JEWEL-OSCO HAS STARTED LIFTING PURCHASE LIMITS ON ITEMS LIKE MILK, EGGS, AND WATER BECAUSE THE SUPPLY FOR THOSE ITEMS IS STRONG. WALGREENS ROLLED BACK LIMITS ON SIMILAR ITEMS LAST WEEK. SEVERAL STORES ARE STILL LIMITING THE PURCHASE OF BATHROOM TISSUE, AND TARGET CONTINUES TO LIMIT SALES OF HAND SANITIZER, DISINFECTANT WIPES AND CERTAIN FOOD ITEMS.

METRA IS FACING SERIOUS FINANCIAL PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC. IT EXPECTS TO LOSE MORE THAN 500 MILLION DOLLARS IN SALES TAX AND TICKET REVENUE BY THE END OF 2021, AND THERE ARE SOME CONCERNS THAT RIDERS MAY NOT COME BACK ONCE THE CRISIS IS OVER. RIDERSHIP IS PROJECTED TO BE DOWN 97 PERCENT IN APRIL.

AND DR. ANTHONY FAUCI IS GIVING SOMETHING OF A RAY OF HOPE TO SPORTS FANS WHO WANT TO SEE THEIR TEAMS BACK IN ACTION. HE SAID ON SNAPCHAT’S GOOD LUCK AMERICA SHOW THAT SPORTS CAN COME BACK, AS LONG AS NO ONE IS IN ATTENDANCE AND PLAYERS ARE PUT IN HOTELS WITH CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE AND TESTING. THE DOCTOR SAYS IT WOULD ALLOW FOR LEAGUES TO PLAY OUT THEIR SEASONS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 11:45am:

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT AND CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS SAY ALL STUDENTS IN TEMPORARY LIVING SITUATIONS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AND A COMPUTING DEVICE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE DEVICES WILL BE PROVIDED THROUGH THE DISTRICT’S LARGER DEVICE DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY, ACCORDING TO A STATEMENT FROM CPS. THE DISTRICT ESTIMATES THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 12,000 CPS STUDENTS CURRENTLY LIVING IN TEMPORARY LIVING SITUATIONS. DEVICES WILL BE SHIPPED TO SCHOOLS STARTING THIS WEEK, AND SCHOOLS WILL RECEIVE ONE DEVICE FOR EVERY STUDENT IN A TEMPORARY LIVING SITUATION ON THEIR ROSTER.

ANALYSTS SAY STATES THAT WENT AHEAD WITH STAY AT HOME ORDERS EARLIER IN THE HEALTH CRISIS, LIKE CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK, ARE SEEING CLAIMS NUMBERS EASE WHILE THOSE WHO ONLY RECENTLY IMPLEMENTED LOCKDOWNS, SUCH AS GEORGIA AND VIRGINIA, ARE SEEING A MARKED INCREASE.

SOME GROCERY STORES IN CHICAGO ARE STARTING TO REMOVE LIMITS ON CERTAIN MERCHANDISE. FOR INSTANCE, JEWEL-OSCO HAS STARTED LIFTING PURCHASE LIMITS ON ITEMS LIKE MILK, EGGS, AND WATER DUE TO A STRONG SUPPLY. MEANWHILE, WALGREENS ROLLED BACK LIMITS ON MILK, BACON AND EGGS LAST WEEK. SEVERAL STORES ARE STILL LIMITING THE PURCHASE OF PAPER PRODUCTS, SUCH AS BATHROOM TISSUE. TARGET CONTINUES TO LIMIT SALES OF SEVERAL PRODUCTS LIKE HAND SANITIZER, DISINFECTANT WIPES AND FOOD ITEMS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE TURNING MIXED ON WALL STREET AFTER ORIGINALLY OPENING HIGHER. NEWS THAT NEARLY FIVE-AND-A-QUARTER-MILLION AMERICANS FILED FIRST-TIME UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS BENEFITS LAST WEEK ARE SPOOKING INVESTORS. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IS DOWN MORE THAN 200 POINTS AND THE S&P 500 IS SLIGHTLY LOWER. HOWEVER THE NASDAQ IS UP MORE THAN A THIRD-OF-A-PERCENT.

THE WHITE HOUSE IS REPORTEDLY ASKING A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF LAWMAKERS TO JOIN A TASK FORCE ON REOPENING THE ECONOMY. POLITICO SAYS SOME MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE RECEIVED INVITATIONS WEDNESDAY. TRUMP WANTS TO GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK IN SOME REGIONS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, PERHAPS AS SOON AS MAY 1ST. THE PRESIDENT’S EXPECTED TO UNVEIL HIS PLAN TODAY TO REOPEN THE COUNTRY.

THE NEW SITE FOR CHECKING THE STATUS OF YOUR STIMULUS CHECK IS OFF TO A ROCKY START. THE IRS RECENTLY LAUNCHED A PORTAL CALLED “GET MY PAYMENT” FOR THOSE EXPECTING A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE PORTAL WAS FUNCTIONING EARLY WEDNESDAY, BUT BY MID-MORNING MANY USERS WHO TRIED TO LOG IN WERE GREETED WITH A MESSAGE THAT READ, “DUE TO HIGH DEMAND, YOU MAY HAVE TO WAIT LONGER THAN USUAL TO ACCESS THIS SITE.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 8:50am:

THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IS DOWN AND YET STILL, STAGGERINGLY HIGH. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT SAYS 5.4 MILLION SUBMITTED FIRST-TIME REQUESTS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK. THAT’S DOWN FROM A RECORD 6.6 MILLION THE WEEK PRIOR. ROUGHLY 22 MILLION HAVE SOUGHT JOBLESS BENEFITS IN THE PAST MONTH — EASILY THE WORST STRETCH OF U.S. JOB LOSSES ON RECORD. ALL TOLD, ROUGHLY NEARLY 12 MILLION PEOPLE ARE NOW RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT CHECKS, ROUGHLY MATCHING THE PEAK REACHED IN JANUARY 2010, SHORTLY AFTER THE GREAT RECESSION OFFICIALLY ENDED.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER IS RECOMMENDING PEOPLE WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC. PRITZKER SAYS THAT EVEN IF YOU WEAR A MASK, YOU SHOULD STILL KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE FROM OTHERS. ILLINOIS’ DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ANNOUNCED MORE THAN 1,300 NEW COVID-19 CASES YESTERDAY AND 80 ADDITIONAL DEATHS.

CHICAGO POLICE ARE SETTING UP CHECKPOINTS ALL OVER THE CITY TO REMIND RESIDENTS ABOUT THE STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE REPORTS THAT EACH OF THE CITY’S 22 POLICE DISTRICTS WILL HAVE ONE CHECKPOINT DAILY, STAFFED BY A SUPERVISOR AND SEVERAL OFFICERS. OCCUPANTS IN VEHICLES WILL BE APPROACHED BY OFFICERS WEARING MASKS AND GLOVES. EACH CHECKPOINT WILL LAST ABOUT AN HOUR.

A NEW WRISTBAND IS BEING TESTED THAT VIBRATES WHEN THE WEARERS COME WITHIN SIX FEET OF EACH OTHER. A DOZEN WORKERS AT A FORD FACTORY IN PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN ARE TRYING OUT THE BUZZING WRISTBANDS TO HELP THEM MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE GUIDELINES DURING THE PANDEMIC. IT’S ONE OF SEVERAL SAFETY IDEAS THAT FORD IS CONSIDERING AS IT PREPARES TO RESUME PRODUCTION NEXT MONTH.

GOOGLE IS ROLLING OUT A NEW KIDS SECTION TO THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE, WITH “TEACHER-APPROVED” APPS FOR LEARNING AT HOME. GOOGLE WAS GOING TO LAUNCH THE SECTION LATER IN THE YEAR BUT MOVED UP THE TIMELINE WITH THE NATION’S STUDENTS HOME FROM SCHOOL BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE APPS WILL INCLUDE A LIST OF WHAT IT’S ABOUT, WHAT AGE IT’S FOR AND WHY TEACHERS THINK IT’S EFFECTIVE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 7:10am:

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT IS ALL FOR USING HUMOR IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS. SHE MADE ON COMEDY CENTRAL’S THE DAILY SHOW LAST NIGHT, LIGHTFOOT TALKED ABOUT THE POPULAR MEMES THAT SURFACED ONLINE AFTER SHE SHUT DOWN CHICAGO’S LAKEFRONT TO KEEP PEOPLE IN LINE WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING STANDARDS.

CHICAGO HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THAT DATA SUGGESTS CHICAGO IS “FLATTENING THE CURVE” IN ITS FIGHT TO STOP THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS IN CITY. THE DATA SHOWS THE CITY HAS SEEN A SLOWDOWN IN THE RATE OF NEW CASES, WITH THE NUMBER OF CASES DOUBLING EVERY TWELVE DAYS CURRENTLY, AS OPPOSED TO DOUBLING EVERY TWO TO THREE DAYS ONE MONTH AGO. LIGHTFOOT SAID THE CITY’S DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH HAS BEEN WORKING WITH A HEALTH CARE TECHNOLOGY COMPANY CALLED BLUEDOT TO OBTAIN ANONYMOUS LOCATION DATA FROM THOUSANDS OF APPS ON RESIDENTS’ MOBILE PHONES. LIGHTFOOT SAID.“WE’RE ACTUALLY ABLE TO USE THIS TO SEE HOW MUCH OUR CELL PHONES AND OTHER MOBILE DEVICES ACROSS CHICAGO ARE STAYING HOME,”

STATE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THAT THERE WERE 1,346 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS YESTERDAY, WITH AN 80 ADDITIONAL LIVES LOST. THERE ARE NOW 24,593 TOTAL KNOWN CASES IN THE STATE, WITH 948 DEATHS DUE TO THE VIRUS. OFFICIALS FROM BOTH THE STATE AND THE CITY OF THE CHICAGO SAID THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING IS HELPING TO BEND THE CURVE OF THE VIRUS, ALTHOUGH THE PEAK DATE REMAINS UNCLEAR.

THE FIRST EMERGENCY VENTILATORS MADE BY GENERAL MOTORS ARE READY TO BE SHIPPED OUT. THEY’LL SEND 600 OF THEM TO HOSPITALS BY THE END OF THE MONTH, AND 30,000 MORE BY THE END OF AUGUST.

TOYS FOR TOTS WON’T WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR. THEY WANT TO LIFT KIDS’ SPIRITS, SO THEY’RE SENDING OUT TOYS TO UNDERPRIVILEGED KIDS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. HASBRO, LEGO, DISNEY, AND BUILD-A-BEAR ARE ALL HELPING WITH DONATIONS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/16/2020 6:10am:

THE CUBS ARE USING WRIGLEY FIELD AND THE NEIGHBORING HOTEL ZACHARY TO AID IN RELIEF EFFORTS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE TEAM AND HICKORY STREET CAPITAL ARE USING THE WRIGLEY FIELD CONCOURSE AS A TEMPORARY SATELLITE FOOD PACKING AND DISTRIBUTION CENTER FOR THE LAKEVIEW PANTRY. HOTEL ZACHARY WILL PROVIDE ROOMS FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN NEED FROM LAKEVIEW’S ADVOCATE ILLINOIS MASONIC MEDICAL CENTER.

THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS TELLING AMERICANS NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THE NATION’S FOOD SUPPLY. SPEAKING AT THE WHITE HOUSE, SECRETARY SONNY PERDUE CALLED IT “STRONG, RESILIENT AND SAFE.” HE SAID THE SUPPLY CHAIN HAS SHOWN “TREMENDOUS AGILITY” AND REMINDED EMPLOYERS IN THE SECTOR TO CONTINUE FOLLOWING CDC GUIDELINES CONCERNING THE CORONAVIRUS.

THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IS BLOWING A HUGE HOLE IN ILLINOIS’ BUDGET. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN EXPERT TO SEE THAT THE VIRUS IS GOING TO HIT THE STATE’S SPENDING PLAN HARD. PRITZKER ADDS THAT NUMBER WILL GROW IF VOTERS DON’T APPROVE HIS GRADUATED INCOME TAX PLAN IN NOVEMBER. HE ALSO URGES CONGRESS TO PASS ANOTHER STIMULUS BILL TO HELP OUT STRUGGLING STATES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 6:40pm:

THE PANDEMIC HAS CAUSED RETAIL SALES TO HIT HISTORIC LOWS. THEY DROPPED 8.7% LAST MONTH, MORE THAN THE 6.5% DECLINE THAT ANALYSTS PREDICTED. IT’S THE BIGGEST SLUMP ON RECORD.

IN AN EFFORT TO GIVE BACK TO THOSE ON THE FRONTLINES OF THE CORONAVIRUS, AAA IS NOW OFFERING FREE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE TO ALL HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS IN THE CHICAGO AREA. SERVICES INCLUDE TOWING, BATTERY SERVICE, JUMPSTARTS, FUEL DELIVERY, TIRE CHANGES AND LOCKOUT SERVICE UNTIL APRIL 30, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE AAA MEMBERS OR NOT.

IMAGINE SEEING A GOAT, LLAMA OR SHEEP JOIN IN ON THAT NEXT ZOOM MEETING. A CALIFORNIA FARM IS MAKING IT HAPPEN. THE FARM DECIDED TO GO VIRTUAL TO STAY AFLOAT, AND FOR 65 BUCKS BARNYARD ANIMALS CAN SHARE THE SCREEN WITH ZOOM USERS ISOLATED AT HOME. THEY’VE BEEN REQUESTED OVER 300 TIMES, AND HAVE EVEN BEEN INVITED TO JOIN ZOOM MEETINGS BY FORTUNE 500 FIRMS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 5:30pm:

THE WHITE HOUSE WILL REPORTEDLY UNVEIL GUIDELINES TOMORROW TO REOPEN THE COUNTRY FROM THE CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN. THE PRESIDENT SAID DATA HAS SHOWN THAT MANY PLACES ACROSS THE NATION MAY BE PAST THE PEAK OF THE OUTBREAK. MANY HEALTH EXPERTS SAY THAT MORE TESTING IS NEEDED IN ORDER FOR AMERICANS TO RETURN TO WORK. THERE ARE NOW OVER 630,000 KNOWN CASES OF COVID-19 IN THE U.S.

AMERICANS ARE BEING TARGETED IN CORONAVIRUS SCAMS. THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION SAYS SCAMS RELATED TO THE VIRUS HAVE COST PEOPLE 13.4 MILLION DOLLARS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, AND FRAUD REPORTS HAVE TOPPED 18,000.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS MAY BE ABLE TO TAKE THE S-A-T ENTRANCE EXAM FROM HOME. COLLEGE BOARD OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT IF SCHOOLS DON’T OPEN IN THE FALL, THEY’RE PREPARED TO OFFER A DIGITAL TEST FOR THE HOME. IF THEY DO, OFFICIALS SAY IT WOULD REQUIRE AT-HOME PROCTORING TO MONITOR STUDENTS ON A SCALE THAT’S NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 3:50pm:

CHICAGO POLICE ARE SETTING UP CHECKPOINTS ALL OVER THE CITY TO REMIND RESIDENTS ABOUT THE STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE REPORTS THAT EACH OF THE CITY’S 22 POLICE DISTRICTS WILL HAVE ONE CHECKPOINT DAILY, STAFFED BY A SUPERVISOR AND SEVERAL OFFICERS. OCCUPANTS IN VEHICLES WILL BE APPROACHED BY OFFICERS WEARING MASKS AND GLOVES. EACH CHECKPOINT WILL LAST ABOUT AN HOUR.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER POINTED OUT THE FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS ILLINOIS IS FACING DUE TO THE PANDEMIC IN HIS PUBLIC BRIEFING TODAY. HE REPORTED THAT EXPERTS ARE EXPECTING A 2.6 BILLION DOLLAR SHORTFALL IN REVENUE THIS FISCAL YEAR. ESTIMATES ALSO SHOW A PROJECTION OF 4.6 BILLION DOLLARS LESS IN STATE REVENUE NEXT FISCAL YEAR. ALONG WITH OTHER LAWMAKERS, PRITZKER IS PUSHING FOR ANOTHER STIMULUS BILL FROM THE GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST STATE RESPONSES TO THE CRISIS.

U.S. STOCKS CLOSED LOWER TODAY, AFTER WEAK ECONOMIC DATA AND EARNINGS PULLED THE MARKET DOWN ALL DAY. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE DROPPED 445 POINTS, THE S&P 500 FELL 63 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ SLIPPED 122 POINTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 2:45pm:

STATE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THAT THERE WERE 1,346 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS SINCE YESTERDAY, WITH AN 80 ADDITIONAL LIVES LOST. THERE ARE NOW 24,593 TOTAL KNOWN CASES IN THE STATE, WITH 948 DEATHS DUE TO THE VIRUS. OFFICIALS FROM BOTH THE STATE AND THE CITY OF THE CHICAGO SAID THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING IS HELPING TO BEND THE CURVE OF THE VIRUS, ALTHOUGH THE PEAK DATE REMAINS UNCLEAR.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER PLANS TO USE CHARTER JETS TO HAVE MILLIONS OF MASKS AND GLOVES BROUGHT FROM CHINA TO ILLINOIS. STATE COMPTROLLER SUSAN MENDOZA ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT THE STATE HAS SPENT MORE THAN 174-MILLION DOLLARS ON PURCHASES RELATED TO COVID-19, INCLUDING VENTILATORS, MASKS, GLOVES, GOWNS, AND HAND SANITIZER.

WEST SUBURBAN CICERO WILL REQUIRE PEOPLE TO WEAR PROTECTIVE MASKS WHILE IN PUBLIC TO HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. CICERO TOWN AND BOARD PRESIDENT LARRY DOMINICK SIGNED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT REQUIRES ESSENTIAL BUSINESS WORKERS AND CUSTOMERS TO WEAR A FACE COVERING WHILE AT THE BUSINESS, EFFECTIVE AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. IF A PERSON IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE THE BUSINESS MUST REFUSE ACCESS, AND VIOLATORS CAN GET CITED AND FINED BY CICERO POLICE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 1:45pm:

A DEAL TO PROVIDE MORE FUNDING TO THE SMALL BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM IS REPORTEDLY NEAR CLOSING. THE HILL REPORTS THAT THE SENATE AND THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT ARE CLOSE TO ADDING 250-BILLION TO THE PROGRAM, WHICH IS EXPECTED TO RUN OUT OF FUNDS TOMORROW.

THE NATION’S TOP DOCTOR ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, TOLD NBC’S “TODAY” SHOW IT’S LIKELY WE WILL SEE A “ROLLING ENTRY” OF CERTAIN STATES GETTING BACK INTO THE SWING OF THINGS. HE CAUTIONED THAT FOR SOME STATES, IT WOULD NOT BE ADVISABLE BY MAY TO RELAX ANY SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN SO HARD HIT, AND DOING SO COULD LEAD TO A RESURGENCE OF COVID-19 CASES. THE CURRENT KNOWN NUMBER OF CASES IN THE U.S. IS NEARLY 610,000.

ESSENTIAL WORKERS IN ILLINOIS WHO THINK THEY CONTRACTED THE CORONAVIRUS ON THE JOB ARE NOW AUTOMATICALLY COVERED BY WORKER’S COMPENSATION. THOSE INJURED ON THE JOB MUST PROVE THEIR ILLNESS WAS DIRECTLY CAUSED BY THEIR DUTIES.

WALGREENS HAS OPENED TWO DRIVE-THRU CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITES IN THE CHICAGO AREA. ONE WILL BE IN THE AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOOD AT 1601 NORTH MOBILE AVENUE AND THE OTHER IN BOLINGBROOK AT 695 WEST BOUGHTON ROAD. BOTH SITES ARE OFFERING TESTS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 12:45pm:

MILLIONS OF AMERICANS RECEIVED STIMULUS PAYMENTS TODAY VIA DIRECT DEPOSIT. ABOUT 70 MILLION PEOPLE RECEIVING PAPER CHECKS WILL HAVE TO WAIT LONGER, HOWEVER, DUE TO THE PRESIDENT’S SIGNATURE BEING PRINTED ON THE CHECKS BEFORE DELIVERY. THAT’S A FIRST FOR AN IRS DISBURSEMENT. YOU CAN CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR PAYMENT AT WWW.IRS.GOV/EIP.

THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS HAVE CANCELED THEIR ANNUAL FAN CONVENTION, WHICH WAS SCHEDULED FOR JULY 24-26, AS HEALTH EXPERTS AND OFFICIALS WEIGH THE POSSIBILITY THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING MAY EXTEND INTO THE FALL. FULL REFUNDS FOR HOTEL ROOM DEPOSITS AND CONVENTION PASSES WILL BE PROCESSED AUTOMATICALLY AT POINT OF PURCHASE. MORE INFO CAN BE FOUND AT BLACKHAWKS.COM/CONVENTION.

THE DEPARTMENTS OF STATE, HOMELAND SECURITY AND TREASURY AND THE FBI ARE ISSUING AN ADVISORY ON THE THREAT TO CYBER SECURITY TODAY BY NORTH KOREA. THE U.S. SAYS NORTH KOREA HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN MALICIOUS CYBER ACTIVITIES AROUND THE WORLD, AND THAT THEY POSE A THREAT TO THE INTEGRITY AND STABILITY OF THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 11:45am:

INSTEAD OF COLLECTING FOR TAX DAY THIS YEAR, THE GOVERNMENT HAS DELAYED TAX DAY TO JULY 15TH, AND THE IRS IS SENDING OUT STIMULUS CHECKS TO ABOUT 80 MILLION PEOPLE TODAY. TO CHECK ON THE STATUS OF YOUR STIMULUS CHECK, GO TO THE IRS-DOT-GOV WEBSITE AND LOOK FOR GET MY PAYMENT. YOU’LL NEED EITHER YOUR 2019 OR 2018 TAX RETURN. IF YOU DIDN’T FILE A RETURN EITHER YEAR, YOU MAY STILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A STIMULUS CHECK. INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE FOUND ON THAT WEBSITE.

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FREEZE ON U.S. FUNDING TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION IS NOT GOING OVER WELL AROUND THE WORLD. THE EUROPEAN UNION CONDEMNED THE MOVE AND QUESTIONED THE TIMING IN THE MIDST OF THE GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE U.S. IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR TO THE W-H-O.

TWO SUBURBS ARE TAKING STEPS TO FURTHER PROTECT EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS OF ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES. IN CICERO, TOWN PRESIDENT LARRY DOMINICK ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER NOW REQUIRING ALL EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS OF GROCERY STORES, PHARMACY OR DRUG STORES, CONVENIENCE STORES OR GAS STATIONS, AND ALL OTHER ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES, TO WEAR A FACE COVERING. THE ORDER GOES INTO EFFECT MIDNIGHT WEDNESDAY. STORE CUSTOMERS MUST ALSO STAY SIX-FEET APART, AND THOSE WHO DO NOT COMPLY WILL BE TURNED AWAY. ANY NON-COMPLIANT BUSINESS WILL FACE A CITATION, A FINE, AND THE POTENTIAL REVOCATION OF ITS TOWN BUSINESS LICENSE. SKOKIE WILL ALSO MANDATE FACE MASKS STARTING THURSDAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 10:45am:

RESEARCHERS AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SAY MORE THAN 2 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH COVID-19. THAT HAS LED TO MORE THAN 128,000 DEATHS. THE U.S. CONTINUES TO LEAD THE WORLD WITH NEARLY 610,000 INFECTIONS AND MORE THAN 26,000 DEATHS. NEARLY HALF OF THE KNOWN INFECTIONS IN THE U.S. ARE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA OF NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY AND CONNECTICUT.

THE NATION’S FIRST CORONAVIRUS SALIVA TESTS BEGIN TODAY IN NEW JERSEY. PEOPLE BEING TESTED SPIT INTO A TUBE INSTEAD OF HAVING HEALTHCARE WORKERS TAKE A SWAB FROM SOMEONE’S MOUTH. MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS SAY THE SPIT METHOD BRINGS DOWN THE RISK OF SPREAD BECAUSE HEALTHCARE WORKERS DON’T HAVE TO GET SO CLOSE TO THE PERSON BEING TESTED.

BEST BUY IS GOING TO FURLOUGH ABOUT 51,000 EMPLOYEES THIS WEEK DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE FURLOUGHED EMPLOYEES WILL RETAIN THEIR HEALTH BENEFITS AT NO COST TO THEM FOR A MINIMUM OF THREE MONTHS. THE RETAILER’S STORES HAVE BEEN CLOSED ACROSS THE COUNTRY SINCE MARCH 22ND, BUT IT HAS CONTINUED TO OFFER CURBSIDE PICKUP. BEST BUY SAID ITS ONLINE SALES IN THE U.S. ARE UP BY MORE THAN 250%, WITH ABOUT HALF OF THOSE SALES BEING PICKED UP AT ITS STORES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE TUMBLING IN EARLY TRADING ON WALL STREET OVER CONCERNS ABOUT A WEAKENING ECONOMY. RETAIL SALES ARE DOWN MORE THAN ANALYSTS EXPECTED AND OIL PRICES ARE FALLING AS MARKETS WORRY ABOUT TOO MUCH SUPPLY AND CRATERING DEMAND. BANK OF AMERICA, CITIGROUP AND GOLDMAN SACHS ARE ALL REPORTING MORE THAN 45% LOSSES IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE YEAR DUE TO WEAKER-THAN-EXPECTED EARNINGS.

SCORES OF AMERICANS MAY BE ABLE TO BREATHE A SMALL SIGH OF RELIEF AS THEY START TO SEE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS MONEY IN THEIR ACCOUNTS TODAY. THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT SAYS THE $1,2000 PAYMENTS WILL HIT THE ACCOUNTS OF MORE THAN 80-MILLION PEOPLE. THE FIRST PAYMENTS STARTED ROLLING OUT DAYS AGO. PEOPLE GETTING CHECKS INSTEAD OF DIRECT DEPOSITS WILL HAVE A WAIT A FEW DAYS SO PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NAME CAN BE ADDED, IN A FIRST FOR AN IRS DISBURSEMENT.

THE KROGER SUPERMARKET CHAIN’S CEO WANTS GROCERY STORE WORKERS TO BE DESIGNATED AS “FIRST RESPONDERS.” RODNEY MCMULLEN AND UNION OFFICIALS URGE STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS TO CLASSIFY GROCERY WORKERS AS “EMERGENCY PERSONNEL” SO THEY CAN GET BETTER ACCESS TO PROTECTIVE GEAR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 8:50am:

THE NUMBER OF GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS CASES IS RAPIDLY APPROACHING 2 MILLION. THE NUMBER OF CASES IN RUSSIA HAS SURGED, AND SINGAPORE IS SEEING A SECOND WAVE OF THE VIRUS. GERMANY RECORDED ITS HIGHEST NUMBER OF DEATHS IN A SINGLE DAY, EVEN THOUGH NEW INFECTIONS IN THE COUNTRY ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DOWN. THE US YESTERDAY ALSO MARKED ITS DEADLIEST DAY, AND ALL 50 STATES NOW HAVE AT LEAST ONE CONFIRMED DEATH DUE TO COVID-19.

THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION AND THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY HAVE REPORTEDLY DRAFTED A PLAN TO REOPEN THE COUNTRY IN PHASES. DESPITE SOME POLITICIANS, INCLUDING PRESIDENT TRUMP, CHAMPING AT THE BIT TO GET THE ECONOMY GOING AGAIN, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI SAYS THE COUNTRY IS “NOT THERE YET.” IN FACT, A NEW STUDY FROM THE HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAYS AMERICANS MAY NEED TO ENDURE PERIODS OF SOCIAL DISTANCING UNTIL 2022 IF A VACCINE ISN’T FOUND.

GOOD NEWS HERE IN ILLINOIS, EVEN AFTER ANNOUNCING AN INCREASE IN COVID 19 CASES AND DEATHS YESTERDAY, GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID THAT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS MAY BE SLOWING. THE LATEST FIGURES SHOW THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE STATE ARE NOW DOUBLING EVERY EIGHT DAYS. TWO WEEKS AGO, IT DOUBLED EVERY TWO DAYS. PRITZKER ADDED THAT FEWER COVID-19 PATIENTS ARE RELYING ON VENTILATORS AND INTENSIVE CARE BEDS.

WALGREENS HAS OPENED TWO DRIVE-THRU CORONAVIRUS TESTING LOCATIONS IN THE CHICAGO AREA USING THE ABBOTT ID NOW COVID-19 TEST. ABBOTT TESTS ARE SAID TO DELIVER POSITIVE RESULTS IN AS LITTLE AS FIVE MINUTES AND NEGATIVE RESULTS WITHIN 13 MINUTES. WALGREENS’ PHARMACISTS WILL OVERSEE THE SELF-ADMINISTRATION OF THE COVID-19 TESTS IN THE DESIGNATED PARKING LOTS. THE CHICAGO TESTING SITE IS LOCATED IN THE NORTH AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOOD AT 1606 N. MOBILE AVENUE. THE BOLINGBROOK TESTING SITE IS LOCATED AT 695 W. BOUGHTON ROAD, BOLINGBROOK, ILL. BOTH LOCATIONS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

STARTING TONIGHT, SONY IS GIVING AWAY TWO PLAY STATION FOUR GAMES, NO STRINGS ATTACHED. IT’S A THANK-YOU TO GAMERS FOR STAYING HOME DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. SONY SAYS IT MIGHT TAKE A LITTLE LONGER TO DOWNLOAD THE GAMES, BUT YOU HAVE UNTIL MAY 5TH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 7:10am:

THE GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA IS DEFENDING HIS DECISION TO DECLARE PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS DURING THE PANDEMIC. GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS RAISED EYEBROWS THIS WEEK WHEN HE CALLED THE WWE AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS, THUS ALLOWING THE COMPANY TO STAGE WRESTLING SHOWS AT THEIR ORLANDO FACILITY. DESANTIS DEFENDED THE DECISION YESTERDAY, SAYING PEOPLE ARE STARVED FOR NEW ENTERTAINMENT, AND ASSURED THAT THERE WILL BE NO CROWD AT THE SHOWS, AND ONLY A SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY BE THERE.

THE U.S. RECORDED ITS HIGHEST NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN A DAY ON TUESDAY. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SAID TUESDAY’S DEATH TOLL WAS JUST OVER 2,400, PUSHING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF U.S. DEATHS ABOVE 26,000. THE RISE IN DEATHS COMES AFTER SEVERAL DAYS OF A DOWNWARD TREND. U.S. HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE SAID THEY BELIEVE THE U.S. DEATH RATE IS LEVELING OFF, BUT WARNED THAT A RESURGENCE OF THE CORONAVIRUS IS LIKELY ONCE AMERICANS START LEAVING THE HOUSE. MANY STATE LEADERS ARE STILL SEEING THE NUMBER OF CASES CLIMB IN THEIR STATES, AND SAY IT’S STILL TOO SOON TO START LIFTING ANY MEASURES.

ILLINOIS NOW HAS MORE THAN 23,000 CASES OF CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS AND 868 HAVE DIED. A NEW STUDY FINDS THAT MOST COVID-19 PATIENTS IN ILLINOIS ARE RECOVERING. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR NGOZI EZIKE SAYS 44-PERCENT OF THOSE RESPONDING TO A SURVEY AFTER SEVEN DAYS SAY THEY HAVE RECOVERED.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN WILL HEADLINE “JERSEY FOR JERSEY” . . . TO RAISE MONEY FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS IN HIS HOME STATE. OTHER LOCAL CELEBS TAKING PART INCLUDE BON JOVI, TONY BENNETT, CHARLIE PUTH, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CHELSEA HANDLER, JON STEWART, SAQUON BARKLEY, SZA, AND DANNY DEVITO. IT’LL AIR NEXT WEDNESDAY ON ABC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/15/2020 6:10am:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE’S TALKING WITH OTHER GOVERNORS ABOUT HOW THINGS WILL EVENTUALLY RETURN TO NORMAL. HE ALSO MENTIONED THAT HE HAS ALREADY HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH COUNTERPARTS ON THE EAST COAST AND IN THE MIDWEST. PRITZKER ADDED THAT HIS PRECONDITIONS INCLUDE MORE TESTING, TRACKING THE VIRUS, TREATMENT AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AVAILABILITY FOR THE GENERAL POPULATION.

THE APRIL 15TH TAX DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED FOR THREE MONTHS BUT FEWER THAN HALF OF ALL U.S. TAXPAYERS ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT. THE FILING DEADLINE IS EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 15TH BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. BUT A NEW HARRIS POLL, OUT TODAY, SHOWS ONLY 43% OF PEOPLE SURVEYED ARE WAITING UNTIL JULY TO FILE THEIR TAX RETURNS. THE REST WILL FILE TODAY, IF THEY HAVEN’T ALREADY SQUARED UP WITH THE IRS.

GOOGLE IS AUTOMATICALLY DROPPING THE VIDEO QUALITY OF NEST CAMERAS IN ORDER TO CONSERVE INTERNET BANDWIDTH. USERS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE CHANGE BY A NOTIFICATION IN THE NEST APP. IT’S AN EFFORT TO HELP STRETCH BANDWIDTH WITH SO MANY PEOPLE AT HOME DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. USERS WILL STILL BE ABLE TO BUMP THE QUALITY BACK UP IN SETTINGS MANUALLY IF THEY WANT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 6:40pm:

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS REPORT THAT THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN THE U.S. IS APPROACHING 600,000. NEW YORK HAS THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF CONFIRMED CASES WITH OVER 202,000. THERE ARE NOW OVER 23,000 CASES IN ILLINOIS.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO AND TEAM RUBICON, A GLOBAL DISASTER RESPONSE ORGANIZATION, HAVE TEAMED UP FOR A PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DRIVE AT THE UNITED CENTER. YOU CAN DROP OFF DONATIONS MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 9 A.M. TO 3 P.M. IN THE UNITED CENTER’S EAST ATRIUM. VOLUNTEERS WILL COLLECT PPE ITEMS IN SHORTAGE, SORT THEM BASED ON PRIORITY, AND COORDINATE THE DISTRIBUTION TO VULNERABLE POPULATIONS AND ESSENTIAL WORK STAFF.

SEVERAL MAJOR U.S. AIRLINES AND THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT SAY THEY HAVE REACHED A DEAL TO HELP THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY SURVIVE THROUGH THE PANDEMIC. WITH MOST OF THE NATION NOT TRAVELING, AIRLINES HAVE APPLIED FOR BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN AID. AMERICAN, DELTA, UNITED, SOUTHWEST AND OTHERS HAVE APPLIED FOR PAYROLL GRANTS IN ORDER TO PAY EMPLOYEES DURING THE LOCKDOWN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 5:30pm:

MORE THAN 37 IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AT A HEARTLAND ALLIANCE SHELTER FOR UNACCOMPANIED MINORS IN CHICAGO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS. THE CHILDREN ARE IN THE CITY’S SOUTH SIDE LOCATION, AND THEY REPRESENT MORE THAN HALF OF THE NEARLY 70 CHILDREN IN THE SHELTER. 28 OF THE CHILDREN WERE ASYMPTOMATIC WHEN THEY WERE TESTED.

THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE WANTS TAX PROFESSIONALS TO TAKE EXTRA SECURITY STEPS RIGHT NOW. THE AGENCY SAYS THEY CONTINUE TO SEE AN UPSWING IN DATA THEFTS DURING THE PANDEMIC. ONE OF THE THINGS IDENTITY THIEVES ARE DOING IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE STIMULUS PAYMENTS BEING SENT TO AMERICANS FOR ECONOMIC RELIEF. THE IRS COMMISSIONER SAYS THEY ARE URGING THE ENTIRE TAX COMMUNITY TO PROTECT THEIR SENSITIVE DATA.

JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN MARK MILLEY SAYS INTELLIGENCE HAS BEEN LOOKING INTO RUMORS THAT COVID-19 WAS STARTED IN A CHINESE LAB, BUT SO FAR EXPERTS BELIEVE THE CORONAVIRUS IS OF NATURAL ORIGIN. HE SAID INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS BEGAN INVESTIGATIONS AFTER HEARING THOSE RUMORS, AND SO FAR THE EVIDENCE IS INCONCLUSIVE, BUT IT APPEARS NOT TO HAVE STARTED IN A LAB.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 3:50pm:

WITH INDICATIONS THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING IS WORKING TO BEAT BACK THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS, THE THREE MAJOR STOCK INDEXES ALL GAINED MORE THAN 2% TODAY. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE GAINED 559 POINTS, THE S&P 500 ADDED 84 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ WAS UP 323 POINTS.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAYS THE STATE’S CORONAVIRUS CASE DOUBLING RATE IS DECREASING, SIGNALING A FLATTENING OF THE CURVE. AS OF THIS WEEK, PERCENTAGES OF COVID-19 PATIENTS OCCUPYING TOTAL ICU BEDS AND VENTILATORS ARE DOWN TO 40% AND 25% RESPECTIVELY. THE GOVERNOR URGED RESIDENTS TO OBEY THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER TO CONTINUE THIS TRAJECTORY.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MARK ESPER SAYS MILITARY DOCTORS ARE STEPPING IN TO TAKE SOME OF THE STRESS OFF EXHAUSTED MEDICAL STAFF WHO HAVE BEEN HARD AT WORK BATTLING THE CORONAVIRUS FOR WEEKS. THE ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS HAS EXPANDED BED CAPACITY IN HOTSPOTS OF THE PANDEMIC, AND AROUND 300 MILITARY MEDICAL STAFF ARE NOW IN NEW YORK PROVIDING SUPPORT WHERE NEEDED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 2:50pm:

IN TODAY’S OFFICIAL BRIEFING, GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID THAT DATA SHOWS WE ARE BENDING THE CURVE OF THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS, BUT HE SAID THAT IS DUE TO RESIDENTS ADHERING TO THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. 1,222 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 WERE REPORTED IN THE STATE, WITH 74 ADDITIONAL DEATHS REPORTED SINCE YESTERDAY. THERE ARE NOW 23,247 TOTAL CASES IN ILLINOIS, AND 868 TOTAL LIVES LOST DUE TO THE VIRUS.

A RECORD HIGH NUMBER OF BACKGROUND CHECK REQUESTS FOR GUN PURCHASES IN ILLINOIS HAVE BEEN REPORTED. THE STATE POLICE FIREARMS TRANSFER INQUIRY PROGRAM PROCESSED MORE THAN 60 THOUSAND REQUESTS IN MARCH, AND OVER 52 THOUSAND OF THOSE APPLICATIONS FILED CAME IN THE FINAL WEEKS OF THE MONTH. THE REQUESTS DON’T MEAN WEAPONS SALES TOOK PLACE, BUT THE NUMBERS REPRESENT A 35% SPIKE OVER LAST YEAR.

TICKETMASTER IS FEELING HEAT FROM CUSTOMERS AFTER UPDATING ITS REFUND POLICY. TICKET-BUYERS ARE OUTRAGED BECAUSE THE WORDING ON THE REFUND POLICY CHANGED FROM OFFERING REFUNDS FOR POSTPONED, RESCHEDULED OR CANCELED EVENTS TO ONLY “CANCELED.” TICKETMASTER SAYS THE WORDING WAS ONLY EDITED FOR CLARITY AND THAT THE POLICY FOR POSTPONED EVENTS HAS BEEN CONSISTENT, BUT CUSTOMERS ARE DISSATISFIED AND ARE ACCUSING THE COMPANY OF CHANGING THE WORDING FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT AMID THE PANDEMIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 1:45pm:

THE CITY OF CHICAGO IS OFFERING HEALTHCARE WORKERS 30 DAYS OF FREE DIVVY RIDES. THE GOAL OF THE PROGRAM IS TO HELP ESSENTIAL WORKERS TRAVEL AROUND THE CITY, AND WORKERS AT EIGHT HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS HAVE ALREADY SIGNED UP. DIVVY IS ALSO OFFERING DISCOUNTED DOLLAR DIVVY RIDES AND HALF OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS THROUGH THE END OF APRIL FOR ALL CHICAGO RESIDENTS.

A BRAZILIAN STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF THE ANTI-MALARIA DRUG CHLOROQUINE IS BEING PUT ON HOLD AFTER SOME PATIENTS TAKING HIGH DOSES DEVELOPED IRREGULAR HEART RATES. A REPORT REVEALED THAT PATIENTS TAKING HIGHER DOSES EXPERIENCED IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT WITHIN THREE DAYS OF TREATMENT, AND BY THE SIXTH DAY, ELEVEN PATIENTS DIED.

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND IS PREDICTING THE WORLD IS HEADING TOWARD ITS WORST ECONOMIC DOWNTURN SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. IN A REPORT RELEASED TODAY, THE IMF SAID THE GLOBAL ECONOMY WILL CONTRACT BY 3% THIS YEAR, WITH THE U.S. ECONOMY EXPECTED TO CONTRACT BY NEARLY 6%. FORECASTERS SAY THE WORLD SHOULD RECOVER IN 2021.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 12:45pm:

MORE THAN HALF OF AMERICANS SHOULD HAVE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PAYMENTS IN THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS THIS WEEK, ACCORDING TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE IS EXPECTED TO PROVIDE A NEW ONLINE TOOL AS SOON AS TOMORROW TO GET INFORMATION ON WHEN YOUR INDIVIDUAL PAYMENT WILL BE MADE. THE TOOL, AT WWW.IRS.GOV/EIP, WILL ALLOW YOU TO CHECK PAYMENT STATUS, INCLUDING THE DATE ITS SCHEDULED TO BE DEPOSITED OR MAILED.

A NEW CORONAVIRUS TESTING FACILITY IS NOW OPEN IN SOUTH SUBURBAN MARKHAM. TESTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE 65 OR OLDER OR ANYONE OVER THE AGE OF 17 WHO HAS PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS. FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS OF ANY AGE WITH SYMPTOMS MAY ALSO GET TESTED. THE NEW SITE IS LOCATED AT 3824 WEST 159TH PLACE AND WILL BE OPEN FROM 7:30 A.M. TO 3:30 P.M.

UPS, MICROSOFT, THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION AND KAISER PERMANENTE ARE INTRODUCING AN APP THAT WILL LET PEOPLE DONATE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT LIKE MASKS MORE EFFICIENTLY. THE APP, CALLED HEALTHEQUIP, ENSURES THAT DONATIONS GO STRAIGHT TO HOSPITALS IN NEED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 11:45am:

A NEW CORONAVIRUS TESTING FACILITY IS NOW OPEN IN SOUTH SUBURBAN MARKHAM. THE MOVE CAME AFTER GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THAT HE WANTED TO INCREASE TESTING FOR COVID-19 IN AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES. TESTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE 65 OR OLDER OR ANYONE OVER THE AGE OF 17 WHO HAS PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS. FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS OF ANY AGE WITH SYMPTOMS ARE ALSO WELCOME.

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND IS PREDICTING THE WORLD IS HEADED TOWARD ITS WORST ECONOMIC DOWNTURN SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. IMF FORECASTERS SAY THE WORLD SHOULD RECOVER IN 2021. HOW FAST DEPENDS ON GOVERNMENT POLICIES THAT STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. THE IMF EXPECTS THE U.S. ECONOMY TO CONTRACT BY NEARLY 6% THIS YEAR AND SEE FOUR-POINT-SEVEN-PERCENT GROWTH NEXT YEAR.

THE PGA OF AMERICA ESTABLISHED THE GOLF EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND BY DONATING $5 MILLION AND PLEDGING TO MATCH UP TO AN ADDITIONAL $2.5 MILLION GIVEN BY OTHER GROUPS IN HOPES OF PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR THE GOLF INDUSTRY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE PGA’S CONTRIBUTION INCLUDED EVERY MEMBER OF ITS EXECUTIVE TEAM VOLUNTARILY REDUCING HIS OR HER COMPENSATION, ALONG WITH THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS PLEDGING PERSONAL DONATIONS.THE FUND IS BEING ADMINISTERED BY E4E RELIEF, AN INDEPENDENT THIRD-PARTY PUBLIC CHARITY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 10:45am:

STOCKS ARE RISING ON WALL STREET AS INVESTORS BECOME MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS. IN HIS DAILY BRIEFING YESTERDAY, PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID NEW INFECTIONS OF COVID-19 ARE STABILIZING. IN NEW YORK, GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO EXPLAINED IT APPEARS THE WORST IS OVER FOR HIS STATE.

MICROSOFT IS OFFERING TO HELP PROTECT HEALTH GROUPS FROM HACKERS. THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED TODAY IT WILL GIVE CYBERSECURITY PROTECTION TOOLS TO HEALTH CARE, HUMANITARIAN AND HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS. THAT COMES AFTER A NUMBER OF HACKING ATTEMPTS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. AMONG THOSE TARGETED WERE THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. THE COMPANY IS OFFERING ACCOUNTGUARD, WHICH ALERTS USERS TO MALICIOUS EMAILS. MOST HACKERS GAIN ACCESS BY SENDING EMAILS TO EMPLOYEES WITH A LINK THAT WILL DOWNLOAD MALICIOUS CODE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 9:45am:

WALL STREET FUTURES ARE LOOKING UP AFTER ENCOURAGING NEWS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS ON MONDAY. DOW FUTURES WERE UP MORE THAN 300 POINTS, ABOUT ONE AND-A-THIRD PERCENT LESS THAN 90 MINUTES BEFORE THE OPEN. S&P 500 FUTURES WERE UP ALMOST ONE AND-A-QUARTER PERCENT AND NASDAQ FUTURES WERE UP ONE AND TWO-THIRDS PERCENT.

THE NAVY HOSPITAL SHIP DOCKED IN THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES IS NEARING A CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. YESTERDAY, THE NAVY ANNOUNCED FOUR MORE CREW MEMBERS WORKING ABOARD THE USNS MERCY HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE DEADLY VIRUS. THAT MEANS SEVEN ON THE SHIP’S CREW HAVE CAUGHT THE VIRUS SINCE ITS FIRST CASE WAS REPORTED LAST WEDNESDAY. THE SICK SAILORS AND OTHERS LIKELY EXPOSED TO THEM ARE NOW OFF THE SHIP AND IN QUARANTINE. THE NAVY SAYS THE SHIP IS STILL TREATING NON-CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS, AS PLANNED.

WORLDWIDE CORONAVIRUS CASES ARE CLOSING IN ON 2 MILLION. NEARLY 120,000 PEOPLE HAVE DIED. IN THE U.S., MORE THAN 23,500 HAVE DIED FROM THE VIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 8:45am:

80 MILLION PEOPLE WILL GET STIMULUS PAYMENTS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THIS WEEK, VIA DIRECT DEPOSIT, ACCORDING TO THE US TREASURY DEPARTMENT. THE DEPARTMENT SAID HELP WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE IRS WEBSITE FOR THOSE WHO DON’T RECEIVE THEIR PAYMENTS. THE FINANCIAL RELIEF IS PART OF THE MASSIVE STIMULUS PACKAGE CONGRESS PASSED LAST MONTH.

FROM TEXAS TO MAINE, HALF-A-MILLION HOMES AND BUSINESSES HAVE NO POWER THIS MORNING AFTER POWERFUL STORMS TORE ACROSS THE SOUTH AND THE EAST OVER THE PAST TWO DAYS. ARKANSAS IS THE HARDEST HIT, AS MORE THAN 106,000 HOMES AND BUSINESSES ARE WITHOUT ELECTRICITY.

TICKETMASTER IS UNDER FIRE AFTER THE COMPANY UPDATED ITS REFUND POLICY. CUSTOMERS SAY THEY ARE OUTRAGED BECAUSE THE EVENT PLANNER CHANGED THE WORDING FOR ITS REFUND POLICY FROM OFFERING REFUNDS FOR POSTPONED, RESCHEDULED OR CANCELED EVENTS TO ONLY CANCELED. THE COMPANY SAYS THE POLICY FOR POSTPONED EVENTS HAS BEEN CONSISTENT AND ONLY EDITED THE WORDING FOR CLARITY, BUT DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS ARE ACCUSING THEM OF CHANGING THE WORDING FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT AMID THE PANDEMIC. THE COMPANY ADDED THAT THE REFUND POLICY FOR POSTPONED EVENTS HAS ALWAYS BEEN SET BY EVENT ORGANIZERS AND NOT THEM.

A NEW SURVEY BY LENDINGTREE.COM FOUND ALMOST ALL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ARE OFFERING BREAKS ON CREDIT CARD AND MORTGAGE PAYMENTS RIGHT NOW. AND OVER 90% OF PEOPLE WHO’VE ASKED FOR HELP HAVE GOTTEN IT. 91% OF PEOPLE WHO’VE ASKED FOR A BREAK ON CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN APPROVED. AND 91% OF HOMEOWNERS WHO ASKED TO PAUSE THEIR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS HAVE ALSO HAD SUCCESS. THE SURVEY FOUND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE EVEN MORE LIKELY TO GET A “YES” RIGHT NOW. BUT NOT EVERYONE REALIZES IT’S SOMETHING YOU CAN DO. 18% OF PEOPLE WHO HADN’T ASKED FOR HELP SAID THEY DIDN’T REALIZE IT WAS AN OPTION.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 7:10am:

ACCOUNT INFORMATION FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ZOOM USERS HAS BEEN PUBLISHED, EXCHANGED, AND SOLD WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT. THE TECH NEWS WEBSITE BLEEPING COMPUTER REPORTED MONDAY THAT A CYBERSECURITY FIRM DISCOVERED AND LATER BOUGHT MORE THAN 530,000 STOLEN CREDENTIALS FOR THE VIRTUAL MEETING APP. A HACKER FORUM HAD BEEN SELLING THE DATA FOR LESS THAN A PENNY. THE FIRM TOLD THE WEBSITE HACKERS GOT ZOOM USERS’ EMAIL ADDRESSES, PASSWORDS, MEETING URL LINKS, AND HOST KEYS.

THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES WORLDWIDE IS CLOSING IN ON TWO-MILLION. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY REPORTS THIS MORNING THAT NEARLY 120,000 PEOPLE HAVE DIED. THE DEATH TOLL IN THE U.S. IS MORE THAN 23,500. IN EUROPE, ITALY SLIGHTLY EASED RESTRICTIONS TODAY, ALLOWING BOOKSTORES AND CHILDREN’S CLOTHING STORES TO REOPEN. MEANWHILE, FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON SAID TODAY THE LOCKDOWN IN HIS COUNTRY WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MAY 11TH.

THE CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS CONTINUE TO INCREASE. STATE HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI EZEKE SAYS THE LATEST NUMBERS INCLUDE MORE THAN 1,700 NEW CASES AND 74 DEATHS. CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS HAVE RANGED IN AGE FROM YOUNGER THAN ONE TO OVER 100.

A GROUP OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN CANADA CREATED A FREE HOTLINE TO HELP CHEER UP SENIOR CITIZENS WHO ARE STUCK IN ISOLATION. IT’S FULL OF PRE-RECORDED JOKES AND UPLIFTING MESSAGES FROM KIDS. THE NUMBER IS 1-877-JOY-4ALL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/14/2020 6:10am:

A COOK COUNTY JAIL INMATE WHO IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LEADING INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERTS WANTS TO BE RELEASED TO HELP FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. WYNDHAM LATHEM ASKED A JUDGE LAST WEEK TO FREE HIM ON ONE-MILLION-DOLLARS BAIL BECAUSE HIS RESEARCH SKILLS COULD HELP SAVE LIVES. HOWEVER, THE JUDGE DENIED THE REQUEST AT AN EMERGENCY HEARING FRIDAY. THE FORMER NORTHWESTERN PROFESSOR HAS BEEN HELD AT THE JAIL WITHOUT BAIL SINCE HIS ARREST FOR A GRUESOME 2017 MURDER IN CHICAGO. LATHEM AND ANDREW WARREN WERE ACCUSED OF MURDERING LATHEM’S BOYFRIEND TRENTON CORNELL-DURANLEAU, WHO WAS FOUND STABBED DOZENS OF TIMES IN LATHEM’S NEAR NORTH SIDE APARTMENT.

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT THINKS ILLINOIS GOV. JB PRITZKER’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER WILL EXTEND INTO MAY. LIGHTFOOT MADE THE COMMENT MONDAY DURING AN UNRELATED NEWS CONFERENCE WHERE SHE ANNOUNCED ANNOUNCING NEW PROGRAMS TO HELP CHICAGO’S HOMELESS POPULATION. PRITZKER’S CURRENT STAY-AT-HOME ORDER FOR THE STATE IS SET TO END APRIL 30. THE CITY OF CHICAGO RECENTLY OPENED FIVE NEW SHELTERS AND ILLINOIS HAS SET ASIDE $8 MILLION TO HELP GET THE HOMELESS OFF THE STREETS AND OUT OF CROWDED SHELTERS.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO AND VETERAN-LED GLOBAL DISASTER RESPONSE ORGANIZATION TEAM RUBICON ARE TEAMING UP TO HOST A PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DRIVE AT THE UNITED CENTER. THE DONATION DROP-OFF IS OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 9 A.M. TO 3 P.M. IN THE UNITED CENTER’S EAST ATRIUM. TEAM RUBICON VOLUNTEERS WILL COLLECT PPE ITEMS IN SHORTAGE, SORT THEM BASED ON PRIORITY, AND COORDINATE THE DISTRIBUTION TO VULNERABLE POPULATIONS AND ESSENTIAL WORK STAFF.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 6:40pm:

THE PENTAGON ANNOUNCED A MAJOR 415-MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT FOR 60 DECONTAMINATION UNITS THAT WILL ALLOW MILLIONS OF N95 MASKS TO BE REUSED. THE UNITS CAN DECONTAMINATE UP TO 80,000 USED N95 RESPIRATORS PER SYSTEM PER DAY, ENABLING MASK REUSE UP TO 20 TIMES. THE CRITICAL MASKS CONTINUE TO BE SOUGHT AFTER BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AMID THE PANDEMIC, AND THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SAID SIX DECONTAMINATION UNITS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DELIVERED TO MULTIPLE US HOTSPOT CITIES INCLUDING CHICAGO.

ESPN IS ASKING SOME OF ITS HIGHEST-PAID COMMENTATORS TO JOIN NETWORK EXECUTIVES IN TAKING VOLUNTARY 15% PAY CUTS AMID THE PANDEMIC. SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY REPORTS THAT ESPN ASKED THEIR TOP TALENT FOR THE SALARY REDUCTION TO AVOID MORE FURLOUGHS TO LESS-COMPENSATED EMPLOYEES. AMONG THE PERSONALITIES IMPACTED ARE HOSTS LIKE ALEX RODRIGUEZ.

THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER IS BEING MOVED TO LATER THIS SUMMER DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR THE END OF APRIL, IT IS NOW ON THE BOOKS FOR AUGUST 29TH. KENAN THOMPSON OF “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” WILL HOST THE EVENT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 5:30pm:

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DIRECTOR GENERAL DR. TEDROS ADHANOM SAYS CORONAVIRUS CONTROL MEASURES MUST BE LIFTED CAREFULLY. WHILE CASE NUMBERS HAVE SHARPLY RISEN, HE SAYS IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER FOR THE CURVE TO FLATTEN. ADHANOM WANTS RESTRICTIONS TO BE LIFTED ONCE THE RIGHT “PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES” ARE IN PLACE. HE SAYS IT IS NOT REASONABLE TO LIFT THEM ALL AT ONCE.

A SAILOR STATIONED ON BOARD NAVAL AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS TEDDY ROOSEVELT HAS DIED OF THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS. THE NAVY DID NOT DISCLOSE THE NAME OF THE SAILOR, WHO WAS ADMITTED TO THE INTENSIVE CARE OF A US NAVY HOSPITAL LAST WEEK. NEARLY 600 SAILORS ON THE ROOSEVELT HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AND AT LEAST 92% OF THE CREW MEMBERS HAVE BEEN TESTED. THE ROOSEVELT HAS BEEN AT THE CENTER OF CONTROVERSY THAT LED TO THE RESIGNATION LAST WEEK OF ACTING NAVY SECRETARY THOMAS MODLY. MODLY DISMISSED THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER’S CAPTAIN BRETT CROZIER AFTER THE LEAK OF A MEMO WHERE HE URGED NAVY OFFICIALS TO EVACUATE THE SHIP TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF ITS SAILORS.

MCCORMICK PLACE IN CHICAGO WILL BE READY TO START ACCEPTING CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS NEXT WEEK. THE ALTERNATE CARE FACILITY WILL BE ABLE TO HOLD 2,250 PEOPLE. MORE THAN 400 NURSES, DOCTORS, SOCIAL WORKERS AND PHARMACISTS HAVE BEEN HIRED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 2:45pm:

IN TODAY’S PUBLIC ADDRESS, STATE OFFICIALS SHARED THAT THERE ARE 1,173 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS, WITH 74 MORE LIVES LOST SINCE YESTERDAY. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES IN THE STATE IS NOW 22,025, WITH 794 TOTAL LIVES LOST.

IN AN ADDRESS EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON, CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT PREDICTED THAT ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER’S ORDER TO STAY-AT-HOME WILL EXTEND INTO MAY. IN HIS BRIEFING, GOV. PRITZKER ADDRESSED THE DIFFICULTY THAT RESIDENTS ACROSS THE STATE HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING IN TRYING TO FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. OVER 500,000 APPLICATIONS HAVE FLOODED THE SYSTEM DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCED THAT THE STATE IS BRINGING IN OUTSIDE EXPERTS TO HELP UPGRADE THE SYSTEM QUICKLY.

THE UNION REPRESENTING 7,600 CHICAGO HOTEL WORKERS IS CALLING ON THE INDUSTRY TO CONTINUE PAYING LAID-OFF WORKERS. UNITE HERE LOCAL 1 OFFICIALS CLAIM THAT THE PAY STOPPAGE IS COSTING THE CITY’S NEIGHBORHOODS FIVE MILLION DOLLARS IN LOST EARNINGS PER WEEK. THEY SAY THAT ALL BUT 200 TO 300 OF ITS MEMBERS HAVE BEEN FURLOUGHED BECAUSE OF THE TRAVEL SHUTDOWN RELATED TO THE PANDEMIC, AND THAT WHILE OTHER BUSINESS INDUSTRIES HAVE PAID FURLOUGHED EMPLOYEES OR EXTENDED HEALTH BENEFITS, HOTEL OWNERS OR OPERATORS GENERALLY HAVE NOT DONE SO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 1:45pm:

WHILE SOME AMERICANS ALREADY HAVE THEIR STIMULUS CHECKS, THE IRS TWEETED OVER THE WEEKEND THAT THEY ARE CONTINUING TO ISSUE THEM AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WHO MADE LESS THAN $75,000 CAN EXPECT TO RECEIVE $1,200. THE DISTRIBUTIONS ARE PART OF THE 2.2 TRILLION DOLLAR ECONOMIC PACKAGE PASSED LAST MONTH.

FREELANCE AND GIG WORKERS ARE CONTINUING TO HAVE A HARD TIME APPLYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN ILLINOIS. STATE OFFICIALS SAY THE SYSTEM IS OVERWHELMED BY NEARLY 500,000 CURRENT APPLICATIONS FOR BENEFITS. FEDERAL LAW WAS RECENTLY CHANGED TO ALLOW FREELANCE AND GIG WORKERS TO APPLY, BUT USERS SAY THE SYSTEM ISN’T SET UP TO TAKE THEIR APPLICATIONS.

ABC’S “GOOD MORNING AMERICA” AND “THIS WEEK” HOST GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS SAYS HE HAS COVID-19. HE REVEALED HIS DIAGNOSIS THIS MORNING AND SAID HE WASN’T SURPRISED BUT SO FAR FEELS FINE. HIS WIFE, ACTRESS ALI WENTWORTH, IS ALSO POSITIVE.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE IS NOW CANCELING ALL CRUISES THROUGH JUNE 26TH DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE COMPANY SAID TODAY GUESTS WHO PREVIOUSLY BOOKED VOYAGES WILL RECEIVE A FULL REFUND OR A 100% CREDIT TOWARDS A FUTURE CRUISE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 12:45pm:

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO’S MEDICAL SYSTEM IS TRYING TO FIND A CURE FOR COVID-19. RESEARCHERS ARE STUDYING WHETHER PLASMA FROM RECOVERED PATIENTS CAN HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE SEVERELY ILL. THEIR HOPE IS THAT THE ANTIBODIES IN THE PLASMA WILL NEUTRALIZE THE VIRUS. THOSE WHO WANT TO DONATE PLASMA TO THE EFFORT CAN GO TO THE WEBSITE UCHICAGOMEDICINE.ORG TO VOLUNTEER.

MANY WORKERS AT A MAJOR PORK PLANT, SMITHFIELD IN SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, ARE INFECTED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS AND THE PLANT IS SHUTTING DOWN. THE PLANT ACCOUNTS FOR ABOUT 5% OF THE PORK PRODUCTION IN THE COUNTRY. ABOUT 240 EMPLOYEES AT SMITHFIELD HAVE TESTED POSITIVE, WHICH IS MORE THAN HALF OF THE ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES IN THE STATE.

WITH ONGOING CONCERNS ABOUT THE PANDEMIC, THE U.S. SUPREME COURT IS GOING TO THE PHONES. JUSTICES WILL HEAR ORAL ARGUMENTS IN KEY CASES BY TELECONFERENCE NEXT MONTH, A FIRST FOR THE HIGH COURT. IMPORTANT PENDING CASES INCLUDE THE FUTURE OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 11:45am:

A CHICAGO FIREFIGHTER WHO PASSED AWAY FROM CORONAVIRUS WILL BE LAID TO REST TODAY. A FUNERAL PROCESSION LED BY POLICE AND FIRE VEHICLES, AND A PRIVATE CEREMONY IS UNDERWAY NOW, FOR MARIO ARAUJO. ARAUJO WAS A VETERAN WITH THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND WAS ASSIGNED TO ENGINE COMPANY 102 IN THE 7300 BLOCK OF NORTH CLARK STREET. HE ALSO WORKED PART TIME FOR THE NORTH SUBURBAN ROSEMONT FIRE DEPARTMENT.

CHICAGO’S DOWNTOWN MCCORMICK PLACE WILL BE READY TO START ACCEPTING CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS NEXT WEEK. THE ALTERNATE CARE FACILITY WILL BE ABLE TO HOLD 2,250 PEOPLE AT THE CONVERTED CONVENTION CENTER. MORE THAN 400 NURSES, DOCTORS, SOCIAL WORKERS AND PHARMACIST HAVE BEEN HIRED. MORE THAN HALF OF THEM HAVE COMPLETED TRAINING.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER IS OFFERING A NEW MENTAL HEALTH TEXT LINE FOR THOSE CHALLENGED DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE EFFORT CALLED CALL-FOR-CALM LETS PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS SPEAK TO MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS FOR FREE. TEXT THE WORD TALK TO 55-2020 AND A COUNSELOR WILL CALL WITHIN 24 HOURS. THE NUMBER AGAIN IS 55-2020.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 10:45am:

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY REPORTS THE U.S. HAS MORE THAN 555,000 CONFIRMED CASES AND MORE THAN 22,000 DEATHS.

IN ILLINOIS, THE TOTAL CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IS NOW OVER 20,000, WITH 720 DEATHS STATEWIDE, BUT GOVERNOR PRITZGER SAYS WE HAD THE LOWEST NUMBER OF DEATHS IN 6 DAYS YESTERDAY, AND IT APPEARS WE MAY BE FLATTENING THE CURVE HERE.

STOCKS ARE FALLING ON WALL STREET AS INVESTORS WEIGH THE CORONAVIRUS OUTLOOK AND A HUGE OIL PRODUCTION CUT BY OPEC AND ITS ALLIES. THE DOW DROPPED MORE THAN 600 POINTS IN MORNING TRADING. THE S&P 500 IS ALSO OFF MORE THAN 2%. THE NASDAQ IS DOWN MORE THAN 1%. TODAY’S DECLINES COME AFTER MARKETS CHALKED UP ONE OF THEIR BIGGEST WEEKLY GAINS EVER LAST WEEK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE OPENING LOWER ON WALL STREET AS INVESTORS WEIGH THE LATEST INFORMATION ON THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK AND A HUGE PRODUCTION CUT BY OPEC AND OTHER OIL PRODUCING COUNTRIES. STOCKS ARE COMING OFF A WEEK OF SOLID GAINS, WITH THE DOW RALLYING NEARLY 13%.

HOSPITALS AROUND THE WORLD HAVE BEGUN TESTING CONVALESCENT PLASMA AS A POTENTIAL TREATMENT. THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE IS LAUNCHING A COVID-19 BLOOD PLASMA CLINICAL TRIAL TO STUDY HOW THOSE WHO HAVE RECOVERED MAY BE ABLE TO HELP OTHERS WITH SEVERE SYMPTOMS. THE TRIAL IS RECRUITING PLASMA DONORS WHO TESTED POSITIVE AND RECOVERED FROM THE CORONAVIRUS IN CHICAGO.

CHECK YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. THE IRS HAS STARTED DEPOSITING STIMULUS CHECKS. THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WHO MADE LESS THAN $75,000 CAN EXPECT TO RECEIVE $1,200.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 8:50am:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THAT THERE ARE MORE THAN 1,600 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS AND 43 ADDITIONAL DEATHS, BUT THAT’S WITH A LOT MORE TESTS BEING GIVEN, WHICH MEANS WE MAY BE FLATTENING THE CURVE. PRITZKER ALSO SAYS THE DEATH TOLL IS THE LOWEST IT’S BEEN IN SIX DAYS. THE TOTAL CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS IS NOW OVER 20,000.

A NEW CDC REPORT FINDS THE CORONAVIRUS CAN TRAVEL AT LEAST 13 FEET THROUGH THE AIR, MORE THAN TWICE THE CURRENT SOCIAL DISTANCING RECOMMENDATIONS. THE REPORT FOCUSED ON AN ICU IN WUHAN, CHINA, WHERE THE OUTBREAK STARTED. HIGH LEVELS OF THE VIRUS WERE ALSO NOTED ON SURFACES LIKE COMPUTERS, TRASHCANS, AND BED RAILS.

ILLINOIS IS HELPING OUT THE RESIDENTS OF THE SECOND LARGEST HOMELESS SHELTER IN THE STATE. THE STATE LEASED A HOTEL IN SCHAUMBURG, AND THE HESED HOUSE IN AURORA IS GOING TO RELOCATE THERE, STARTING THIS AFTERNOON. THE KANE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT WILL HELP RELOCATE MORE THAN 200 HOMELESS PEOPLE AND STAFF MEMBERS WHO LIVE THERE. EMPLOYEES SAID THE MOVE IS A BIG STEP TO HELP THE STATE FLATTEN THE COVID-19 CURVE.

AMERICANS ARE STARTING TO SEE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS IN THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS. THE IRS ANNOUNCED ON TWITTER THE FIRST WAVE HAS BEEN DEPOSITED. THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WHO MADE LESS THAN $75,000 CAN EXPECT TO RECEIVE $1,200.

BURGER KING HAS FREE WHOPPERS FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE HOME-SCHOOLING DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. BUT THEY HAVE TO COMPLETE AN ASSIGNMENT. THEY NEED TO PLACE THEIR ORDER THROUGH THE BURGER KING APP AND SOLVE A QUESTION OR EQUATION TO UNLOCK THE PROMO CODE FOR THEIR FREE BURGER. FROM TODAY THROUGH NEXT MONDAY, APRIL 20TH, BK WILL RELEASE A NEW QUESTION EVERY DAY IN SUBJECTS INCLUDING MATH, BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, AND LITERATURE. STUDENTS WILL NEED TO FOLLOW ALONG ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 7:10am:

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY REPORTED LAST NIGHT THE U.S. HAS MORE THAN 555,000 CONFIRMED CASES AND MORE THAN 22,000 DEATHS.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT IS TAKING ACTION AFTER A SCHEDULED IMPLOSION OF A SMOKESTACK CAUSED DUST TO BLANKET CHICAGO’S LITTLE VILLAGE NEIGHBORHOOD OVER THE WEEKEND. THE MAYOR CALLED HILCO REDEVELOPMENT PARTNERS’ HANDLING OF SATURDAY’S IMPLOSION AT THE FORMER CRAWFORD POWER GENERATING STATION UNACCEPTABLE.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER IS OFFERING A NEW MENTAL HEALTH TEXT LINE FOR THOSE CHALLENGED DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE EFFORT CALLED CALL-FOR-CALM LETS PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS SPEAK TO MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS FOR FREE. TEXT THE WORD TALK TO 55-2020 AND A COUNSELOR WILL CALL WITHIN 24 HOURS. YOU CAN ALSO TEXT KEYWORDS LIKE UNEMPLOYMENT OR FOOD TO GET MORE INFORMATION ON THOSE TOPICS. THE NUMBER AGAIN IS 55-2020.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/13/2020 6:10am:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THAT THERE ARE MORE THAN 1,600 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS AND 43 ADDITIONAL DEATHS, BUT THAT’S WITH A LOT MORE TESTS BEING GIVEN, WHICH MEANS WE MAY BE FLATTENING THE CURVE. PRITZKER ALSO SAYS THE DEATH TOLL IS THE LOWEST IT’S BEEN IN SIX DAYS. THE TOTAL CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS IS NOW OVER 20,000.

THE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS ARE GOING OUT. THE IRS ANNOUNCED ON TWITTER THAT THE FIRST WAVE HAS BEEN DEPOSITED. THE POST SAID OFFICIALS KNOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ANXIOUS TO GET THEIR PAYMENTS AND WILL CONTINUE ISSUING THEM AS FAST AS THEY CAN.”

PAUL MCCARTNEY’S HANDWRITTEN LYRICS FOR “HEY JUDE” WERE AUCTIONED OFF ON FRIDAY, AND THE PIECE WAS EXPECTED TO GO FOR AROUND $160,000. INSTEAD,THEY ENDED UP SELLING FOR $910,000. THE LYRICS WERE USED IN THE STUDIO FOR THE RECORDING OF “HEY JUDE” AT LONDON’S TRIDENT STUDIOS IN JULY OF 1968.

A LOT OF KIDS, AND ADULTS, HAVE HAD PARADE OF THEIR LOVED ONES DRIVE BY, WAVING, HONKING, MAYBE WITH HOME MADE SIGNS ON THEIR DECORATED CARS….WELL ONE 6 YEAR OLD IN WILMETTE GOT JUST THAT, BUT HER ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD TOOK PART. ALL HER KINDERGARTEN CLASSMATES AND THEIR FAMILIES CAME BY TOO, BECAUSE BRIAR, IS GOING THRU CANCER TREATMENT, AND IS KNOWN AS BRIAR THE BRAVE. THE WILMETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND FIRE DEPARTMENT JOINED IN, AND SHE HAD THE BIGGEST BIRTHDAY PARADE YOU’VE SEEN YET.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/12/2020 6:45pm:

COVID-19 IS CONTINUING TO CLAIM LIVES IN THE UNITED STATES. THE LATEST FIGURES FROM JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SHOW NEARLY 21,700 AMERICANS HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES AND WELL OVER HALF A MILLION HAVE BEEN INFECTED BY THE VIRUS. WORLDWIDE, OVER 1.8 MILLION PEOPLE ARE INFECTED AND OVER 139,000 HAVE DIED. THE U.S. ECLIPSED BOTH ITALY AND SPAIN THIS WEEKEND FOR THE HIGHEST DEATH TOLL OF ANY COUNTRY.

ON FRIDAY, 7,956 CORONAVIRUS TESTS WERE ADMINISTERED THROUGHOUT THE STATE. THAT’S CLOSER TO THE GOAL OF 10,000 TESTS PER DAY THAT EXPERTS SAY WOULD BE NEEDED TO GET AN ACCURATE UNDERSTAND OF THE VIRUS’ SPREAD THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS – AND THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF TESTS ADMINISTERED IN A SINGLE DAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/12/2020 5:45pm:

ILLINOIS RECORDED FEWER COVID-19 DEATHS THAN IT HAS SEEN IN SIX DAYS RAISING HOPE THAT THE STATE HAS TURNED A CORNER IN ITS FIGHT AGAINST THE PANDEMIC. ILLINOIS WAS THE SECOND STATE IN THE NATION TO ORDER ALL RESIDENTS TO STAY HOME WITH LIMITED EXCEPTIONS AND EXPERTS CREDIT THAT WITH HELPING TO CONTAIN THE VIRUS. BUT THE STATE WILL HAVE TO CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE PRECAUTION TO PREVENT BACKSLIDING, GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID.

DESPITE THE NOTE OF OPTIMISM, THE NUMBERS REMAIN STARK. THE STATE ANNOUNCED 1,672 NEW COVID-19 CASES SUNDAY, FOR A TOTAL OF 20,852. ANOTHER 43 PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIVES, BRINGING THE STATE’S TOTAL TO 720, ONE OF THE HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/12/2020 4:45pm:

BLOOD TESTS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS COULD PLAY A KEY ROLE IN DECIDING WHETHER MILLIONS OF AMERICANS CAN SAFELY RETURN TO WORK AND SCHOOL. BUT PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS WARN THAT THE CURRENT “WILD WEST” OF UNREGULATED TESTS IS CREATING CONFUSION THAT COULD ULTIMATELY SLOW THE PATH TO RECOVERY. KEY QUESTIONS REMAIN: HOW ACCURATE ARE THE TESTS, HOW MUCH PROTECTION IS NEEDED AND HOW LONG WILL THAT PROTECTION LAST.

THE FDA IS STILL WORKING TO EXPAND CORONAVIRUS TESTING THROUGHOUT THE U.S. TOP HEALTH EXPERTS SAYS IT MAY BE LONGER THAN A FEW WEEKS BEFORE THE NATION CAN BEGIN TO REOPEN. AND CAUTIONS THERE IS A HIGH RISK OF REBOUND IF THE COUNTRY OPENS AS A WHOLE ON MAY 1ST LIKE SOME HOPE, BUT SAY MAYBE SOME STATES COULD START TO OPEN BY MID-MAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/12/2020 3:45pm:

ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED TODAY 43 MORE DEATHS AND 1,672 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 IN THE STATE, BRINGING THE STATE’S TOTAL TO 720 DEATHS AND 20,852 CASES. HOWEVER, THE DEATH TOLL IS THE LOWEST IN THE PAST SIX DAYS.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT DECLINED TO FORECAST ON SUNDAY WHEN THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN WILL END IN THE CITY, SAYING THE CITY NEEDS TO MAKE MORE PROGRESS AND THAT “WE CANNOT OPEN UP THE ECONOMY UNTIL WE MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE ALL THE HEALTH CARE CONTROLS IN PLACE.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/11/2020 6:45pm:

A NEW POLL SHOWS THAT MORE THAN HALF OF AMERICANS ARE NOW WEARING FACE MASKS IN PUBLIC. THE POLL FOUND 55% WHO LEFT THEIR HOMES IN THE PAST WEEK REPORTED WEARING MASKS. THE CDC RECENTLY RECOMMENDED THAT EVERYONE WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC.

ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 81 MORE DEATHS AND 1,293 NEW CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS SATURDAY, RAISING THE STATEWIDE DEATH TOLL TO 677 AND THE CASE TALLY TO 19,180.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/11/2020 5:45pm:

DESPITE MISINFORMATION SPREADING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA, EXPERTS WARN NOT TO REVERSE MEDICAL MASKS. ALWAYS WEAR THE COLORED SIDE ON THE OUTSIDE, REGARDLESS IF YOU ARE SICK OR HEALTHY.

FOR RESIDENTS WHO HAVE CONTRACTED COVID-19, BUT DON’T REQUIRE HOSPITALIZATION, THE STATE HAS LAUNCHED A PROGRAM TO HELP PROVIDE A VARIETY OF TELEHEALTH SERVICES. THE SERVICES INCLUDE DAILY VIRTUAL VISITS WITH PHYSICIANS AND A IN-HOME DELIVERY OF MATERIALS TO HELP COPE WITH THE ILLNESS, INCLUDING THERMOMETERS AND OTHER MATERIALS. RESIDENTS CAN ALSO BE CONNECTED TO MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AS WELL, FREE OF CHARGE.

BEAR DOWN CHICAGO. THE CHICAGO BEARS HAVE DONATED NEARLY $2 MILLION TO COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS ACROSS THE STATE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/11/2020 4:45pm:

AMERICA’S CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL NOW LEADS THE WORLD. MORE THAN 20,000 PEOPLE IN THE U.S. HAVE DIED FROM COVID-19 ALREADY. PREVIOUSLY, ITALY HAD THE HIGHEST TOTAL. OVER 1/2 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE U.S. HAVE TESTED POSITIVE WITH THE VIRUS.

TO HELP COMBAT THE HIGH INFECTION RATE, THE COOK COUNTY JAIL HAS RELEASED HUNDREDS OF INMATES. SOME 400 STAFF AND INMATES BECAME INFECTED AND AS A RESULT, SOME PRISONERS ARE BEING GIVEN AN EARLY RELEASE.

SUMMER WITHOUT SUMMER? CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT’S OFFICE SAYS, “PLANS FOR SUMMER PROGRAMMING AND EVENTS REMAIN UNDER DISCUSSION … OUR DEPARTMENT AND THE CITY TEAM WILL CONTINUE TO WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR PARTNERS AT THE STATE.” YESTERDAY GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID “I THINK EVERYBODY NEEDS TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT CANCELING LARGE SUMMER EVENTS… FROM MY PERSPECTIVE TODAY, I DO NOT SEE HOW WE ARE GOING TO HAVE LARGE GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE, AGAIN UNTIL WE HAVE A VACCINE WHICH IS MONTHS AND MONTHS AWAY.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/11/2020 3:45pm:

ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 81 MORE DEATHS AND 1,293 NEW CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS SATURDAY, RAISING THE STATEWIDE DEATH TOLL TO 677 AND THE CASE TALLY TO 19,180.

ILLINOISANS TRIED TO BUY AN UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER OF GUNS IN MARCH, NEARLY TWICE AS MANY AS THE MONTH BEFORE. STATE POLICE REPORT MORE THAN 60,000 INQUIRIES ABOUT FIREARM PURCHASES IN MARCH, THE LARGEST NUMBER IN A SINGLE MONTH SINCE RECORD KEEPING BEGAN IN 1992.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/11/2020 2:45pm:

THE US HAS MORE CORONAVIRUS DEATHS THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, BUT THE WORST OF THE EPIDEMIC MAY NOT BE FAR OFF SAY SOME EXPERTS. HOWEVER, THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION WARNS OF A “DEADLY RESURGENCE” IF QUARANTINING EFFORTS ARE LIFTED TOO SOON. ALMOST 20,000 AMERICANS HAVE DIED FROM THE VIRUS THUS FAR.

THOSE ELIGIBLE FOR THE COVID-19 STIMULUS PACKAGE HAVE STARTED SEEING PAYMENTS ARRIVING IN THEIR ACCOUNTS. THE ONE-TIME PAYMENT FROM THE US TREASURY LOOKS TO HELP EASE THE PRESSURE FROM THE HUGE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN AS A RESULT OF THE VIRUS OUTBREAK. DATA INDICATES AROUND 40% OF THE DEPOSITS SO FAR WERE FOR $1,200, ALTHOUGH SOME ARE AS HIGH AS $4,700 DEPENDING ON HOUSEHOLD SPECIFICS AND OTHER FACTORS.

SOME CHICAGO AREA RESTAURANTS HAVE COME UP WITH A NOVEL ADAPTATION TO THE CURRENT SITUATION, OFFERING UP GROCERIES AND SUPPLIES AT THEIR LOCATIONS, TURNING THEMSELVES INTO VIRTUAL MINI GENERAL STORES. GET LUNCH, SOME FLOUR AND TP IN ONE STOP.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/11/2020 12:45pm:

OVER A HALF MILLION CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN THE U.S. THE COVID 19 DEATH TOLL WAS 18,700 AS OF FRIDAY NIGHT. THE U.S. DEATH TOLL IS GREATER THAN THAT OF THE NEXT THREE COUNTRIES COMBINED NOW. ON A POSITIVE NOTE, OVER 29,000 AMERICANS HAVE RECOVERED FROM THE VIRUS. IN ILLINOIS, THE COUNT STANDS AT 17,887 CASES AND 596 DEATHS.

POPE FRANCIS DELIVERED A PRAYER FOR THE SICK YESTERDAY ON GOOD FRIDAY. THE PONTIFF ALSO PRESIDED AT A WAY OF THE CROSS SERVICE AT ST. PETER’S BASILLICA WHICH WAS NEARLY EMPTY. ON EASTER SUNDAY, THE EASTER MASS WILL BE LIVESTREAMED.

AT HIS DAILY BRIEFING EARLIER, NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAYS AN ADDITIONAL 783 LIVES HAVE BEEN LOST AS OF THIS MORNING. HE ADDED THAT THIS NUMBER IS NOT AN ALL TIME HIGH AND THAT IN FACT THE RATE OF HOSPITALIZATION IS STABILIZING. HOWEVER HE ALSO POINTED OUT THAT THE STABLIZATION RATE REMAINS “HORRIFIC’.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/11/2020 11:45am:

OVER A HALF MILLION CASES OF CORONAVIRUS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN THE UNITED STATES. THE DEATH TOLL IS 18,700 AS OF LAST NIGHT. THE U.S. DEATH TOLL IS NOW GREATER THAN THAT OF THE NEXT THREE COUNTRIES COMBINED. ON A POSITIVE NOTE, OVER 29,000 AMERICANS HAVE RECOVERED FROM THE VIRUS. HERE IN ILLINOIS, WE HAVE 17,887 REPORTED CASES WITH 596 DEATHS.

MANY ELIGIBLE AMERICANS SHOULD RECEIVE THEIR CORONAVIRUS AID PAYMENTS BY APRIL 15TH. A SENIOR TREASURY OFFICIAL SAID ON FRIDAY THAT TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WILL HAVE STIMULUS MONEY DEPOSITED DIRECTLY INTO THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS BY THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK. THE OFFICIAL SAID THE FIRST BATCH OF PAYMENTS ARE GOING OUT TO AMERICANS WHO FILED THEIR TAXES IN 2018 OR 2019 AND RECEIVED A REFUND THROUGH DIRECT DEPOSIT.

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS CHOOSING WHEN TO REOPEN THE ECONOMY IS THE BIGGEST DECISION HE’S EVER HAD TO MAKE. TRUMP TOLD REPORTERS YESTERDAY THAT HE WON’T MAKE THE PUSH UNTIL “WE KNOW THAT THIS COUNTRY IS GOING TO BE SAFE” AND SAID HIS TEAM IS “LOOKING AT A DATE” WHICH IS THOUGHT TO BE MAY IST. TRUMP VOWED HE WOULD LISTEN TO MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS BEFORE MAKING THE CALL. BUT HE ALSO SAID AT SOME POINT THE CORONAVIRUS WILL BE GONE AND PREDICTED “IT WON’T BE THAT MUCH LONGER”.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/11/2020 10:45am:

THE U.S. RECORDED OVER 2,000 DEATHS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS YESTERDAY. THAT’S REPORTEDLY THE LARGEST INCREASE IN FATALITIES SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE OUTBREAK. THE ‘GOOD NEWS’ IS DEATHS FROM COVID 19 COULD BE REACHING A PEAK NATIONALLY. DR. CHRIS MURRAY TOLD CNN THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT PEAKS IN DIFFERENT STATES BUT AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL THEY SEEM TO BE PRETTY CLOSE TO THE PEAK. HE ALSO SAYS HIS MODEL PREDICTS MUCH BETTER RESULTS IF STAY AT HOME RULES ARE NOT LIFTED UNTIL THE END OF MAY.

THE TREASURY DEPT. SAYS THE MAJORITY OF ELIGIBLE AMERICANS WILL RECEIVE THEIR CORONAVIRUS AID PAYMENTS NO LATER THAN APRIL 15TH. A SENIOR TREASURY OFFICIAL SAID YESTERDAY THAT TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WILL HAVE STIMULUS MONEY DEPOSITED INTO THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS BY THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK. THEY ALSO SAY THE FIRST BATCH OF PAYMENTS ARE GOING OUT TO AMERICANS WHO FILED THEIR TAXES IN 2018 OR 2019 AND RECEIVED A REFUND THROUGH DIRECT DEPOSIT.

AND IN WHAT MIGHT BE A PREVIEW HERE IN CHICAGO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO ANNOUNCED THAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS THERE WILL REMAIN CLOSED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. HE SAID TEACHERS, SCHOOL STAFF AND STUDENTS WILL CONTINUE TO EMPLOY DISTANCE LEARNING TO FINISH OUT THE SCHOOL YEAR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 3:50pm:

AMTRAK IS GETTING ONE BILLION DOLLARS TO DEAL WITH CORONAVIRUS-RELATED CHALLENGES. THE FUNDING, AWARDED UNDER THE CARES ACT, WILL INCLUDE SUPPORTING THE RAILROAD’S ABILITY TO FIGHT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS AND CONTINUE EVERYDAY OPERATIONS. IT WILL HELP EASE THE LOSS OF TICKET REVENUE USED TO PAY EMPLOYEES, BUY FUEL AND MAINTAIN PASSENGER ROUTES.

AS THE PANDEMIC HIT JUST BEFORE MARCH MADNESS, A POPULAR GAME DAY FOOD IS SUDDENLY IN SURPLUS. CHICKEN WINGS ARE ALWAYS A STAPLE OF RESTAURANTS AND SPORTS BARS, AND POULTRY FARMERS SOLD OVER 1.2 MILLION POUNDS OF WINGS BEFORE THE TOURNAMENT WAS CANCELLED. BY LAST WEEK, SALES DROPPED TO 433,000 POUNDS AND PRICES ARE DOWN TO NEARLY ONE-DOLLAR PER POUND, THE CHEAPEST IN NINE YEARS. PRODUCERS ARE TRYING TO LIMIT PRODUCT OUTPUT, WHILE SUPPLIERS WANT TO SEND SURPLUS WINGS TO GROCERS.

OFFICIALS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY ANNOUNCED THAT THEY HAVE EXTENDED THEIR STAY AT HOME ORDER TO MAY 15. THE ORDER WAS ORIGINALLY SET TO EXPIRE ON APRIL 19. THERE ARE OVER EIGHT-THOUSAND CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE COUNTY. IN ILLINOIS, GOVERNOR PRITZKER HAS CAST DOUBT ON WHETHER SUMMER FESTIVALS ACROSS THE STATE WILL PROCEED, DEPENDING ON HOW THE VIRUS IS CONTAINED IN THE COMING MONTHS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 2:45pm:

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 1,465 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS IN THE PAST 24 HOURS, WITH 68 NEW DEATHS. TOTAL LIVES LOST IN THE STATE ARE NOW AT 596, AND THERE ARE 17,887 KNOWN CASES. GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THAT FEDERALLY QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTERS ON THE WEST AND SOUTH SIDES OF CHICAGO ARE PARTNERING WITH HOSPITALS, INCLUDING LURIE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, TO INCREASE TESTING.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, A MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE’S CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE, SAID IN A PUBLIC BRIEFING TODAY THAT SHE IS SEEING A LEVELING OF THE CURVE OF INFECTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE FIRST TIME. SHE CAUTIONED THAT THE U.S. HAS NOT YET REACHED THE PEAK OF INFECTIONS NATIONWIDE.

AMERICANS WHO HAVE NOT FILED A TAX RETURN IN THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS CAN NOW GET THEIR STIMULUS CHECK. THE DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY AND THE IRS ARE LAUNCHING A WEB TOOL FOR PEOPLE WHO MAKE BELOW THE MINIMUM NEEDED TO PAY TAXES. AMERICANS CAN FILL IN BASIC INFORMATION FOR FREE AND THEN THE IRS CAN PROCESS THEIR STIMULUS PAYMENT. THE TOOL IS AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE IRS.GOV.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 1:45pm:

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS SAY THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 1.6 MILLION CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 ACROSS THE GLOBE. IN THE U.S., THERE ARE MORE THAN 475,000 CONFIRMED CASES.

THE ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE IS EXTENDING EXPIRATION DATES FOR DRIVER’S LICENSES, ID CARDS, VEHICLE REGISTRATIONS AND DOCUMENT FILINGS FOR AT LEAST 90 DAYS AFTER DRIVER SERVICES FACILITIES REOPEN. RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO USE CYBERDRIVEILLINOIS.COM FOR SERVICES LIKE RENEWING VEHICLE REGISTRATION STICKERS. SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE SAYS EXTENDING EXPIRATION DATES WILL HELP MINIMIZE THE RUSH OF CUSTOMERS SHOWING UP TO FACILITIES ONCE THEY REOPEN AFTER THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER LIFTS.

FRANCE’S NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL RE-OPENED ITS DOORS BRIEFLY TODAY. THE 13TH CENTURY HOUSE OF WORSHIP WAS DEVASTATED BY FIRE A YEAR AGO, BUT A BRIEF SERVICE WAS HOSTED IN THE SHELL OF THE BUILDING FOR GOOD FRIDAY TODAY. BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC, ONLY SEVEN PEOPLE PARTICIPATED IN THE CEREMONY OF POETRY AND MUSIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 12:45pm:

SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS SAYS STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS ARE WORKING AS THE NATION FIGHTS THE PANDEMIC. HE SAYS IT HAS LED TO A FLATTENING OF THE CURVE IN CALIFORNIA AND WASHINGTON D.C., AND FEWER THAN EXPECTED PATIENTS IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY.

THERE ARE 17 MORE CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF INFECTIONS ON THE FORCE TO 151. FOUR OFFICERS WHO RECENTLY TESTED POSITIVE HAVE RECOVERED AND ARE BACK ON DUTY.

THREE HOSPITALS IN SUBURBAN LAKE COUNTY ARE FILLING UP DUE TO THE OUTBREAK. NORTHWESTERN MEDICINE’S LAKE FOREST HOSPITAL, VISTA MEDICAL CENTER IN WAUKEGAN AND ADVOCATE CONDELL MEDICAL CENTER IN LIBERTYVILLE REPORTED REACHING THEIR LICENSED INTENSIVE CARE CAPACITY WEDNESDAY NIGHT. OTHER AREA HOSPITALS THAT HAVE FILLED UP THEIR NORMAL SUPPLY OF ICU BEDS INCLUDE MOUNT SINAI AND HOLY CROSS HOSPITALS IN CHICAGO.

AIR TRAVELERS ARE HAVING A HARD TIME GETTING THEIR MONEY BACK FROM AIRLINES AFTER FLIGHTS WERE CANCELLED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. NATIONAL CONSUMERS LEAGUE DIRECTOR JOHN BREYAULT SAYS THE AIRLINES ARE TRYING TO GET AROUND HAVING TO OFFER REFUNDS BECAUSE THAT COMES OUT OF THEIR BOTTOM LINE. A PROPOSED CLASS-ACTION SUIT AGAINST UNITED WAS FILED EARLIER THIS WEEK IN FEDERAL COURT IN CHICAGO. THE PLAINTIFF ACCUSES THE AIRLINE OF DENYING HIS REQUEST FOR A MORE THAN $1,500 REFUND AFTER HIS FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED AND HE WAS OFFERED A TRAVEL CREDIT INSTEAD.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 11:45am:

SUMMER WITHOUT SUMMER? CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT’S OFFICE SAYS, “PLANS FOR SUMMER PROGRAMMING AND EVENTS REMAIN UNDER DISCUSSION … OUR DEPARTMENT AND THE CITY TEAM WILL CONTINUE TO WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR PARTNERS AT THE STATE.” YESTERDAY GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID “I THINK EVERYBODY NEEDS TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT CANCELING LARGE SUMMER EVENTS… FROM MY PERSPECTIVE TODAY, I DO NOT SEE HOW WE ARE GOING TO HAVE LARGE GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE, AGAIN UNTIL WE HAVE A VACCINE WHICH IS MONTHS AND MONTHS AWAY.”

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SAYS IT IS NOT ENDING ITS SUPPORT FOR LOCAL CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITES. FEMA HAD ANNOUNCED THAT FEDERAL SUPPORT OF THE TESTING SITES WOULD BE PULLED BY THE END OF THE WEEK. LAST NIGHT, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES REVERSED COURSE AND SAID THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL NOT ABANDON THE COMMUNITY-BASED TEST SITES.

A NEW POLL SHOWS THAT MORE THAN HALF OF AMERICANS ARE NOW WEARING FACE MASKS IN PUBLIC. THE ABC NEWS-IPSOS POLL FOUND 55-PERCENT WHO LEFT THEIR HOMES IN THE PAST WEEK REPORTED WEARING MASKS. THE CDC RECENTLY RECOMMENDED THAT EVERYONE WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC.

NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO IS CALLING A DRAMATIC FALL IN THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS HOSPITALIZATIONS VERY GOOD NEWS. HE SAID AT TODAY’S BRIEFING THAT HE REMAINS CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC. HE ANNOUNCED 777 MORE PEOPLE DIED YESTERDAY.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE IS RETURNING TO NBC AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE SHOW HASN’T PRODUCED NEW EPISODES SINCE THE DANIEL CRAIG-HOSTED MARCH 7TH EPISODE DUE TO THE RAPID SPREAD OF COVID-19. HOWEVER, THIS SATURDAY THE SERIES WILL BE BACK WITH ORIGINAL CONTENT FEATURING MATERIAL PRODUCED REMOTELY BY THE SNL CAST MEMBERS.

THE S&P 500 IS UP MORE THAN ONE PERCENT CAPPING OFF ITS BEST WEEK SINCE 1974.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 10:45am:

LARGE SUMMER EVENTS MAY BE ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK DUE TO COVID-19. IN A STATEMENT, CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT’S OFFICE SAID: “PLANS FOR SUMMER PROGRAMMING AND EVENTS REMAIN UNDER DISCUSSION … OUR DEPARTMENT AND THE CITY TEAM WILL CONTINUE TO WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR PARTNERS AT THE STATE.” YESTERDAY GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID “I THINK EVERYBODY NEEDS TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT CANCELING LARGE SUMMER EVENTS… FROM MY PERSPECTIVE TODAY, I DO NOT SEE HOW WE ARE GOING TO HAVE LARGE GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE, AGAIN UNTIL WE HAVE A VACCINE WHICH IS MONTHS AND MONTHS AWAY.”

SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS SAYS GETTING BACK TO NORMAL WILL TAKE SOME TIME. ADAMS SAID ON FOX NEWS THIS MORNING THAT WHEN THE IMMEDIATE THREAT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS OVER, THERE WILL BE A NEW NORMAL. HE SAID HE HOPES AMERICANS WILL CONTINUE TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND GOOD HYGIENE. ADAMS SAID THE PROGRESS ON A VACCINE HAS BEEN VERY GOOD BUT IT’S STILL PROBABLY A YEAR AWAY FROM BEING AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

THERE ARE REPORTS THAT U.S. INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS WERE COLLECTING RAW DATA ON AN EMERGING PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS IN WUHAN, CHINA LAST NOVEMBER. WUHAN IS THOUGHT TO BE GROUND ZERO IN THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. NBC NEWS SAYS A FORMAL U.S. INTEL ASSESSMENT WAS FIRST MADE IN DECEMBER AND PRESIDENT TRUMP HAD ACCESS TO IT IN JANUARY. TRUMP STOPPED FLIGHTS FROM CHINA TO THE U.S. ON JANUARY 31ST. THE NEW YORK TIMES HAS ASSESSED THAT MORE THAN 380-THOUSAND PEOPLE FLEW FROM CHINA TO THE U.S. IN JANUARY, PRIOR TO TRUMP’S ORDER ON THE LAST DAY OF THAT MONTH.

STATE FARM ON THURSDAY ANNOUNCED A $2 BILLION REBATE FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS TO HELP THEM THROUGH CHALLENGING FINANCIAL TIMES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. STATE FARM SAID THE REBATE, PART OF ITS GOOD NEIGHBOR RELIEF PROGRAM, WILL APPEAR AS A CREDIT ON CUSTOMERS’ AUTO POLICY, AND CUSTOMERS DON’T NEED TO TAKE ANY ACTION TO RECEIVE IT.

A NURSE’S FAMILY IN KANSAS IS GETTING A BIG SURPRISE FROM SINGER JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND ACTRESS ANNA KENDRICK. NURSE STACIE KELLY LEFT HER FOUR KIDS AND HUSBAND TO WORK IN NEW YORK CITY HOSPITALS DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. NBC’S “TODAY” SHOW HELPED SURPRISE THE KELLY FAMILY VIA A VIDEO REMOTE. THE FOUR CHILDREN ARE BIG FANS OF THE MOVIE “TROLLS WORLD TOUR,” STARRING TIMBERLAKE AND KENDRICK, AND WHICH STARTS STREAMING TODAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 9:45am:

NEW YORK STATE NOW HAS MORE CONFIRMED CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS THAN ANY ENTIRE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD OUTSIDE THE U.S. THE EMPIRE STATE HAS NEARLY 162,000 CASES WITH MORE THAN 7,000 DEATHS. NATIONWIDE, THERE HAVE BEEN OVER 466-THOUSAND CASES WITH MORE THAN 16-THOUSAND-700 DEATHS.

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI SAYS WIDESPREAD TESTING AND SAFETY STANDARDS IN WORKPLACES WOULD NEED TO BE CONSIDERED AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC BEFORE REOPENING THE ECONOMY. THE CALIFORNIA DEMOCRAT TOLD POLITICO YESTERDAY THE DATA SHE’S SEEN WEIGHS AGAINST REOPENING THE COUNTRY SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.

IF LIQUOR IS ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST, BUY IT BEFORE 9 P.M. TONIGHT. THE CITY OF CHICAGO WILL IMPLEMENT A CURFEW FOR LIQUOR SALES STARTING TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. AND THE CURFEW WILL REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. VIOLATING THE CURFEW COULD MEAN A $500 FINE, ARREST, AND REVOCATION OF LIQUOR AND OTHER LICENSES.

STARSHIP TECHNOLOGIES IS EXPANDING ITS SERVICE OF AUTONOMOUS DELIVERY ROBOTS AS DEMAND INCREASES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE COMPANY STARTED BY SKYPE’S CO-FOUNDERS ARE QUICKLY ADDING MORE CITIES TO THE SERVICE. THE ROBOTS CAN CARRY UP TO 20 POUNDS.

MANY SOON-TO-BE FURLOUGHED DISNEYLAND WORKERS ARE KEEPING THEIR HEATH COVERAGE AND EDUCATION BENEFITS. LAST NIGHT, DISNEY REACHED AGREEMENTS WITH TEN DIFFERENT LABOR UNIONS. IT ALLOWS EMPLOYEES TO HOLD ON TO BENEFITS AFTER THEY’RE FURLOUGHED ON APRIL 19TH.

WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASKFORCE MEMBER DR. ANTHONY FAUCI WANTS ACTOR BRAD PITT TO PLAY HIM ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. IN AN APPEARANCE ON CNN, FAUCI SUGGESTED PITT WOULD BE HIS CHOICE TO PORTRAY HIM ON TV. SNL WILL RETURN TO NBC’S AIRWAVES THIS WEEKEND AFTER A HIATUS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 8:50am:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS ORGANIZERS OF LARGE SUMMER EVENTS LIKE TASTE OF CHICAGO AND BIG FESTIVAL CONCERTS, LIKE LOLLAPALOOZA, SHOULD CONSIDER CANCELING. HE DOESN’T EXPECT THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER TO END ANYTIME SOON.

THE TOTAL COVID-19 CASES IN ILLINOIS IS NOW OVER 16,000 AND 528 PATIENTS HAVE DIED. STATE HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI EZIKE SAYS NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE COMPLACENT.

CHICAGO POLICE ARE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR CORONAVIRUS TEST SAMPLES THAT ARE INSIDE A VEHICLE THAT WAS STOLEN FROM A SOUTH SIDE GAS STATION. THE OWNER OF THE JEEP CHEROKEE WORKS FOR LAB CORPS. SHE PUT THE TEST TUBES IN HER TRUNK LAST NIGHT AND WAS TAKING THEM TO THE LAB TO DROP THEM OFF. BUT SHE STOPPED AT A GAS STATION AND HER VEHICLE WAS STOLEN. THE VEHICLE WAS FOUND LATER BUT THE COVID-19 TEST SAMPLES ARE NOW MISSING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 7:10am:

OVER 50 CASES OF COVID-19 AND TWO DEATHS RELATED TO THE VIRUS WERE REPORTED AT A SOUTH SUBURBAN FACILITY. PARK FOREST MAYOR VANDERBILT CONFIRMED THAT TWO OF THE RESIDENTS OF THE ELISABETH LUDEMAN DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER IN PARK FOREST HAVE DIED, BOTH MEN, AGES 50 AND 67. THIRTY-EIGHT RESIDENTS AND 14 STAFF HAVE TESTED POSITIVE. THERE ARE 353 RESIDENTS WHO LIVE ON THE 60 ACRE PROPERTY. AT LEAST FOUR OF THE GROUP HOMES ARE IN ISOLATION AND THE FACILITY HAS TAKEN FURTHER STEPS TO TRY TO PROTECT RESIDENTS AND STAFF. THE FACILITY IS IN DIRE NEED OF PPE SUCH AS SURGICAL MASKS, GOWNS AND DISPOSABLE STETHOSCOPES AND BLOOD PRESSURE CUFFS.

THE NATION’S TOP INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT SAYS “REOPENING THE COUNTRY” AFTER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC WILL NOT BE EASY. DURING A WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING YESTERDAY, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI SAID IT’S NOT A “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” SITUATION, AND THAT THE U.S. IS A LARGE COUNTRY WITH “HOTSPOTS” LEVELING OFF IN SOME AREAS, WHILE OTHER AREAS MAY SEE AN “UPTICK” BEFORE THE CRISIS IS OVER.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE IS RETURNING TO NBC AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE SHOW HASN’T PRODUCED NEW EPISODES SINCE THE DANIEL CRAIG-HOSTED MARCH 7 EPISODE DUE TO THE RAPID SPREAD OF COVID-19. HOWEVER, THIS SATURDAY THE SERIES WILL BE BACK WITH ORIGINAL CONTENT FEATURING MATERIAL PRODUCED REMOTELY BY THE SNL CAST MEMBERS. SNL RETURNS WITH NEW CONTENT APRIL 11TH AT 10:30 P.M. ON NBC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/10/2020 6:10am:

THERE ARE NOW MORE CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES IN NEW YORK STATE THAN ANY ENTIRE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD OUTSIDE THE U.S. NEW YORK HAD MORE THAN 160,000 CASES OF THE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS AND MORE THAN 7,000 DEATHS EARLY THIS MORNING. NATIONWIDE, THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 465,000 CASES WITH NEARLY 16,700 DEATHS.

HERE IN ILLINOIS, THERE WERE 1,344 NEW CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES AND 66 ADDITIONAL DEATHS RELATED TO THE VIRUS YESTERDAY, AS GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER SAYS THERE IS EARLY EVIDENCE THE STATE IS BEGINNING TO “BEND THE CURVE” OF INFECTIONS. THERE ARE A TOTAL OF 16,422 CONFIRMED CASES, AND A TOTAL OF 528 PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM CORONAVIRUS-RELATED CAUSES. A TOTAL OF
80,857 TESTS HAVE BEEN PERFORMED STATEWIDE.

THE CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT IS PARTNERING WITH THE ILLINOIS SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION TO PRODUCE HAND SANITIZER TO HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. THE SANITIZER WILL BE USED BY PARK DISTRICT STAFF AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS WHO CONTINUE TO PERFORM ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS DURING THE STATE’S STAY AT HOME ORDER. THE PARK DISTRICT BEGAN HAND SANITIZER PRODUCTIONS LAST WEEK AND HAS ALREADY STARTED DISTRIBUTION AMONG ITS WORKERS.

IT ISN’T THE NORMAL TYPE OF DRIVING YOU SEE AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY. THE RACE TRACK IS SETTING UP A DRIVE-THRU CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITE TODAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 6:40pm:

IF LIQUOR IS ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST, BUY IT BEFORE 9 P.M. TONIGHT. THE CITY OF CHICAGO WILL IMPLEMENT A CURFEW FOR LIQUOR SALES STARTING TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. AND THE CURFEW WILL REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. VIOLATING THE CURFEW COULD MEAN A $500 FINE, ARREST, AND REVOCATION OF LIQUOR AND OTHER LICENSES.

STATE FARM WILL BE RETURNING TWO BILLION DOLLARS IN AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS DUE TO DATA THAT SHOWS FEWER DRIVERS ON THE ROAD BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS. MOST POLICY HOLDERS WILL GET A 25% POLICY CREDIT FOR THE WEEKS BETWEEN MARCH 30 AND MAY 31.

A SAILOR ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT IS CURRENTLY IN THE I-C-U FOR COVID-19. THE NAVY SHIP RECENTLY MADE HEADLINES OVER THE FIRING OF THE SHIP’S CAPTAIN, BRETT CROZIER, AND HAS BEEN DOCKED IN GUAM SINCE THE END OF MARCH. CORONAVIRUS SPREAD RAPIDLY ON THE SHIP, INFECTING OVER 400 OF THE NEARLY 4800 PERSON CREW.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 5:30pm:

AIRLINE TRAVEL IS DROPPING BY 96% AMID THE PANDEMIC. CNN REPORTS THAT TSA OFFICERS SCREENED LESS THAN 95,000 PEOPLE AT AIRPORT CHECKPOINTS YESTERDAY COMPARED TO 2.3 MILLION ON THE SAME DAY LAST YEAR. THAT NUMBER MARKS A TEN-YEAR LOW. AIRLINES HAVE ALSO CUT 71% OF THEIR CAPACITY AS ONLY ONE IN 10 SEATS ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS ARE OCCUPIED IN THE MIDST OF THE CRISIS.

GEORGIA IS ONCE AGAIN DELAYING ITS PRIMARY ELECTIONS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS RISKS. AFTER ORIGINALLY POSTPONING THE PRIMARIES UNTIL MID-MAY, GEORGIA’S EXTENSION OF ITS STATE OF EMERGENCY WILL PUSH THE ELECTIONS TO JUNE 9TH. THEY WERE INITIALLY SET FOR MARCH 24TH.

A FARM AID CONCERT THIS WEEKEND WILL RAISE FUNDS FOR FARMERS IMPACTED BY THE PANDEMIC. JOHN MELLENCAMP, NEIL YOUNG AND DAVE MATTHEWS WILL JOIN WILLIE NELSON FOR THE STREAMED EVENT, EACH PERFORMING FROM HOME. “AT HOME WITH FARM AID” HAPPENS THIS SATURDAY ON AXS TV AND ON THE FARM AID WEBSITE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 3:50pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAID TODAY THAT HEALTH OFFICIALS REMAIN CONFIDENT IN THE STATE’S ABILITY TO FLATTEN THE VIRUS CASE CURVE THROUGH SOCIAL DISTANCING. WHILE CASE NUMBERS CONTINUE TO CLIMB, HE SAID THE RISE SEEMS LESS EXPONENTIAL THAN IT HAS. ILLINOIS REPORTED 1300 NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS SINCE YESTERDAY, WHICH BRINGS THE TOTAL TO OVER 1600 IN THE STATE.

FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT WEEK, WALL STREET IS SHOWING GAINS EVEN THOUGH THE UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT IS BLEAK. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCED 6.6 MILLION FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW WAS UP 286 POINTS, THE S&P WAS UP 40 POINTS AND THE NASDAQ GAINED 63 POINTS.

ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY CHAD WOLF SAYS HIS DEPARTMENT IS CRACKING DOWN ON ANYONE WHO IS TRYING TO MAKE A PROFIT OFF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. WOLF SAID HE IS WORKING AGGRESSIVELY TO TAP INTO THE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN TO GET CRITICAL SUPPLIES TO AREAS-OF-NEED IN THE U.S.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 2:50pm:

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 1,344 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS, WITH 66 MORE DEATHS. THERE ARE NOW 16,422 KNOWN VIRUS INFECTIONS AND 528 LIVES LOST IN THE STATE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC.

THE CTA HAS ANNOUNCED NEW MEASURES TO HELP WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING. RIDERS WILL START BOARDING BUSES FROM THE BACK DOORS AND DRIVERS WILL STOP PICKING UP PASSENGERS IF AT ANY TIME THERE ARE AT LEAST 15 PEOPLE ON BOARD A 40 FOOT BUS, OR 22 RIDERS ON A 60-FOOT ACCORDION STYLE BUS. THE CTA IS ALSO MOVING FARECARD READERS FROM THE FRONT TO THE REAR, AND WILL NOT BE ENFORCING FARES ON BUSES THAT DON’T YET HAVE THE REAR-DOOR CARD READERS.

CHECK YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, THERE MIGHT BE EXTRA MONEY IN IT. THE GOVERNMENT SAYS ECONOMIC STIMULUS PAYMENTS SHOULD START APPEARING IN TAXPAYER ACCOUNTS AS EARLY AS TODAY. IT EXPECTS MOST WILL BE SENT BY EARLY NEXT WEEK.

BASKETBALL IS BACK…SORT OF. AN EIGHT-PLAYER HORSE TOURNAMENT WILL BE HELD ON ESPN STARTING THIS SUNDAY. ZACK LAVINE OF THE CHICAGO BULLS, CHRIS PAUL FROM THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AND TRAE YOUNG FROM THE ATLANTA HAWKS WILL BE FEATURED IN THE TOURNAMENT, ALONG WITH PLAYERS FROM THE WNBA LIKE TAMIKA CATCHINGS AND RETIRED NBA PLAYERS INCLUDING PAUL PIERCE. PLAYERS WILL BE FILMED COMPETING AT HOME LOCATIONS GOING SHOT FOR SHOT IN THE PLAYGROUND GAME.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 1:45pm:

RESEARCHERS AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY REPORTED MORE THAN 1.5 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS WORLDWIDE, WITH MORE THAN 90,000 DEAD DUE TO THE VIRUS. IN THE U.S., MORE THAN 432,000 HAVE TESTED POSITIVE WITH NEARLY 15,000 LIVES LOST.

DEFENSE SECRETARY MARK ESPER SAYS THEY ARE REACHING INTO THEIR RESERVES TO CALL UP MUCH-NEEDED CIVILIAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TO HELP WITH THE PANDEMIC. OVER 2000 MEDICAL PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED TO NEW YORK CITY, THE EPICENTER OF THE VIRUS.

COOK COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT TONI PRECKWINKLE SAYS SHE IS NOT FOCUSING ON LAYOFFS AT THIS TIME TO DEAL WITH FINANCIAL WOES BROUGHT ON BY THE PANDEMIC, INCLUDING LOST TAX REVENUE AND HIGH HEALTH CARE COSTS. PRECKWINKLE, WHO IS SELF-ISOLATING BECAUSE A MEMBER OF HER SECURITY DETAIL HAS THE VIRUS, SAYS THE COUNTY HAS MORE THAN TWO MONTHS OF EXPENSES IN RESERVE.

ONLINE REVIEW SITE YELP IS LAYING OFF OR FURLOUGHING AT LEAST 2000 EMPLOYEES DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE COMPANY SAYS INTEREST IN RESTAURANTS, THE SITE’S MOST POPULAR CATEGORY, HAS DROPPED 64% IN THE LAST MONTH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 12:40pm:

MILLIONS MORE AMERICANS ARE FILING FOR FIRST-TIME UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. IT WAS REPORTED TODAY THAT 6.6-MILLION PEOPLE SOUGHT BENEFITS JUST LAST WEEK. MORE THAN 16-MILLION WORKERS HAVE FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT OVER THE PAST THREE WEEKS AS THE CORONAVIRUS FORCES LAYOFFS AND BUSINESS CLOSURES.

CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS AND MAYORAL AIDES ARE PREPARING FOR A VIRTUAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING NEXT WEEK. THE PLAN IS TO HOLD THE MEETING ON APRIL 15TH ON THE ZOOM SOCIAL MEDIA APP, AND THE PUBLIC WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MEETING BY PHONE. SECURITY SAFEGUARDS WILL BE IN PLACE TO PREVENT THE MEETING FROM BEING HACKED INTO BY INTERNET TROLLS.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON IS SAID TO BE GETTING BETTER AFTER HIS THIRD NIGHT IN INTENSIVE CARE FOR CORONAVIRUS. THE BBC REPORTED THIS MORNING THAT JOHNSON IS “SITTING UP AND ENGAGING WITH MEDICAL STAFF.”JOHNSON WENT INTO THE HOSPITAL LAST WEEK AFTER TESTING POSITIVE AND WAS TRANSFERRED TO ICU ON MONDAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 11:45am:

IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE A DRINK TONIGHT, BETTER STOCK UP EARLY. TODAY CHICAGO WILL IMPLEMENT A NEW 9 P.M. CURFEW FOR LIQUOR SALES, SAYING THE MEASURE IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM VIOLATING THE STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THE CURFEW WILL REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER, POTENTIAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE CURFEW INCLUDE A $500 FINE, ARREST AND REVOCATION OF LIQUOR AND OTHER LICENSES.

FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN JEROME POWELL SAYS THE U.S. ECONOMY WAS ON FIRM FOOTING BEFORE THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS AND IS IN A GOOD POSITION TO RECOVER. DURING A DC TELECONFERENCE WITH THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, POWELL SAID A FAIRLY QUICK REBOUND IS LIKELY LATER THIS YEAR, IF THE CORONAVIRUS IS BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL. HE SAID THE FED WILL CONTINUE MOVING AGGRESSIVELY TO HELP DEAL WITH THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM THE CORONAVIRUS.

THE MARKETS CONTINUED A REBOUND TODAY WITH DOW POSTING GAINS OF AS MUCH AS 500 POINTS.

MILLIONS MORE PEOPLE ARE FILING FOR FIRST-TIME UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. THE GOVERNMENT SAID TODAY SIX-POINT-SIX MILLION AMERICANS SOUGHT BENEFITS JUST LAST WEEK. THAT’S WORSE THAN ANALYSTS HAD EXPECTED.

HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY SAYS NO ONE SHOULD BE PLAYING POLITICS WITH THE CORONAVIRUS. BRIEFING REPORTERS BY PHONE, MCCARTHY CRITICIZED SENATE DEMOCRATS FOR BLOCKING REPUBLICAN MOVES TO ADD 250-BILLION DOLLARS TO A SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND. DEMS ARE INSISTING ON MORE MONEY FOR HOSPITALS AND STATE-AND-LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.

NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAYS IT APPEARS HIS STATE WILL AVOID THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO BECAUSE SOCIAL DISTANCING IS WORKING. CUOMO SAID AT HIS DAILY BRIEFING THAT THEY ARE CURRENTLY USING ABOUT 36,000 HOSPITAL BEDS. THE STATE STARTED WITH ONLY 53,000 BEDS, BUT HAS EXPANDED THAT TO CLOSE TO 90,000.

A FARM AID CONCERT THIS WEEKEND WILL HAVE SOME SERIOUS STAR POWER. JOHN MELLENCAMP, NEIL YOUNG AND DAVE MATTHEWS WILL BE JOINING WILLIE NELSON FOR THE STREAMED EVENT. THE STARS WILL BE PERFORMING FROM HOME AND THEIR EFFORTS ARE DESIGNED TO RAISE FUNDS AND AWARENESS FOR FARMERS IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 10:45am:

CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS AND TOP MAYORAL AIDES ARE PREPARING FOR A VIRTUAL COUNCIL MEETING NEXT WEEK. THEY CONDUCTED A DRY RUN ON TUESDAY. THE PLAN IS TO HOLD THE APRIL 15TH MEETING ON THE ZOOM SOCIAL MEDIA APP. SECURITY SAFEGUARDS WILL BE IN PLACE TO PREVENT THE MEETING FROM BEING HACKED. THE PUBLIC WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE BY PHONE. CITIZENS WHO NORMALLY LINE UP OUTSIDE COUNCIL CHAMBERS FOR THE RIGHT TO TAKE UP A SLOT TO SPEAK DURING THE 30-MINUTE SEGMENT WILL BE ASKED TO CALL A SPECIFIC NUMBER AND BE PLACED IN A QUEUE BASED ON THE ORDER OF THEIR CALL.

SOME CHANGES ARE STARTING TODAY TO HELP PROTECT CTA BUS RIDERS AND DRIVERS. THE CTA IS DIRECTING RIDERS TO BOARD THROUGH THE REAR DOORS OF ITS BUSES. HANDICAPPED PASSENGERS WILL STILL USE THE FRONT DOOR EQUIPPED WITH A LIFT. RIDES WILL BE FREE ON BUSES WHERE THE FARE CARD READERS HAVEN’T YET BEEN MOVED TO THE BACK DOORS. DRIVERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO STOP PICKING UP PASSENGERS ONCE BUSES HAVE 15 OR MORE RIDERS ABOARD. LONGER ACCORDIAN-STYLE BUSES CAN CARRY 22.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED THE CITY WILL IMPLEMENT A NEW 9 P.M. CURFEW FOR LIQUOR SALES, SAYING THE MEASURE IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM VIOLATING THE STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THE 9 P.M. CURFEW ON LIQUOR SALES WILL GO INTO EFFECT TONIGHT AT 9PM AND WILL REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER, POTENTIAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE CURFEW INCLUDE A $500 FINE, ARREST AND REVOCATION OF LIQUOR AND OTHER LICENSES.

ILLINOIS MARKED THE LARGEST NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN A 24-HOUR PERIOD AND THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF NEW POSITIVE CASES YESTERDAY. THE STATE’S TOTAL CASES ABOVE 15,000 AND THE DEATH TOLL TO 462.

FOLKS ARE SUDDENLY REMEMBERING THOSE EXPENSIVE SMARTPHONES IN THEIR POCKETS AND PURSES CAN DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN TEXTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA. YOU KNOW, CALLING SOMEONE UP AND TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER. VERIZON SAYS IT IS HANDLING AN AVERAGE OF 800-MILLION WIRELESS CALLS A DAY DURING THE PANDEMIC. THAT’S MORE THAN DOUBLE WHAT IT NORMALLY DOES ON MOTHER’S DAY, ONE OF ITS BUSIEST DAYS OF THE YEAR. AT&T SAYS ITS CELLULAR CALLS HAVE INCREASED ABOUT 35% AND WI-FI BASED CALLS HAVE DOUBLED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 8:50am:

ILLINOIS MARKED THE LARGEST NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN A 24-HOUR PERIOD AND THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF NEW POSITIVE CASES YESTERDAY. THE STATE’S TOTAL CASES ABOVE 15,000 AND THE DEATH TOLL TO 462.

THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED GLOBAL CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IS APPROACHING 1.5 MILLION. THE NUMBER OF DEATHS IS NOW OVER 89,000. THE U.S. IS NOW THE EPICENTER OF THE OUTBREAK, WITH MORE THAN 430,000 CONFIRMED CASES AND MORE THAN 14,800 DEATHS.

SOME CHANGES ARE STARTING TODAY TO HELP PROTECT CTA BUS RIDERS AND DRIVERS. THE CTA IS DIRECTING RIDERS TO BOARD THROUGH THE REAR DOORS OF ITS BUSES. HANDICAPPED PASSENGERS WILL STILL USE THE FRONT DOOR EQUIPPED WITH A LIFT. RIDES WILL BE FREE ON BUSES WHERE THE FARE CARD READERS HAVEN’T YET BEEN MOVED TO THE BACK DOORS. DRIVERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO STOP PICKING UP PASSENGERS ONCE BUSES HAVE 15 OR MORE RIDERS ABOARD. LONGER ACCORDIAN-STYLE BUSES CAN CARRY 22.

THE CDC SAYS ESSENTIAL WORKERS WHO HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO CORONAVIRUS, BUT DON’T HAVE SYMPTOMS, CAN KEEP WORKING. THE NEW GUIDELINES ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY APPLY TO FIRST RESPONDERS, HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND THOSE AT GROCERY STORES, RESTAURANTS, AND CONVENIENCE STORES. WHEN THEY RETURN TO WORK THEY SHOULD HAVE THEIR TEMPERATURE CHECKED AND WEAR FACE MASKS.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED THE CITY WILL IMPLEMENT A NEW 9 P.M. CURFEW FOR LIQUOR SALES, SAYING THE MEASURE IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM VIOLATING THE STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THE 9 P.M. CURFEW ON LIQUOR SALES WILL GO INTO EFFECT TONIGHT AT 9PM AND WILL REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER, POTENTIAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE CURFEW INCLUDE A $500 FINE, ARREST AND REVOCATION OF LIQUOR AND OTHER LICENSES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 7:10am:

THE IRS IS SPEEDING UP THE PROCESS OF GETTING CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS MONEY INTO THE HANDS OF AMERICANS. FOX BUSINESS REPORTS DIRECT DEPOSITS COULD START NEXT WEEK, AS EARLY AS MONDAY OR TUESDAY. THE IRS WILL ALSO SOON BE GIVING INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO UPDATE DIRECT DEPOSIT INFORMATION IF NECESSARY. PEOPLE MAKING UP TO 75,000 A YEAR WILL GET 1,200 DOLLARS, AND THEN 500-DOLLARS PER CHILD.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT IS DISMAYED ABOUT A SURGE IN VIOLENCE IN THE CITY IN RECENT DAYS. AS POLICE MANPOWER AND HOSPITAL RESOURCES ARE BEING STRETCHED TO THE BREAKING POINT BY THE CORONAVIRUS, AS THE DEATH TOLL FROM CORONAVIRUS MOUNTS IN CHICAGO, A REFRIGERATED WAREHOUSE IS BEING PREPARED AS A MAKESHIFT MORGUE. THE COOK COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER ACQUIRED A REFRIGERATED WAREHOUSE SPACE, EXPECTED TO BE OPERATIONAL BEGINNING TODAY, WITH THE ABILITY TO HOLD UP TO 400 BODIES ON DAY ONE. THE COOK COUNTY MORGUE, WHICH SERVES THE CITY OF CHICAGO, NORMALLY GETS BETWEEN 10 AND 20 BODIES A WEEK. NOW, THE DEATH TOLL IS ABOUT 40 PER DAY. CURRENTLY THE MEDICAL EXAMINER CAN ACCOMMODATE 285 CASES AT ONE TIME. THEY HAVE ABOUT 240 NOW AND WILL SOON PASS THE MAXIMUM THRESHOLD. ONCE RENOVATION IS COMPLETE BY THIS WEEKEND, THE NEW WAREHOUSE CAN HOUSE 1500 BODIES BY ITSELF.

JOHN MELLENCAMP, NEIL YOUNG AND DAVE MATTHEWS WILL BE JOINING WILLIE NELSON FOR A STREAMING FARM AID CONCERT THIS WEEKEND. THE STARS WILL BE PERFORMING FROM THEIR HOMES FOR THE DIGITAL CONCERT, WHICH WILL RAISE FUNDS AND AWARENESS FOR FARMERS IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. FARM AID HAS BEEN RAISING MONEY FOR AMERICAN FARMERS SINCE 1985. “AT HOME WITH FARM AID” IS THIS SATURDAY AT 7PM ON AXS TV AND ON THE FARM AID WEBSITE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/9/2020 6:10am:

ILLINOIS IS SEEING ITS LARGEST JUMP IN COVID-19 NUMBERS. STATE HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI EZIKE SAYS DESPITE 1,500 NEW CASES AND 82 ADDITIONAL DEATHS THERE IS A GLIMMER OF HOPE. DOCTOR EZIKE ADDED THAT PEOPLE MUST STAY AT HOME, WASH HANDS FREQUENTLY AND IMPLEMENT SOCIAL DISTANCING FROM OTHERS. MORE THAN 15,000 PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS HAVE NOW TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS.

THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT TO DIE AFTER CONTRACTING THE CORONAVIRUS WILL BE LAID TO REST TODAY. A FUNERAL FOR OFFICER MARCO DI FRANCO IS SCHEDULED FOR 11 A.M. AT CUMBERLAND FUNERAL CHAPELS IN SUBURBAN NORRIDGE. TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING, THERE WILL BE NO ONE ALLOWED INSIDE THE FUNERAL HOME EXCEPT FOR FAMILY. DI FRANCO PASSED AWAY LAST WEEK. THE 50-YEAR-OLD JOINED CPD IN 1998.

COOK COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT TONI PRECKWINKLE IS SELF-ISOLATING THROUGH TOMORROW AFTER A MEMBER OF HER SECURITY DETAIL TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS. THE PATIENT WAS LAST IN THE COOK COUNTY BUILDING AND IN A VEHICLE OPERATED BY THE DETAIL ON MARCH 27TH. PRECKWINKLE CURRENTLY HAS NO SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19. THE COOK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT HAS ALREADY DEEP CLEANED THE IMPACTED AREAS OF THE BUILDING.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED THE CITY WILL IMPLEMENT A NEW 9 P.M. CURFEW FOR LIQUOR SALES, SAYING THE MEASURE IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM VIOLATING THE STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THE 9 P.M. CURFEW ON LIQUOR SALES WILL GO INTO EFFECT TONIGHT AT 9PM AND WILL REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER, POTENTIAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE CURFEW INCLUDE A $500 FINE, ARREST AND REVOCATION OF LIQUOR AND OTHER LICENSES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 6:40pm:

THE STATE DEPARTMENT IS WORKING TO BRING AMERICANS HOME. DURING A BRIEFING TODAY, SECRETARY MIKE POMPEO ANNOUNCED OVER 50,000 CITIZENS HAVE BEEN REPATRIATED FROM AROUND THE WORLD. SO FAR NEARLY 500 FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN MADE FROM OVER 90 COUNTRIES, BUT THERE ARE STILL THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TRYING TO GET HOME.

GROUPON IS FURLOUGHING PORTIONS OF ITS SALES AND OPERATIONS TEAMS IN NORTH AMERICA DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. A SPOKESMAN SAID ALL IMPACTED EMPLOYEES WOULD BE NOTIFIED BY MIDWEEK. THE COMPANY LAUNCHED MORE THAN A DECADE AGO WITH A TWO-FOR-ONE PIZZA DEAL AT A CHICAGO BAR.

THE WIMBLEDON TENNIS TOURNAMENT IS GETTING A BIG INSURANCE PAYOUT AFTER BEING FORCED TO CANCEL BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. THE TOURNAMENT WILL REPORTEDLY BE PAID 141-MILLION DOLLARS. WIMBLEDON HAD BEEN PAYING 2 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FOR AN INSURANCE POLICY THAT COVERED CANCELLATION DUE TO A PANDEMIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 5:30pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAID IN A BRIEFING TODAY THAT HE IS NOT SATISIFIED WITH THE QUALITY AND AMOUNT OF CORONAVIRUS TESTING IN THE STATE. ALTHOUGH OUTSIDE MEASURES WERE PUT INTO PLACE TO TEST MORE EFFICIENTLY, HE SAYS THE STATE WILL CHARTER OUR OWN PATH FORWARD, WHICH INCLUDES IN-STATE UNIVERSITIES AND LABS CREATING THEIR OWN SUPPLIES. PRITZKER ALSO GAVE AN UPDATE ON THE STATE’S COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND, WHICH HAS GENERATED 28-MILLION DOLLARS IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS.

A DOCUMENT RELEASED TODAY FROM FEMA AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AND HUMAN SERVICES SAYS THEY ARE SENDING PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FROM ITS STOCKPILE TO CHICAGO. THE CITY WILL GET MORE THAN 172,000 N95 RESPIRATORS AND 410,000 SURGICAL MASKS, AS WELL AS FACE SHIELDS, SURGICAL GOWNS AND GLOVES. CHICAGO WILL ALSO RECEIVE 150 VENTILATORS FROM THE STOCKPILE.

PASSOVER BEGINS THIS EVENING AND THE PANDEMIC IS FORCING PEOPLE OF JEWISH FAITH AROUND THE WORLD TO MAKE CHANGES IN THE WAY THEY OBSERVE THE HOLIDAY. THE INTERNET IS FILLED WITH SITES CONNECTING PEOPLE WHO ARE HOSTING OR IN NEED OF A VIRTUAL SEDER, THE TRADITIONAL MEAL AT PASSOVER, ALONG WITH SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE VIRTUAL SEDERS PART OF A MEANINGFUL OBSERVANCE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 3:50pm:

WALL STREET IS RALLYING A BIT THIS WEEK, SHOWING INVESTOR OPTIMISM ABOUT A SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT IN DATA AROUND NEW COVID-19 INFECTIONS. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW WAS UP 779 POINTS, THE S&P GAINED 90 POINTS AND THE NASDAQ WAS UP 203 POINTS.

THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CLAIMS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS DEPLETED 90% OF ITS STOCKPILE OF RESPIRATORS, GLOVES, AND OTHER PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT. 10% OF THE QUANTITY IS SAVED FOR FEDERAL WORKERS. FEMA AND THE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT RELEASED DOCUMENTS THAT SHOW IT SENT OUT 11.7 MILLION N95 MASKS, AND ABOUT 8,000 VENTILATORS WERE DISTRIBUTED.

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS ARE DOWN NEARLY 18% AS THE ECONOMIC CHAOS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS THROWS A MONKEY WRENCH INTO SPRING HOMEBUYING. THE MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION SAYS APPLICATIONS FOR LOANS TO BUY HOMES FELL 12% LAST WEEK AND REFINANCE APPLICATIONS DROPPED 19%. THE NATIONAL AVERAGE INTEREST RATE FOR A 30-YEAR FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE ROSE TWO BASIS POINTS TO 3.49%.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 2:50pm:

ILLINOIS OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 1,529 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS, WITH 82 LIVES LOST OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS. THESE ARE THE HIGHEST NUMBERS REPORTED TO DATE IN THE STATE. THERE ARE NOW 15,078 KNOWN CASES, AND 462 TOTAL DEATHS IN ILLINOIS. OFFICIALS SAID WHILE THESE NUMBERS ARE HIGH, THE RATE OF THE INCREASE IS LESS, CREDITING SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR HELPING BEGIN TO FLATTEN THE CURVE OF THE OUTBREAK.

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED A 9 P.M. CURFEW ON LIQUOR SALES IN CHICAGO EFFECTIVE TOMORROW. THE CURFEW IS A PROTECTIVE MEASURE PROMPTED BY THE FACT THAT TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONGREGATING AT STORES THAT SELL ALCOHOL, ESPECIALLY IN THE EVENING HOURS. INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE CHARLES BECK ALSO ADDED THAT THE CITY’S OFFICERS HAVE DISPERSED OVER 2,000 GROUPS OF PEOPLE SINCE THE START OF THE CITY’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS.

GEICO IS GIVING DRIVERS A 15% CREDIT TO THEIR AUTO AND MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE POLICIES BECAUSE AMERICANS ARE DRIVING LESS DURING THE PANDEMIC. MOST OF ITS CUSTOMERS WILL GET ABOUT $150 OFF THEIR SIX-MONTH PREMIUM. THE REBATES WILL COST THE COMPANY ABOUT 2.5 BILLION DOLLARS. GEICO IS THE THIRD INSURANCE CARRIER TO GIVE REFUNDS TO POLICY HOLDERS, JOINING ALLSTATE AND AMERICAN FAMILY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 1:45pm:

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT HAS PLACED A 9 P.M. CURFEW ON ALCOHOL SALES ACROSS THE CITY IN A PROTECTIVE MEASURE TO CURB SPREAD OF COVID-19. IN A PUBLIC ADDRESS, SHE SAYS SHE PERSONALLY BROKE UP A CROWD THAT HAD CONGREGATED DURING YESTERDAY’S WARM WEATHER IN THE CITY’S 50TH WARD, AND REITERATED THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPLYING WITH THE ORDER TO STAY HOME TO SAVE LIVES.

OFFICIALS IN CHICAGO HAVE NOW CITED OVER 20 NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES FOUND TO BE OPEN DURING THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. BARS, RESTAURANTS, EXERCISE STUDIOS, BARBERSHOPS, AND MORE HAVE BEEN CITED AND FINED. RESIDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT A NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS STAYING OPEN DURING THE PANDEMIC ARE URGED TO MAKE A COMPLAINT BY CALLING 3-1-1.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM SAYS HE IS WORKING WITH A MANUFACTURER IN HIS STATE AND HAS A DEAL FOR 200-MILLION MASKS TO BE SHIPPED TO CALIFORNIA EVERY MONTH. HE ADDED THE MAJORITY ARE CRITICALLY-NEEDED N95 MASKS AND THEY WILL NOT BE COMPETING AGAINST OTHER STATES. NEWSOM SAYS HE WANTS TO USE THE PURCHASING POWER OF CALIFORNIA TO SECURE MASKS AND EXPORT SOME OF THOSE SUPPLIES TO OTHER STATES IN NEED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 12:45pm:

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT IS EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE NEW MEASURES IN THE CITY’S FIGHT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS THIS AFTERNOON AT 1 P.M. LAST NIGHT, CPD SET UP SEVERAL CHECKPOINTS AROUND THE CITY TO MAKE SURE RESIDENTS WERE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. OFFICERS HANDED OUT FLIERS AND ANSWERED QUESTIONS FROM RESIDENTS.

COOK COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT TONI PRECKWINKLE IS SELF-ISOLATING FOR THE REST OF THIS WEEK AFTER ONE OF HER SECURITY DETAIL TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE EMPLOYEE WAS LAST IN THE COUNTY BUILDING AND IN ONE OF THE COUNTY’S SECURITY VEHICLES ON MARCH 27. BOTH SPACES HAVE BEEN DEEP-CLEANED AND SANITIZED. PRECKWINKLE SAID SHE SHOWS NO SIGNS OF HAVING THE VIRUS.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS HAS SUSPENDED HIS CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENT, CLEARING THE PATH FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR FORMER VP JOE BIDEN. HE THANKED HIS SUPPORTERS TODAY, STRESSING HE DOES NOT SEE A FEASIBLE PATH TO THE NOMINATION. THE CORONAVIRUS HAS MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM AND OTHERS TO HOLD CAMPAIGN RALLIES AND OTHER EVENTS THAT ARE KEY TO WINNING THE WHITE HOUSE.

THE U.S. SET A RECORD YESTERDAY WITH THE MOST CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN ONE COUNTRY IN A SINGLE DAY AFTER MORE THAN 1,800 DIED. SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN OVER 400,000 CONFIRMED CASES OF THE ILLNESS AND NEARLY 13,000 DEATHS NATIONWIDE. IN NEW YORK, THE DEATH TOLL IN THE STATE HIT JUST OVER 6,200. GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO HAS DIRECTED ALL FLAGS IN THE STATE BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF TO HONOR THE VICTIMS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 11:45am:

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS IS BOWING OUT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL RACE. THAT CLEARS THE PATH FOR FORMER VP JOE BIDEN TO BECOME THE PARTY’S NOMINEE. SPEAKING FROM HIS HOME STATE OF VERMONT, SANDERS THANKED SUPPORTERS AND SAID HE’S PROUD THAT HE WAS ABLE TO BYPASS A “CORRUPT” CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM TO FUND HIS CAMPAIGN.

THE NATION’S TOP DOCTOR ON INFECTIONS SAYS THERE SHOULD BE A TURNAROUND IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS AFTER THIS WEEK. DOCTOR ANTHONY FAUCI TOLD FOX NEWS THIS MORNING THAT THE U.S. DEATH TOLL FROM THE PANDEMIC IS LOWER THAN EXPECTED. STILL, FAUCI WARNED EFFORTS TO COMBAT THE VIRUS SHOULD INTENSIFY.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION OFFICIALS SAY NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO CUT ITS FUNDING AS IT IS FIGHTING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. PRESIDENT TRUMP CRITICIZED THE ORGANIZATION TUESDAY, SUGGESTING THE U.S. MAY CUT OFF ITS FUNDING. THE PRESIDENT SAID THE W-H-O WAS AGAINST HIS TRAVEL BAN FROM CHINA AND PUSHED A CHINESE AGENDA IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE PANDEMIC.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER IS “GLAD” FORMER ACTING NAVY SECRETARY THOMAS MODLY RESIGNED. SCHUMER ALSO PRAISED CAPTAIN BRETT CROZIER AFTER HE WAS RELIEVED OF HIS DUTIES ON THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT. THE NEW YORK DEMOCRAT SAID CROZIER “SPOKE TRUTH TO POWER” IN A LETTER THAT WAS EVENTUALLY PUBLISHED FOLLOWING MORE THAN 100 CORONAVIRUS CASES ON THE SHIP.

AMERICANS ARE DEFINITELY STAYING HOME DURING THIS PANDEMIC. THE TSA REPORTED A RECORD-LOW NUMBER OF PASSENGERS BEING CHECKED BY THEIR AGENTS AT THE NATION’S AIRPORTS YESTERDAY. LITTLE MORE THAN 97,000 WERE SCREENED BEFORE BOARDING PLANES.

BILLY JOEL IS MAKING SURE HIS NEW YORK NEIGHBORS HAVE PLENTY TO EAT DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE BILLY JOEL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT IT’S TEAMING UP WITH THE RELIEF ORGANIZATION LONG ISLAND CARES TO PROVIDE FOOD TO THOSE STRUGGLING DURING THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN. IN A STATEMENT, THE JOEL FOUNDATION SAID IT’S PROVIDING FREEZER UNITS FOR FOOD PANTRIES AND SOUP KITCHENS ACROSS THE REGION, WHERE THE NEED FOR FOOD ASSISTANCE IS EXPECTED TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 10:45am:

BERNIE SANDERS HAS ENDED HIS BID FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. FOLLOWING POOR SHOWINGS IN A NUMBER OF PRIMARIES, THE SENATOR’S CAMPAIGN WAS FURTHER HAMPERED BY COVID19 WHICH MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO HOLD HIS LARGE RALLIES.

CONFIRMED U.S. CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS ARE NEARING 400,000 WITH NEARLY 13,000 DEATHS. IT WAS A DEADLY DAY YESTERDAY IN THE COUNTRY, AS MORE THAN 1,800 PEOPLE SUCCUMBED TO COVID-19. IT WAS THE RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF DEATHS FOR THE VIRUS IN ONE COUNTRY IN A SINGLE DAY.

MEANWHILE, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI SAYS HE EXPECTS A TURNAROUND ONCE WE GET PAST THIS WEEK. ON THAT NEWS, THE DOW JONES WAS UP AS MUCH AS 500 POINTS OR 2% THIS HOUR.

NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF AMERICANS WHO RENT APARTMENTS HAVEN’T PAID ANY PART OF THEIR RENT THIS MONTH. INFORMATION RELEASED TODAY BY THE NATIONAL MULTIFAMILY HOUSING COUNCIL SHOWS ONLY 69% OF TENANTS PAID ANY OF THEIR RENT BETWEEN APRIL 1ST AND 5TH. THAT COMPARES TO 81% FOR THE FIRST WEEK IN MARCH AND 82% THE FIRST WEEK IN APRIL OF LAST YEAR.

IT REMAINS UNCLEAR WHO WON THE PRIMARY ELECTION IN WISCONSIN, AS THE STATE’S ELECTION COMMISSION SAYS IT WON’T RELEASE RESULTS UNTIL MONDAY. POLLS CLOSED ACROSS THE STATE LAST NIGHT, A DAY AFTER DRAMA ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THE ELECTION WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

PASSOVER BEGINS THIS EVENING AND THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS FORCING JEWS AROUND THE WORLD TO MAKE BIG CHANGES IN THE WAYS THEY OBSERVE THE HOLIDAY. THE BIGGEST IS THE FACT THAT THE VIRUS WILL KEEP FAMILIES FROM GATHERING FOR THE SEDER, THE TRADITIONAL, RITUAL MEAL THAT COMMEMORATES THE ISRAELITES’ EXODUS FROM EGYPT. THE INTERNET IS FILLED WITH SITES TO CONNECT PEOPLE WHO ARE HOSTING OR IN NEED OF A VIRTUAL SEDER, ALONG WITH SUPPLEMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS TO MAKE VIRTUAL SEDERS PART OF A MEANINGFUL PASSOVER OBSERVANCE.

THE MUSIC WORLD IS PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE LATE JOHN PRINE. THE MAYWOOD-BORN SINGER-SONGWRITER DIED AT THE AGE OF 73 TUESDAY AT A NASHVILLE HOSPITAL. HE HAD BEEN SUFFERING FROM COVID-19. PRINE WAS REVERED BY MANY, INCLUDING BOB DYLAN, WHO CALLED HIS SONGS “MIDWESTERN MINDTRIPS.” MUSIC STARS HAVE BEEN COMING OUT TO PAY THEIR RESPECTS ON TWITTER, INCLUDING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, WHO CALLED PRINE “A SONGWRITER FOR THE AGES.” BONNIE RAITT, WHO HAD A HIT WITH THE PRINE SONG “ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY,” SAID SHE WAS CRUSHED BY THE LOSS OF HER DEAR FRIEND, AND SHERYL CROW SAID PRINE WILL BE MISSED, BUT HIS SONGS WILL LIVE ON.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 9:45am:

STOCK FUTURES ARE POINTING TO A MOSTLY FLAT OPEN. DOW AND S&P 500 FUTURES ARE LARGELY UNCHANGED AND NASDAQ FUTURES ARE UP A LITTLE MORE THAN A TENTH OF A PERCENT. ALL THREE INDEXES WERE DOWN JUST A TICK ON TUESDAY. THE DOW AND S&P 500 WERE OFF ABOUT A TENTH OF A PERCENT AND THE NASDAQ WAS DOWN ONE-THIRD PERCENT.

A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SAY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS DONE A POOR JOB OF PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. A NEW CNN POLL OUT TODAY SHOWS 55% OF PEOPLE SURVEYED SAY WASHINGTON’S RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC HAS BEEN POOR. 80% SAY THE WORST OF THE OUTBREAK IS YET TO COME, AND 55% SAY PRESIDENT TRUMP COULD BE DOING MORE TO HELP. JUST UNDER HALF SAY IT’S AT LEAST SOMEWHAT LIKELY THAT THEY OR SOMEONE IN THEIR FAMILY WILL GET CORONAVIRUS.

HUNDREDS OF SOUTHWEST AIRLINES EMPLOYEES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, ACCORDING TO THE AIRLINE’S UNION. TWU LOCAL 556, THE UNION FOR SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, REPORTED AT LEAST 600 EMPLOYEES TESTED POSITIVE. THE COMPANY, HOWEVER, DENIES THAT, AND RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:”CURRENTLY, FAR LESS THAN 1% OF MORE THAN 60,000 SOUTHWEST AIRLINES EMPLOYEES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF SOUTHWEST’S EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS IS OUR UNCOMPROMISING PRIORITY, AND SOUTHWEST CONTINUES TO IMPLEMENT MEASURES TO MAINTAIN OUR AIRCRAFT CABINS, AIRPORT LOCATIONS, AND WORK CENTERS TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS,

WHILE FOLLOWING ALL CDC GUIDELINES, DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME.” THIS COMES HOURS AFTER AMERICAN AIRLINES ANNOUNCED A NUMBER OF ITS FLIGHT ATTENDANTS ALSO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE U.S. IS VIRTUALLY SHUT DOWN, AND DOMESTIC FLIGHTS HAVE CONTINUED BUT TO REDUCED SCHEDULES ACROSS CARRIERS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 8:50am:

CHICAGO POLICE BEGAN CONDUCTING STAY-AT-HOME CHECKPOINTS AT 10 P.M. LAST NIGHT. THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT SAID THE CHECKPOINTS WILL BE IN PLACE IN DISTRICTS ACROSS THE CITY FROM 10 P.M. UNTIL 2 A.M. STARTING APRIL 7 THROUGH APRIL 9. OFFICIALS SAID DRIVERS WILL BE GIVEN A FLYER CONTAINING REMINDERS ABOUT GOV. JB PRITZKER’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. FOR MORE INFORMATION, GO TO: WWW.CHICAGO.GOV.

NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF AMERICANS WHO RENT APARTMENTS HAVEN’T PAID ANY PART OF THEIR RENT THIS MONTH. INFORMATION RELEASED TODAY BY THE NATIONAL MULTIFAMILY HOUSING COUNCIL SHOWS ONLY 69% OF TENANTS PAID ANY OF THEIR RENT BETWEEN APRIL 1ST AND 5TH. THAT COMPARES TO 81% FOR THE FIRST WEEK IN MARCH AND 82% THE FIRST WEEK IN APRIL OF LAST YEAR. THE NUMBERS ARE SEEN AS EVIDENCE OF JUST HOW MANY AMERICANS ARE STRUGGLING TO PAY FOR NECESSITIES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HAS ISSUED A STATEMENT AFTER REPORTS SURFACED THAT THE LEAGUE AND PLAYERS’ ASSOCIATION ARE WORKING ON A PLAN TO BEGIN THE SEASON AS EARLY AS MAY. THE REPORTS SAYS GAMES WOULD BE HELD IN THE GREATER PHOENIX AREA USING SEVERAL FACILITIES AND LOCATIONS FEDERAL OFFICIALS REPORTEDLY SUPPORT THE PLAN THAT WOULD ALLOW MLB TO BECOME THE FIRST U.S. PROFESSIONAL SPORT TO RETURN, BUT THE LEAGUE ISSUED A STATEMENT SAYING “WHILE WE HAVE DISCUSSED THE IDEA OF STAGING GAMES AT ONE LOCATION AS ONE POTENTIAL OPTION, WE HAVE NOT SETTLED ON THAT OPTION OR DEVELOPED A DETAILED PLAN. WE ARE NOT READY AT THIS TIME TO ENDORSE ANY PARTICULAR FORMAT FOR STAGING GAMES IN LIGHT OF THE RAPIDLY CHANGING PUBLIC HEALTH SITUATION CAUSED BY THE CORONAVIRUS.”

BEEN HEARING ABOUT A LOT OF CREATIVE WAYS PEOPLE ARE SHOWING THEIR APPRECIATION FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS….LAST WEEK, EVERYONE AROUND SEVERAL CHICAGO SUBURBS LIT A CANDLE IN FRONT OF THEIR HOMES. CANADA MAY HAVE FIGURED OUT THE MOST CANADIAN WAY TO THANK HEALTHCARE WORKERS. AT 7:00 P.M. EACH NIGHT, THEY GO OUTSIDE AND BANG HOCKEY STICKS ON THE GROUND.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 7:10am:

A NEW STUDY SAYS CORONAVIRUS IS MORE LIKELY TO KILL PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN COUNTIES WITH HIGH AIR POLLUTION. THE STUDY BY HARVARD’S T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, RELEASED YESTERDAY, SAYS AN INCREASE OF ONE-GRAM PER CUBIC METER IN FINE PARTICULATE MATTER CORRESPONDED TO A 15% INCREASE IN THE CORONAVIRUS DEATH RATE.

IT WAS A DEADLY TUESDAY IN THE U.S. AS MORE THAN 1,800 PEOPLE SUCCUMBED TO COVID-19, MARKING A RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF DEATHS FOR THE VIRUS IN ONE COUNTRY IN A SINGLE DAY. NBC MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT DR. JOHN TORRES SAYS SOME HOTSPOTS LIKE NEW YORK, WASHINGTON AND CALIFORNIA ARE SEEING CASES SLOW DOWN BUT WARNS THE NATION OVERALL SHOULD NOT STOP SOCIAL DISTANCING OR WASHING THEIR HANDS AS WE CONTINUE THIS BATTLE.

WISCONSIN’S NATIONAL GUARD COMMANDERS SAY THEIR WORK ON ELECTION DAY WAS A SUCCESS. OVER 2,400 TROOPS MANNED THE POLLS IN 71 OF WISCONSIN’S 72 COUNTIES. FLORENCE COUNTY WAS THE ONLY COUNTY TO NOT NEED GUARDSMEN. SOME COUNTY CLERKS SAID TURNING TO THE TROOPS TO HELP WAS THE SMOOTHEST PART OF ELECTION DAY.

THE MUSIC WORLD IS PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE LATE JOHN PRINE. THE INFLUENTIAL SINGER-SONGWRITER DIED AT A NASHVILLE HOSPITAL TUESDAY AT AGE 73. PRINE HAD BEEN SUFFERING FROM CORONAVIRUS. PRINE WAS REVERED BY MANY, INCLUDING BOB DYLAN, WHO CALLED HIS SONGS “MIDWESTERN MINDTRIPS.” MUSIC STARS HAVE BEEN COMING OUT TO PAY THEIR RESPECTS ON TWITTER, INCLUDING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, WHO CALLED PRINE “A SONGWRITER FOR THE AGES.” BONNIE RAITT, WHO HAD A HIT WITH PRINE’S “ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY,” SAID SHE WAS CRUSHED BY THE LOSS OF HER DEAR FRIEND. SHERYL CROW SAID PRINE WILL BE MISSED, BUT HIS SONGS WILL LIVE ON.

SAY WHAT YOU WILL ABOUT RICH PEOPLE, BUT HOW MANY OF US ARE DONATING ⅓ OF OUR WORTH TO HELP STOP COVID-19? TWITTER CEO JACK DORSEY IS BLOWING THE RICH PEOPLE DONATIONS ALL OUT OF THE WATER, WITH A $1 BILLION DONATION. HE SAID, QUOTE, “I’M MOVING $1 BILLION (28% OF HIS WORTH) . . . TO #STARTSMALL LLC TO FUND GLOBAL COVID-19 RELIEF. AFTER WE DISARM THIS PANDEMIC, THE FOCUS WILL SHIFT TO GIRL’S HEALTH AND EDUCATION, AND UBI, (WHICH STANDS FOR UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME).” HE’S 43, AND WORTH AROUND $3.3 BILLION ACCORDING TO “FORBES”. HE ADDED, QUOTE, “WHY NOW? THE NEEDS ARE INCREASINGLY URGENT, AND I WANT TO SEE THE IMPACT IN MY LIFETIME. I HOPE THIS INSPIRES OTHERS TO DO SOMETHING SIMILAR. LIFE IS TOO SHORT, SO LET’S DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TODAY TO HELP PEOPLE NOW.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/8/2020 6:10am:

TUESDAY WAS THE DEADLIEST DAY YET IN THE U.S. AS MORE THAN 1,800 PEOPLE SUCCUMBED TO COVID-19. IT WAS THE RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF DEATHS FOR THE VIRUS IN ONE COUNTRY IN A SINGLE DAY. SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN AROUND 400,000 CONFIRMED CASES OF THE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS IN THE UNITED STATES AND NEARLY 13,000 DEATHS. THIS, AS THE CHINESE CITY OF WUHAN WHERE THE OUTBREAK ORIGINATED, HAS FINALLY ENDED ELEVEN WEEKS OF LOCKDOWN.

ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORTED 73 ADDITIONAL DEATHS FROM COVID-19 ON TUESDAY, THE LARGEST SINGLE-DAY JUMP TO DATE, AS TOTAL CASES IN THE STATE SURPASSED 13,000. MORE THAN 1,280 NEW CASES WERE ANNOUNCED TUESDAY AS A TOTAL OF 380 PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS.

ONE LIFE LOST YESTERDAY WAS A CHICAGO FIREFIGHTER- -WHO WAS 49 YEARS OLD, A CFD SPOKESPERSON SAID
“CFD HAS LOST ONE OF OUR OWN TO COMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19. FIREFIGHTER MARIO ARAUJO, A PROUD MEMBER OF CFD TRUCK COMPANY 25 PASSED AWAY THIS EVENING,” DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN LARRY LANGFORD TWEETED. “HE JOINED CFD IN OCTOBER OF 2003 AND SPEND MOST OF HIS CAREER AT TRUCK 25,” LANGFORD SAID. “MAY GOD BLESS HIS SOUL.”

LAWYERS FOR COOK COUNTY SHERIFF TOM DART ARE DEFENDING HIS HANDLING OF THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK AT THE COUNTY JAIL. A HEARING WAS HELD YESTERDAY FOR A LAWSUIT SEEKING THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF MEDICALLY VULNERABLE COOK COUNTY JAIL INMATES. DART’S LEGAL TEAM SAID THE SHERIFF WAS AHEAD OF THE CURVE IN RECOGNIZING THE THREAT OF THE VIRUS IN THE JAIL’S CRAMPED CONDITIONS. HIS ATTORNEYS SAY HE HAS ESTABLISHED TREATMENT PROTOCOLS, IMPLEMENTED PREVENTIVE MEASURES AND HANDED OUT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO STAFF. THE SUIT FILED LAST WEEK CLAIMS DART HAS FAILED TO STOP THE RAPID SPREAD OF THE DISEASE AT THE JAIL. HUNDREDS OF DETAINEES AND DOZENS OF STAFF MEMBERS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS, INCLUDING AN INMATE WHO DIED EARLIER THIS WEEK.

IT’S THE END OF AN ERA AS MODERN FAMILY CONCLUDES ITS ELEVEN-SEASON RUN TONIGHT. THE HIT ABC SHOW WAS AROUND FOR 250 EPISODES, HAULING IN 20 EMMYS. THE STARS THAT MAKE UP THE BLENDED, MULTI-GENERATIONAL DUNPHY-PRITCHETT-TUCKER CLAN WILL SIGN OFF DURING A ONE-HOUR SERIES FINALE AIRING AT 8 PM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 6:40pm:

DESPITE THE PANDEMIC AND STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS IN WISCONSIN, THE POLLS ARE OPEN FOR VOTERS TO CAST IN-PERSON BALLOTS IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION. THE WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT YESTERDAY EVENING BLOCKED GOVERNOR TONY EVERS’ ORDER TO CANCEL IN-PERSON VOTING AND MOVE THE ELECTION TO JUNE. THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES THEN RULED LAST NIGHT THAT LOCAL ELECTION CLERKS CAN’T COUNT ABSENTEE BALLOTS THAT ARE MAILED AFTER TODAY, EVEN CONSIDERING THE HEALTH CRISIS.

WALL STREET ENDED WITH A BIT OF A DOWNTURN TODAY AT THE CLOSE OF THE BELL. THE DOW LOST 26 POINTS AT CLOSING AFTER GOING UP OVER 900 POINTS AT THE START OF THE DAY, THE S&P DROPPED FIVE POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ SLID 26 POINTS.

ILLINOIS INMATES WHO MEET THE MEDICAL CRITERIA MAY BE GRANTED FURLOUGHS TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS IN STATE PRISONS. AN EXECUTIVE ORDER WAS SIGNED YESTERDAY THAT GIVES THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS PERMISSION TO ALLOW MEDICALLY VULNERABLE INMATES OUT OF PRISON TEMPORARILY. 62 PRISONERS AND 40 CORRECTIONS EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED TO HAVE COVID-19, AND TWO INMATES AT STATESVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER HAVE DIED FROM IT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 5:30pm:

VOTERS WHO ARE HEADED TO THE POLLS IN WISCONSIN TODAY ARE FACING LONG LINES AND CLOSED POLLING SITES. WISCONSIN IS THE FIRST STATE TO HOLD IN-PERSON VOTING SINCE THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. COURTS BLOCKED GOVERNOR TONY EVERS’ ORDER TO POSTPONE THE PRIMARY ELECTION OR EXTEND ABSENTEE VOTING DURING THE PANDEMIC. MOST POLLING LOCATIONS HAD TO SHUT DOWN BECAUSE SO MANY VOLUNTEER WORKERS QUIT.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM ANNOUNCED THAT SHIPMENTS OF SURPLUS VENTILATORS WILL ARRIVE IN ILLINOIS, NEW YORK, AND NEW JERSEY AS EARLY AS TONIGHT. CALIFORNIA IS FLYING A SURPLUS OF 500 VENTILATORS TO STATES WITH CORONAVIRUS HOTSPOTS. THE VENTILATORS ARE BEING LOANED AFTER THE GOLDEN STATE WAS ABLE TO PURCHASE ENOUGH EQUIPMENT FOR THEIR OWN CRITICAL NEEDS.

THE NAVY SAYS A CREW MEMBER ABOARD THE USNS COMFORT IN NEW YORK HARBOR HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. THE HOSPITAL SHIP WAS SENT TO NEW YORK CITY LAST WEEK TO HELP RELIEVE LOCAL HOSPITALS OVERFLOWING WITH CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 3:50pm:

DESPITE THE PANDEMIC AND STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS IN WISCONSIN, THE POLLS ARE OPEN FOR VOTERS TO CAST IN-PERSON BALLOTS IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION. THE WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT YESTERDAY EVENING BLOCKED GOVERNOR TONY EVERS’ ORDER TO CANCEL IN-PERSON VOTING AND MOVE THE ELECTION TO JUNE. THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES THEN RULED LAST NIGHT THAT LOCAL ELECTION CLERKS CAN’T COUNT ABSENTEE BALLOTS THAT ARE MAILED AFTER TODAY, EVEN CONSIDERING THE HEALTH CRISIS.

WALL STREET ENDED WITH A BIT OF A DOWNTURN TODAY AT THE CLOSE OF THE BELL. THE DOW LOST 26 POINTS AT CLOSING AFTER GOING UP OVER 900 POINTS AT THE START OF THE DAY, THE S&P DROPPED FIVE POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ SLID 26 POINTS.

ILLINOIS INMATES WHO MEET THE MEDICAL CRITERIA MAY BE GRANTED FURLOUGHS TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS IN STATE PRISONS. AN EXECUTIVE ORDER WAS SIGNED YESTERDAY THAT GIVES THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS PERMISSION TO ALLOW MEDICALLY VULNERABLE INMATES OUT OF PRISON TEMPORARILY. 62 PRISONERS AND 40 CORRECTIONS EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED TO HAVE COVID-19, AND TWO INMATES AT STATESVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER HAVE DIED FROM IT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 2:50pm:

OFFICIALS TODAY REPORTED 1,287 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS, WITH 73 DEATHS REPORTED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS. THAT’S THE LARGEST SINGLE-DAY INCREASE TO DATE IN THE STATE. 380 TOTAL VICTIMS OF COVID-19 HAVE PASSED AWAY, AND THERE ARE NOW 13,549 TOTAL KNOWN CASES IN ILLINOIS.

CNN REPORTS THAT ACTING NAVY SECRETARY THOMAS MODLEY IS RESIGNING AFTER AUDIO LEAKED OF HIM CALLING THE FORMER CAPTAIN OF THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT “STUPID.” MODLEY REMOVED CAPTAIN BRETT CROZIER FROM HIS POST AFTER THE CAPTAIN SENT A FOUR-PAGE LETTER ASKING FOR URGENT HELP AS THE CORONAVIRUS WAS SPREADING ON HIS NUCLEAR AIRCRAFT CARRIER. MORE THAN 170 SAILORS ON THAT SHIP HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS.

CHICAGO ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL HAVE RUN OUT OF ADOPTABLE DOGS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ITS HISTORY DURING THE PANDEMIC. CACC STILL HAS DOGS IN THEIR CARE, BUT THEY CAN’T BE ADOPTED UNTIL THEY ARE SPAYED AND NEUTERED AFTER COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS ARE LIFTED FROM THE CITY. ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE, CACC SAY THEY ARE AMAZED AT THE OUTPOURING OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO ADOPT AT THIS TIME.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 1:45pm:

THE FAMILY OF A CHICAGO-AREA WALMART EMPLOYEE WHO DIED AFTER CONTRACTING THE CORONAVIRUS IS SUING THE RETAIL GIANT. A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT FILED YESTERDAY ON BEHALF OF WANDO EVANS’ FAMILY CLAIMS STORE MANAGEMENT AT THE EVERGREEN PARK STORE INITIALLY IGNORED EVANS, DESPITE KNOWING THAT HE AND OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS CONSISTENT WITH COVID-19. THE SUIT SAYS HE WAS SENT HOME BY STORE MANAGEMENT ON MARCH 23RD AND FOUND DEAD IN HIS HOME TWO DAYS LATER. ANOTHER WORKER AT THE STORE DIED OF CORONAVIRUS COMPLICATIONS FOUR DAYS LATER.

NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAYS WHILE ICU ADMISSIONS AND INTUBATIONS ARE GOING DOWN, NEW YORK SAW THE LARGEST SINGLE-DAY INCREASE IN COVID-19 DEATHS. ANOTHER 731 PEOPLE PASSED AWAY, BRINGING THE TOTAL IN THE STATE TO 5,489. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SAYS CONFIRMED CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE NEARING 380,000, AND 11,830 PEOPLE IN THE U.S. HAVE SUCCUMBED TO THE VIRUS SO FAR.

THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION IS CALLING FOR ALL REMAINING CITIES AND STATES TO ISSUE STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS TO BETTER ENFORCE SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES. PRESIDENT OF THE AMA, PATRICE HARRIS, SAYS THESE ENFORCEMENTS NEED TO REMAIN IN PLACE UNTIL EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT IT IS SAFE TO RETURN TO NORMAL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 12:45pm:

THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN A COMPANY THAT MAKES HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE, THE ANTI-MALARIA DRUG THAT HE HAS BEEN PROMOTING AS A POSSIBLE TREATMENT FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. TRUMP HAS THREE FAMILY TRUSTS IN A MUTUAL FUND THAT LISTS THE DRUG’S MAKER, SANOFI, AS ITS LARGEST HOLDING. THE DRUG HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN TO BE EFFECTIVE AGAINST THE VIRUS, AND CAN HAVE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS, INCLUDING BLINDNESS.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS BATTING AWAY RUMORS ABOUT THE START OF THE REGULAR SEASON. SOURCES SAID GAMES WOULD BE PLAYED IN EMPTY SPRING TRAINING COMPLEXES IN ARIZONA WITH NO FANS IN ATTENDANCE, BUT THE LEAGUE RELEASED A STATEMENT TODAY SAYING THEY HAVEN’T ASKED ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO APPROVE A PLAN THAT ADDRESSES STARTING THE SEASON. MOST MEDICAL EXPERTS SAY THE PLAN TO HAVE PLAYERS PLAY IN EMPTY STADIUMS IS NOT FEASIBLE AS IT WOULD BRING THEM INTO ONE LOCATION AND ACTUALLY INCREASE THEIR CHANCES OF CATCHING COVID-19.

THE POLLS ARE OPEN TODAY IN WISCONSIN AS THE STATE’S PRIMARY ELECTION GOES ON DESPITE THE PANDEMIC. THE WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT YESTERDAY BLOCKED GOVERNOR TONY EVERS’ 11TH HOUR ORDER TO CANCEL IN-PERSON VOTING AND MOVE THE ELECTION TO JUNE IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP VOTERS AND POLL WORKERS SAFE FROM THE VIRUS. OVER 2400 WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARDSMEN HAVE BEEN CALLED IN TO WORK AT THE POLLS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 11:45am:

AMERICANS SHOULD STILL WORK TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. U.S. SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS SHARED HIS MESSAGE ON NBC’S “TODAY” SHOW AS HE SAID, “WE ARE STARTING TO SEE PROGRESS.” ADAMS ALSO PRESSED FOR A CONTINUED FOCUS ON MITIGATION EFFORTS DESPITE THE INCREASING NUMBER OF CASES IN NEW YORK. DR. ADAMS HAS ALSO POSTED A VIDEO ON THE CDC WEBSITE SHOWING HOW TO TURN A T-SHIRT AND TWO RUBBER BANDS INTO A CLOTH FACEMASK IN JUST A COUPLE OF MINUTES.

WALGREENS ANNOUNCED PLANS TODAY TO EXPAND ITS DRIVE-THRU CORONAVIRUS TESTING LOCATIONS TO 15 NEW SITES IN SEVEN STATES INCLUDING ILLINOIS. THE SITES WILL UTILIZE THE NEW ABBOTT ID NOW COVID-19 TEST “TO PROVIDE RAPID RESULTS TO PATIENTS VISITING WALGREENS SITES.” WALGREENS SAID THE CORONAVIRUS TEST DELIVERS POSITIVE RESULTS “IN AS LITTLE AS FIVE MINUTES” AND NEGATIVE RESULTS WITHIN 13 MINUTES. THE EXACT LOCATIONS ARE STILL BEING FINALIZED WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.

THE NUMBER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CALLS TO CHICAGO POLICE HAVE SHOWN A DRAMATIC INCREASE, UP BY ALMOST 15%. THE COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE SAYS THEY HAVE EXPANDED LAW ENFORCEMENT’S ACCESS TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS TO 24 HOURS A DAY EVERY DAY. VICTIMS CAN STILL REQUEST A CIVIL EMERGENCY ORDER OF PROTECTION AT THE COURTHOUSE.

NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAID YESTERDAY THAT DEATHS AND HOSPITALIZATIONS IN HIS STATE ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF “PLATEAUING.” THERE HAVE BEEN SIMILAR COMMENTS COMING OUT OF BOTH WASHINGTON STATE AND LOUISIANA.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS PUMPING THE BRAKES ON RUMORS SURROUNDING THE START OF THE REGULAR SEASON. THE LEAGUE RELEASED A STATEMENT TODAY SAYING THEY HAVEN’T ASKED ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO APPROVE A PLAN THAT ADDRESSES THE SEASON GETTING UP AND RUNNING. IT COMES AFTER SOURCES SAID GAMES WOULD BE PLAYED IN EMPTY SPRING TRAINING COMPLEXES IN ARIZONA WITH NO FANS TO LIMIT EXPOSURE TO THE CORONAVIRUS.

THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS UP OVER 700 POINTS THIS HOUR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 10:45am:

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT IS NAMING A NEW CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER. MICHAEL FASSNACHT WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING TOURIST, CONVENTIONEERS AND BUSINESS TRAVELERS TO THE CITY TO A POST CORONAVIRUS CHICAGO. HE HAS ALREADY BEEN WORKING WITH THE CITY ON THE STAY HOME, SAVE LIVES CAMPAIGN TO TRY TO CONVINCE PEOPLE TO STAY INDOORS TO HELP CURB THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. FASSNACHT WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DEVELOPING A NARRATIVE FOR THE CITY’S RECOVERY FROM COVID-19. HE WILL BE PAID A SALARY OF ONE DOLLAR HIS FIRST YEAR.

IT SEEMS THE EFFECTS OF THE STATE-IMPOSED STAY-AT-HOME ORDER IS CAUSING SOME NEGATIVE RESULTS IN CHICAGO. IN THE PAST THREE WEEKS, THE NUMBER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CALLS TO CHICAGO POLICE HAVE SHOWN A DRAMATIC INCREASE. FOR THE WEEK ENDING APRIL 5TH, THEY WERE UP BY ALMOST 15%. THE COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE SAYS THEY HAVE EXPANDED LAW ENFORCEMENT’S ACCESS TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS TO 24 HOURS A DAY EVERY DAY. MEANWHILE, CAWC HAS 24/7 SHELTERS AND WILL HELP WOMEN GET OUT OF A THE HOME AND HOUSE THEM. VICTIMS CAN STILL REQUEST AND GAIN A CIVIL EMERGENCY ORDER OF PROTECTION AT THE COURTHOUSE.

THE CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL IN THE U.S. IS PUSHING 1,100. INFECTIONS TOPPED 368,000 CASES MONDAY NIGHT. AT THE SAME TIME HOWEVER, LEADERS IN SOME OF THE NATION’S HOT SPOTS ARE EXPRESSING CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM. NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAID YESTERDAY THAT DEATHS AND HOSPITALIZATIONS IN HIS STATE ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF “PLATEAUING.” THERE HAVE BEEN SIMILAR COMMENTS COMING OUT OF BOTH WASHINGTON STATE AND LOUISIANA.

SHOULD THEY CHOOSE TO IGNORE STAY AT HOME ORDERS AND HEAD OUT TODAY, VOTERS ACROSS WISCONSIN COULD SEE TROOPS AT THE POLLS. THE WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD SAYS AS MANY AS 2,400 GUARDSMEN HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO WORK AS POLL WORKERS. MORE THAN 60% OF WISCONSIN CITIES AND COUNTIES SAY THEY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO WORK THE POLLS FOR TODAY’S ELECTION.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING AT STARTING THE 2020 SEASON EXCLUSIVELY IN ARIZONA AT SPRING TRAINING COMPLEXES. ACCORDING TO SOURCES, THE GAMES WOULD BE PLAYED IN EMPTY STADIUMS WITH NO FANS TO LIMIT EXPOSURE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. MLB IS CONSIDERING HOLDING THE GAMES ONLY IN ARIZONA, BECAUSE IT HAS THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATION OF SPRING TRAINING SITES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 9:45am:

THE CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL IN THE U.S. IS PUSHING 11,000. INFECTIONS TOPPED 368,000 CASES MONDAY NIGHT. AT THE SAME TIME HOWEVER, LEADERS IN SOME OF THE NATION’S HOT SPOTS ARE EXPRESSING CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM. NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAID YESTERDAY THAT DEATHS AND HOSPITALIZATIONS IN HIS STATE ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF “PLATEAUING.” THERE HAVE BEEN SIMILAR COMMENTS COMING OUT OF BOTH WASHINGTON STATE AND LOUISIANA.

SHOULD THEY CHOOSE TO IGNORE STAY AT HOME ORDERS AND HEAD OUT TODAY, VOTERS ACROSS WISCONSIN COULD SEE TROOPS AT THE POLLS. THE WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD SAYS AS MANY AS 2,400 GUARDSMEN HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO WORK AS POLL WORKERS. MORE THAN 60% OF WISCONSIN CITIES AND COUNTIES SAY THEY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO WORK THE POLLS FOR TODAY’S ELECTION.

BRITISH OFFICIALS SAY PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON HAS BEEN RECEIVING OXYGEN TREATMENT WHILE IN THE ICU WITH COVID-19. A CABINET MINISTER TELLS THE BBC THAT JOHNSON IS NOT ON A VENTILATOR AND HAS BEEN RECEIVING THE VERY BEST CARE. FOREIGN SECRETARY DOMINIC RAAB HAS BEEN DEPUTIZED TO FILL IN FOR JOHNSON WHEN AND IF IT’S NECESSARY.

AMERICAN AIRLINES IS SUSPENDING MOST OF ITS FLIGHTS TO THE NEW YORK METROPOLITAN AREA. STARTING TODAY, AMERICAN WILL OPERATE JUST OVER A DOZEN FLIGHTS TO LAGUARDIA, JFK, AND NEWARK AIRPORTS THROUGH MAY 6TH. AMERICAN AIRLINES HAD MORE THAN 270 FLIGHTS TO THE THREE AIRPORTS AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING AT STARTING THE 2020 SEASON EXCLUSIVELY IN ARIZONA AT SPRING TRAINING COMPLEXES. ACCORDING TO SOURCES, THE GAMES WOULD BE PLAYED IN EMPTY STADIUMS WITH NO FANS TO LIMIT EXPOSURE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. MLB IS CONSIDERING HOLDING THE GAMES ONLY IN ARIZONA, BECAUSE IT HAS THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATION OF SPRING TRAINING SITES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 8:45am:

WARM TEMPERATURES EXPECTED HAVE CITY LEADERS WORRIED ABOUT A CORONAVIRUS SETBACK. IT’S BEEN NEARLY TWO WEEKS NOW SINCE CHICAGO SHUT DOWN PUBLIC SPACES — LIKE THE LAKEFRONT, 606 TRAIL, AND PARKS — IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM CONGREGATING AND SPREADING COVID-19. WITH A FORECAST OF TEMPS IN THE 70S, PEOPLE ARE LIKELY GOING TO WANT TO GO OUTSIDE, BUT CITY LEADERS ARE URGING PEOPLE TO STAY AT HOME. OF THE 12, 262 CASES IN ILLINOIS, OVER 5,000 OF THOSE CASES ARE IN CHICAGO.

THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER AIMS TO CURB THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES, AND CHICAGO POLICE SAID THEY WILL BE OUT ENFORCING THAT. SINCE THE END OF MARCH, POLICE OFFICERS HAVE BROKEN UP MORE THAN 1,500 GROUPS IN THE CITY. THEY’VE ISSUED SEVERAL CITATIONS AND MADE THREE ARRESTS AFTER PEOPLE VIOLATED THOSE ORDERS.

THE MLB IS REPORTEDLY WORKING WITH FEDERAL PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS ON A PLAN TO RESTART THE SEASON IN MAY. IF THE PLAN HAPPENS, IT WILL INVOLVE PLAYERS AND MANAGERS BEING ISOLATED FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND ONLY TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE STADIUM. OF COURSE, THE PLAN HINGES ON THE AVAILABILITY OF COVID-19 TESTS THAT PRODUCE RESULTS WITH A QUICK TURNAROUND TIME. MLB WOULD HAVE TO CONVINCE PLAYERS TO LEAVE THEIR FAMILIES FOR FOUR MONTHS WHICH SEEMS LIKE A BIG HURDLE TO GETTING AN AGREEMENT DONE…BUT IF IT GETS DONE IT COULD MEAN LIVE BASEBALL IN MAY.

IT WILL BE AT LEAST MAY 1ST BEFORE THE NBA DECIDES WHETHER TO RESUME ITS SEASON. IN AN INTERVIEW ON THE LEAGUE WEBSITE, COMMISSIONER ADAM SILVER SAYS IT WON’T BE IN APRIL. SILVER SAYS HE HAS NO BETTER SENSE RIGHT NOW ABOUT WHEN PLAY CAN RESUME THAN HE DID WHEN THE LEAGUE FIRST SHUT DOWN LAST MONTH.

ON “CBS THIS MORNING” YESTERDAY, “READING RAINBOW” STAR LEVAR BURTON ANNOUNCED THAT HE’S GOING TO BE READING FOR KIDS AND ADULTS LIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. HE’S GOING TO DO THREE READINGS A WEEK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 7:10am:

BILL GATES IS READY TO SPEND BILLIONS TO HELP DEVELOP A CORONAVIRUS VACCINE. ACCORDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER SAID THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION WILL FUND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SEVEN FACTORIES TO TURN OUT THE MOST PROMISING VACCINES. GATES PLANS TO WORK WITH SEVEN DIFFERENT VACCINE MAKERS TO SPEED UP PRODUCTION EFFORTS TO FIGHT COVID-19.

GOVERNORS IN NEW YORK, WASHINGTON, AND LOUISIANA ARE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THEIR CORONAVIRUS HOT SPOTS MIGHT BE LEVELING OFF IN CASES AND DEATHS. THIS COMES AS INFECTIONS ACROSS THE U.S. TOPPED 368,000 CASES MONDAY AND THE NUMBER OF DEATHS APPROACHES 11,000.

WORLD LEADERS ARE SENDING WELL WISHES TO BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON AFTER REPORTS MONDAY THAT HE’S BEEN MOVED INTO INTENSIVE CARE AS HE BATTLES THE CORONAVIRUS. PRESIDENT TRUMP CALLED JOHNSON A REALLY GOOD FRIEND AND SAID AMERICANS ARE PRAYING FOR HIS RECOVERY. FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON OFFERED HIS SUPPORT TO JOHNSON AND ALL THE BRITISH PEOPLE. SIMILAR SENTIMENTS WERE SHARED FROM LEADERS IN JAPAN, CANADA, AND GERMANY, AMONG OTHERS. 55-YEAR-OLD JOHNSON AND HIS GIRLFRIEND ARE EXPECTING A BABY THIS SUMMER.

THE WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD SAYS AS MANY AS 2,400 GUARDSMEN HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO SERVE AS POLL WORKERS FOR TODAY’S PRIMARY ELECTION. MORE THAN 60% OF WISCONSIN CITIES AND COUNTIES SAY THEY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO WORK THE POLLS FOR TODAY’S ELECTION. GUARD COMMANDERS SAY THE TROOPS WILL WEAR CIVILIAN CLOTHES, WORK IN THEIR HOME COUNTIES, AND SIMPLY DO THE JOB THAT VOLUNTEERS USUALLY DO ON ELECTION DAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/7/2020 6:10am:

THERE WERE OVER 1,000 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 REPORTED IN 1 DAY HERE IN ILLINOIS, AND 33 MORE DEATHS. TOTAL CORONAVIRUS CASES HERE NOW AT 12,262, AND 307 DEATHS. IN INDIANA, POSITIVE CASES APPROACH 5,000 AND IN WISCONSIN NEARLY 2,500.

RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER IN CHICAGO IS NOW PART OF A NEW WORLDWIDE CLINICAL TRIAL TO TEST A DRUG FOR THE TREATMENT OF THE CORONAVIRUS. RUSH JOINS NORTHWESTERN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AND THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS HOSPITAL IN CHICAGO AS LEADING RESEARCH HOSPITALS TESTING A DRUG FOR A DISEASE THAT HAS NO APPROVED TREATMENT. THE DRUG IS CALLED REMDESIVIR. IT WAS USED IN THE PAST TO TREAT EBOLA, AND HAS SHOWN PROMISE IN ANIMALS FOR TREATING SARS AND MERS.

THE ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM IS LOOKING FOR COVID-19 PERSONAL EXPERIENCE STORIES FOR A NEW COLLECTION. OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE COLLECTING STORIES FOR AN INITIATIVE CALLED SHARE YOUR STORY: ILLINOIS IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. OFFICIALS WANT PERSONAL STORIES, WRITTEN WORKS, ARTWORK, AND PHOTOS OF RESIDENT EXPERIENCES WITH COVID-19.

LATE NIGHT HOSTS JIMMY FALLON, STEPHEN COLBERT, AND JIMMY KIMMEL ARE TEAMING UP TO HOST A GLOBAL FUNDRAISER FOR CORONAVIRUS RELIEF. IT’S CALLED “ONE WORLD: TOGETHER AT HOME”, AND IT’LL AIR ON ABC, CBS, AND NBC ON SATURDAY, APRIL 18TH. THE SPECIAL WILL RAISE MONEY THROUGH THE COVID-19 SOLIDARITY RESPONSE FUND TO SUPPORT REGIONAL CHARITIES PROVIDING FOOD, SHELTER, AND HEALTHCARE TO THOSE IN NEED. LADY GAGA WILL “CURATE” THE SPECIAL, WITH APPEARANCES BY ELTON JOHN, PAUL MCCARTNEY, AND STEVIE WONDER, ALANIS MORISSETTE, BILLIE EILISH, GREEN DAY’S BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG, CHRIS MARTIN, EDDIE VEDDER, & MORE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 6:40pm:

BILL GATES IS READY TO SPEND BILLIONS TO HELP DEVELOP A CORONAVIRUS VACCINE. ACCORDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER SAID THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION WILL FUND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SEVEN FACTORIES TO TURN OUT THE MOST PROMISING VACCINES. GATES PLANS TO WORK WITH SEVEN DIFFERENT VACCINE MAKERS TO SPEED UP PRODUCTION EFFORTS TO FIGHT COVID-19.

ONE OF THE LAST STATES IN THE NATION TO RESIST HAVING A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER WILL NOW PUT ONE INTO PLACE STARTING TOMORROW. SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR HENRY MCMASTER ANNOUNCED A MANDATORY STAY-AT-HOME ORDER IN A PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY.

THE UPCOMING NFL DRAFT SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 23RD THROUGH THE 25TH WILL BE A VIRTUAL ONE, ACCORDING TO COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL. BOTH THE LEAGUE AND CLUB FACILITIES ARE CLOSED INDEFINITELY. THE LEAGUE HAS NOT YET HAD TO CANCEL OR RESCHEDULE ANY GAMES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 5:30pm:

THE ELECTION IN WISCONSIN IS STILL ON TOMORROW. THE WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT RULED 4-2 TODAY TO BLOCK GOVERNOR TONY EVERS’ EXECUTIVE ORDER TO POSTPONE TOMORROW’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION UNTIL JUNE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS RISKS. THE COURT REJECTED EVERS’ STANCE THAT IT WAS HIS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO PROVIDE SAFETY BY DELAYING IN-PERSON VOTING. EVERS ISSUED THE ORDER EARLIER TODAY AFTER CALLING A SPECIAL SESSION OVER THE WEEKEND TO MOVE THE ELECTION TO VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOTS, WHICH THE SENATE AND THE ASSEMBLY IN THE STATE REFUSED TO TAKE UP. THOUSANDS OF POLL WORKERS IN WISCONSIN HAVE SAID THEY WILL NOT APPEAR FOR THE ELECTION.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER SAYS PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FROM THE NATIONAL STOCKPILE IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT THE STATE NEEDS OR ASKED FOR AMID A NATIONWIDE SHORTAGE. ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORTED OVER ONE-THOUSAND NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS TODAY, AND OVER 12,000 TOTAL IN THE STATE.

A NEW GOVERNMENT WATCHDOG REPORT SITES SEVERE AND WIDESPREAD SHORTAGES OF CRITICAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES IN U.S. HOSPITALS. THE REPORT COMES FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL AT THE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT, AND CITES AN ONGOING LACK OF VENTILATORS AND COVID-19 TEST KITS. HOSPITAL OFFICIALS ALSO COMPLAINED ABOUT CONFLICTING GUIDANCE FROM FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 3:50pm:

STOCKS ARE UP AT THE CLOSE OF THE BELL ON WALL STREET AS THE NUMBER OF NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE U.S. APPEARED TO SLOW SLIGHTLY. THE DOW GAINED OVER 1600 POINTS, THE S&P ROSE 175 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ JUMPED 540 POINTS.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON IS IN INTENSIVE CARE IN LONDON. A SPOKESPERSON SAID IN A STATEMENT THAT HIS CONDITION HAS WORSENED OVER THE COURSE OF THIS AFTERNOON, HOURS AFTER HE TWEETED THAT HE WAS IN “GOOD SPIRITS.” JOHNSON WAS ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL LAST NIGHT WITH PERSISTENT SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS, 10 DAYS AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED. FOREIGN SECRETARY DOMINIC RAAB HAS BEEN ASKED BY JOHNSON TO “DEPUTISE FOR HIM WHERE NECESSARY.”

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER IS PRESSING FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A CORONAVIRUS CZAR AT THE WHITE HOUSE. SCHUMER HAS RECOMMENDED APPOINTING A MILITARY GENERAL OR ADMIRAL TO OVERSEE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND OTHER CRITICAL EQUIPMENT, WHICH HAS BEEN HARD TO OBTAIN BY STATES NATIONWIDE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 2:50pm:

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 1,006 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS SINCE YESTERDAY, WITH 33 ADDITIONAL DEATHS IN THE STATE. THERE ARE NOW OVER 12,262 KNOWN CASES IN ILLINOIS, WITH 307 DEAD FROM THE VIRUS. DATA IS SHOWING THAT THE MAJORITY OF PATIENTS HAVE PRE-EXISTING SYMPTOMS LIKE DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE. OFFICIALS NOTED THAT THE OUTBREAK IS IMPACTING PEOPLE IN EVERY ZIP CODE, AND REITERATED THAT THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS IS TO REMAIN AT HOME.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAYS THAT NEW YORK MAY HAVE REACHED ITS PEAK IN TERMS OF COVID-19 CASES, AS STEPS AIMED AT CONTAINING THE VIRUS CONTINUE. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING IS THE MAIN REASON FOR IMPROVED NUMBERS IN HOSPITALIZATIONS AND ICU VISITS, AND HE’S ORDERED SCHOOLS AND NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES TO REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH APRIL 29TH. NEW YORK IS THE EPICENTER OF THE PANDEMIC, WITH MORE THAN 130,000 CONFIRMED CASES.

KROGER SAYS IT WILL ONLY ALLOW 50% OF CAPACITY IN ALL ITS GROCERY STORES NATIONWIDE AS A PREVENTATIVE MEASURE TO HELP PROTECT SHOPPERS AND EMPLOYEES DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE CHAIN HAS ALSO STARTED TO TEST ONE-WAY AISLES AS A WAY TO HELP WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING. THE COMPANY OPERATES OVER 2700 STORES ACROSS THE U.S.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 1:45pm:

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR TONY EVERS IS SIGNING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO MOVE IN-PERSON VOTING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY, ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW, TO JUNE 9TH DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. GOVERNOR EVERS SAID THAT HE HAS AN OBLIGATION TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE ORDER ALSO DIRECTS THE LEGISLATURE TO MEET IN SPECIAL SESSION TOMORROW TO ADDRESS THE ELECTION DATE.

SEVERAL LIQUOR STORES ON CHICAGO’S WEST SIDE WILL NOW CLOSE EARLIER, DUE TO ADDITIONAL MEASURES PUT IN PLACE TO HELP WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. STORES INCLUDE PERSONAL LIQUORS, SUNSET LIQUORS, AND MORE THAT WILL NOW CLOSE AT 6 P.M. EACH DAY.

THE BROOKFIELD ZOO IS MAKING CUTS BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC. NEARLY A THIRD OF THE EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN PLACED ON FURLOUGH. THE CHICAGO ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY SAYS BROOKFIELD CLOSED ON MARCH 19TH AND HAS EARNED PRACTICALLY NO REVENUE SINCE. THE LENGTH OF THE FURLOUGH IS UNKNOWN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 12:40pm:

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED AN AD CAMPAIGN CALLED “WE ARE NOT PLAYING” WITH THE CHICAGO BEARS, BLACKHAWKS, BULLS, CUBS, FIRE, RED STARS, SKY AND WHITE SOX. PLAYERS FROM ALL TEAMS WILL APPEAR ON BILLBOARDS AND IN SOCIAL MEDIA ENCOURAGING RESIDENTS TO HEED THE STAY-AT-HOME-ORDER IN ILLINOIS.

ALLSTATE WILL BE RETURNING 600-MILLION DOLLARS IN AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS TO CUSTOMERS. ALLSTATE’S DATA HAS SHOWN THAT DRIVING MILEAGE IS DOWN FROM 35-TO-50% IN MOST STATES DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, AND ITS “SHELTER-IN-PLACE PAYBACK” WILL GO TO ITS ALLSTATE, ESURANCE, AND ENCOMPASS CUSTOMERS.

MCDONALD’S WILL DONATE ONE MILLION N95 MASKS ACROSS ILLINOIS. THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THEY FOUND THE MASKS WHILE SOURCING SUPPLIES FOR THEIR RESTAURANTS AND WILL GET THE CRITICAL ITEMS INTO THE HANDS OF PEOPLE WHO NEED THEM. THE MASKS WILL GO TO FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS FIRST, AND 750,000 OF THEM WILL BE DISTRIBUTED IN CHICAGO.

GENERAL MOTORS HAS TURNED ITS WARREN, MICHIGAN TRANSMISSION PLANT INTO A PRODUCTION FACILITY FOR FACE MASKS. THE MASKS AREN’T SURGICAL-GRADE, BUT CAN BE USED BY DELIVERY PEOPLE AND OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS DURING THE PANDEMIC. PRODUCTION STARTED TODAY AND THE COMPANY PLANS TO GENERATE UP TO ONE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION MASKS A MONTH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 11:45am:

THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE IS ADVISING AMERICANS TO TRY AND STAY OUT OF GROCERY STORES AND DRUG STORES OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. TASK FORCE RESPONSE COORDINATOR DR. DEBORAH BIRX SAID OVER THE WEEKEND THE OUTBREAK IS EXPECTED TO GET WORSE OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS AND PEOPLE NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL.

THE NFL IS PLANNING A TELETHON TO AID CORONAVIRUS RELIEF EFFORTS DURING THE DRAFT FROM APRIL 23-25, ACCORDING TO TWO PEOPLE FAMILIAR WITH THE LEAGUE’S PLANS. THEY TOLD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS THAT THE LEAGUE HOPES ITS MASSIVE REACH WILL RAISE AWARENESS AND FUNDS IN BATTLING THE PANDEMIC. DETAILS ON CONDUCTING THE TELETHON AND CHARITIES THAT WILL BENEFIT WILL BE RELEASED SOON.

MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL IS ASKING FOR DONATIONS ON ITS WEBSITE AMID THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. DONATIONS SUGGESTED ARE $1,000 TOWARDS BUYING A VENTILATOR, $100 FOR FIVE PROTECTIVE GOWNS AND $10 TO BUY LUNCH FOR A DOCTOR OR NURSE. JUST LAST WEEK, NURSES AT THE HOSPITAL WERE SHOWN WEARING GARBAGE BAGS DUE TO A DANGEROUS RATIONING OF GOWNS. TO DONATE YOU CAN VISIT GIVING.MOUNTSINAI.ORG.

STOCKS ARE BEGINNING THE WEEK IN THE GREEN. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE ROSE MORE THAN 1,100 POINTS (5%) AS WALL STREET REBOUNDS FROM LAST WEEK’S SELL-OFF. ANALYSTS SAY INVESTORS ARE FOCUSING ON SIGNS OF STABILIZATION IN CORONAVIRUS HOSPITAL RATES IN HOT SPOTS LIKE NEW YORK.

MCDONALD’S WILL DONATE ONE MILLION N95 MASKS ACROSS ILLINOIS AS THE STATE BATTLES A GROWING NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES, THE FAST FOOD CHAIN ANNOUNCED MONDAY. THE MASKS WILL FIRST GO TO FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS. OF THE ONE MILLION MASKS, 750,000 WILL BE DISTRIBUTED IN CHICAGO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 10:45am:

THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IS UP MORE THAN A THOUSAND POINTS AS WALL STREET REBOUNDS FROM LAST WEEK’S SELL-OFF. THE DOW, S&P 500 AND NASDAQ ALL GAINED MORE THAN 4% IN THE FIRST HOUR OF TRADING. ANALYSTS SAY INVESTORS ARE FOCUSING ON SIGNS OF STABILIZATION IN CORONAVIRUS HOSPITAL RATES IN HOT SPOTS LIKE NEW YORK.

LOCALLY, THERE ARE 11,256 CASES OF CORONA VIRUS IN ILLINOIS, NEARLY 5,000 IN INDIANA AND OVER 2,100 CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN WISCONSIN.

MCDONALD’S IS DONATING 750,000 PROTECTIVE FACE MASKS FOR CHICAGO HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS ON THE FRONT LINES AGAINST COVID-19. THE COMPANY RESPONDED TO AN APPEAL BY THE CITY OF CHICAGO FOR DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS. MCDONALD’S WILL DONATE ANOTHER MILLION N95 MASKS TO THE STATE OF ILLINOIS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE SHARPLY HIGHER TO START THE WEEK ON WALL STREET. MARKETS APPEAR POISED TO REBOUND AMID SIGNS THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS SLOWING IN EUROPE’S HARDEST HIT COUNTRIES. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IS UP MORE THAN 800 POINTS AFTER THE OPENING BELL. THE S&P 500 AND NASDAQ WERE ALSO UP NEARLY 4% IN EARLY TRADING.

THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES IN THE U.S. IS NOW MORE THAN 337,000 AND MORE THAN 9,700 AMERICANS HAVE DIED FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. THE U.S. SURGEON GENERAL, JEROME ADAMS, SAYS THE COMING DAYS WILL BE “THE HARDEST AND THE SADDEST WEEK OF MOST AMERICANS’ LIVES.”

GOVERNOR PRITZKER WANTS THE STATE TO MAKE SURE ESSENTIAL WORKERS HAVE ACCESS TO CHILD CARE. HE IS EXPANDING ILLINOIS’ CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO INCLUDE ESSENTIAL WORKERS IN HEALTH CARE, HUMAN SERVICES, GOVERNMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE. PRITZKER ADDED THAT MORE THAN 550 CHILD CARE CENTERS AND OVER 1,500 HOME DAYCARES ARE RUNNING UNDER THE STATE’S EMERGENCY CHILD CARE PERMIT. ONE-TIME STIPENDS FOR PROVIDERS ARE AVAILABLE. VISIT CORONAVIRUS.ILLINOIS.GOV FOR MORE INFORMATION.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 8:45am:

THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 11,000 CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS, ALONG WITH A TOTAL OF 274 DEATHS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER REMINDS FAMILIES WITH BORED KIDS AT HOME THAT THERE SHOULD BE NO PLAYDATES. HE ALSO URGED FAITH LEADERS TO CONTINUE HOSTING SERVICES ONLINE IF POSSIBLE AS WELL AS SAYING ONE PERSON SHOULD MAKE A GROCERY RUN, NOT THE WHOLE FAMILY. THERE ARE 899 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE STATE AND 31 MORE DEATHS.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX OF THE WHITE HOUSE’S CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE IS WARNING PEOPLE THAT THE NEXT TWO WEEKS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND, QUOTE, “THIS IS THE MOMENT TO NOT BE GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE AND NOT GOING TO THE PHARMACY.” AND THE CDC HAS NOW OFFICIALLY RECOMMENDED THAT WE ALL WEAR A CLOTH FACE MASK WHEN WE GO OUTSIDE.

THE NATION’S SURGEON GENERAL IS WARNING AMERICANS ABOUT THE COMING BATTLE AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS. JEROME ADAMS SAID ON MEET THE PRESS THAT THIS WEEK WILL BE A “PEARL HARBOR” OR “9-11” MOMENT FOR THE COUNTRY. ADAMS ALSO EMPHASIZED THAT PEOPLE SHOULDN’T SUBSTITUTE SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR SIMPLY WEARING FACE MASKS.

GENERAL MOTORS IS PUTTING ITS IDLED WARREN, MICHIGAN TRANSMISSION PLANT BACK TO WORK MAKING FACE MASKS. PRODUCTION STARTS TODAY AND PLANS ARE TO RAMP UP TO 1.5 MILLION MASKS A MONTH. THE MASKS AREN’T SUITABLE FOR SURGERY BUT CAN BE USED BY DELIVERY PEOPLE AND OTHERS WHO ARE KEEPING LIFE RUNNING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

THE CORONAVIRUS IS KEEPING PEOPLE HOME AND THE EARTH IS SETTLING DOWN. SEISMOLOGISTS SAY THERE’S FAR LESS AMBIENT VIBRATION WITH FEWER CARS AND PEOPLE RUMBLING AROUND. THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY IN BELGIUM REPORTS THE VIBRATION HAS DROPPED AS MUCH AS 30 TO 50%, SIMILAR TO WHAT THE SCIENTISTS EXPECT TO SEE ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

MEIJER IS TAKING NEW STEPS TO TRY TO FIGHT COVID-19. THE GROCERY RETAILER ON SATURDAY BEGAN LIMITING THE NUMBER OF SHOPPERS IN ITS STORES AND PLEXIGLAS SHIELDS ARE BEING INSTALLED AT ALL CHECKOUT LANES AND PHARMACIES IN ALL MEIJER STORES IN THE MIDWEST. EMPLOYEES ARE GETTING THEIR TEMPERATURES TAKEN WHEN THEY ARRIVE TO WORK EVERY DAY.

WALMART IS STRENGTHENING ITS SAFETY MEASURES AFTER TWO CHICAGO-AREA EMPLOYEES DIED FROM CORONAVIRUS. WALMART BEGAN LIMITING THE NUMBER OF SHOPPERS ALLOWED IN STORES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL DISTANCING. IN A STATEMENT SUNDAY WALMART SAID THAT NEITHER OF THE WORKERS WHO DIED LATE LAST MONTH HAD BEEN AT THE STORE FOR AT LEAST A WEEK AND THAT BOTH MEN HAD UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 7:10am:

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD MALAYAN TIGER AT THE BRONX ZOO HAS CORONAVIRUS, EXPOSED BY AN ASYMPTOMATIC WORKER. THE ANIMAL, NAIDIA, ALONG WITH THREE OTHER TIGERS AND THREE AFRICAN LIONS HAVE DEVELOPED A DRY COUGH, BUT ARE ALL EXPECTED TO RECOVER. ACCORDING TO THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY, SIX OTHER LARGE FELINES ARE ALSO SHOWING SYMPTOMS.

CONSTRUCTION IS SET TO BEGIN TODAY AT THE FORMER WESTLAKE HOSPITAL IN SUBURBAN MELROSE PARK, WHICH IS BEING REPURPOSED TO HOUSE COVID-19 PATIENTS. IT’S ONE OF SEVERAL ALTERNATE CARE FACILITIES IN THE WORKS INCLUDING MCCORMICK PLACE IN CHICAGO, METRO SOUTH HOSPITAL IN BLUE ISLAND AND THE FORMER ADVOCATE SHERMAN HOSPITAL IN ELGIN. WESTLAKE HOSPITAL HAS BEEN CLOSED FOR MONTHS, BUT THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TRANSFORMING THE HOSPITAL. WITH FUNDING APPROVAL FROM FEMA, THE CLOSED HOSPITAL WILL SUPPORT PATIENTS WHO NEED ICU-STYLE CARE. THE FACILITY WILL BE ABLE TO TREAT 230 PATIENTS, AND POSSIBLY UP TO 350.

CHRIS HEMSWORTH IS OFFERING SOME HELP TO PARENTS WHO HAVE KIDS STUCK AT HOME. THE “AVENGERS” ACTOR ANNOUNCED THAT HIS FITNESS AND WELLNESS APP WILL PROVIDE GUIDED MEDITATION TO HELP KIDS WITH STRESS AND ANXIETY AMID THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. THE VIDEOS WILL BE POSTED ON CENTR.COM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/6/2020 6:10am:

TURNS OUT SINGER PINK HAD THE CORONAVIRUS, IN AN INSTAGRAM POST, PINK SAID, QUOTE, “TWO WEEKS AGO MY THREE-YEAR-OLD SON, JAMESON, AND I WERE SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19…AND I TESTED POSITIVE. “MY FAMILY WAS ALREADY SHELTERING AT HOME AND CONTINUED TO DO SO FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTION OF OUR DOCTOR. JUST A FEW DAYS AGO, WE WERE RE-TESTED AND ARE NOW THANKFULLY NEGATIVE.” SHE ALSO ANNOUNCED SHE’S DONATING $1 MILLION TO HEALTHCARE WORKERS ON THE FRONT LINES.

DURAN DURAN BASSIST JOHN TAYLOR IS IN THE SAME BOAT: HE HAD CORONAVIRUS, BUT HE’S OVER IT. YACHT ROCK SUPERSTAR CHRISTOPHER CROSS ALSO TESTED POSITIVE, AND HE CALLS COVID-19, QUOTE, “POSSIBLY THE WORST ILLNESS I’VE EVER HAD.” MEANWHILE, COVID-19 TOOK THE LIVES OF ACTRESS AND AUTHOR PATRICIA BOSWORTH AND FORMER NEW ORLEANS SAINTS KICKER TOM DEMPSEY, HE WAS 73. ACTRESS LEE FIERRO ALSO DIED OF COMPLICATIONS FROM THE VIRUS. SHE PLAYED ALEX KINTNER’S MOTHER IN “JAWS”. SHE WAS 91.

THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 330,000 CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE UNITED STATES. THE DEATH TOLL HAS CLIMBED TO AT LEAST 9,600. WHILE THE U.S. IS THE EPICENTER OF THE PANDEMIC, WITH NEW YORK DEALING WITH THE BRUNT OF THE CASES, THERE ARE MORE THAN 1.2 MILLION INFECTIONS RECORDED WORLDWIDE. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SAY IT’S GOING TO GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER, WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP WARNING THAT THERE’S GOING TO BE A LOT OF DEATH IN THE COMING WEEK.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER IS FRUSTRATED WITH THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO COVID-19. PRITZKER SAID YESTERDAY HE’S “GIVEN UP” ON AN ADEQUATE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE GOVERNOR NOTED THAT STATES ARE BIDDING AGAINST EACH OTHER FOR VENTILATORS AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.

WALMART IS STRENGTHENING ITS SAFETY MEASURES AFTER TWO CHICAGO-AREA EMPLOYEES DIED FROM CORONAVIRUS. WALMART SAID IT’S NOW HIRING A THIRD-PARTY COMPANY TO CLEAN AND SANITIZE HIGH-TOUCH SURFACES AT THE STORE IN EVERGREEN PARK. THIS WEEKEND, WALMART BEGAN LIMITING THE NUMBER OF SHOPPERS ALLOW IN STORES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL DISTANCING. IN A STATEMENT SUNDAY WALMART SAID NEITHER OF THE WORKERS WHO DIED LATE LAST MONTH HAD BEEN AT THE STORE FOR AT LEAST A WEEK AND BOTH MEN HAD UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/5/2020 1:45pm:

THE NATION IS REACHING ANOTHER GRIM MILESTONE IN THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE U.S. DEATH TOLL NOW TOPS 9,000 AND TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES OVER 324,000 PEOPLE, MORE THAN DOUBLE THAT OF ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD NOW.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SENDING MILITARY DOCTORS, NURSES AND PARAMEDICS TO NEW YORK. MORE THAN A 1,000 MILITARY MEDICAL PERSONNEL ARE EN ROUTE TO ASSIST THE MORE THAN 30 BIG APPLE HOSPITALS WHO ARE OVERWHELMED WITH PATIENTS NEEDING INTENSIVE CARE.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE… HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET? CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT POSTED A SERIOUS VIDEO WITH AN AMUSING TWIST ON SOCIAL MEDIA URGING PEOPLE TO “STAY HOME. SAVE LIVES.” THE CLIP FEATURES THE MAYOR USING HUMOR AND EVEN HER ABILITY TO SING AND PLAY GUITAR TO GET ACROSS THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AT THIS CRITICAL TIME. IT’S WORTH SEEING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/5/2020 11:45am:

ILLINOIS HEALTH CARE OFFICIALS HAVE CONFIRMED 1,452 NEW COVID-19 CASES ON SATURDAY AND 33 ADDITIONAL DEATHS. THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES IN ILLINOIS HAS SURPASSED 10,000 AT 10,357 WITH 243 DEATHS.

THE NATION’S TOP DOCTOR REMAINS HOPEFUL IN THE BATTLE AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS. U.S. SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS SHARED HIS MESSAGE ON FOX NEWS SUNDAY. DR. ADAMS SAID THIS WEEK WILL BE VERY HARD, BUT HE TALKED ABOUT STATES LIKE CALIFORNIA AND WASHINGTON MAKING PROGRESS AGAINST THE VIRUS. HE ALSO EMPHASIZE THAT WEARING A FACE MASK ISN’T A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER SOCIAL DISTANCING.

ON CBS’ FACE THE NATION, DOCTOR ANTHONY FAUCI ECHOED OTHER OFFICIALS IN SAYING THIS WEEK WILL BE VERY HARD. THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES ADDED THAT THE COUNTRY HASN’T QUITE SEEN THE PEAK OF THE OUTBREAK YET.

SOURCE: TWNN

UPDATE 4/4/2020 4:45pm:

WORKERS AT AN AMAZON FACILITY IN CHICAGO HAVE STAGED A WALKOUT TODAY DEMANDING PROTECTION FROM THE VIRUS AFTER AT LEAST 2 WORKERS TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS.

WITH MANY RETAILERS IN THE AREA HAVING CLOSED THEIR STORES TEMPORARILY, EVEN WALMART HAS STARTED SCALING BACK, LIMITING THE NUMBER OF SHOPPERS THAT ARE LET IN THEIR STORES AT ANY ONE TIME TO 5 CUSTOMERS PER THOUSAND FEET. THAT’S APPROXIMATELY 20% OF NORMAL CAPACITY.

DURING THIS STAY-AT-HOME TIME, WHAT IS CHICAGO CRAVING MOST DURING THE QUARANTINE? YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED WITH THE RESULTS. ACCORDING TO DELIVERY ORDERS IT’S:
#5 SPICY FRIED CHICKEN
#4 BREADED MOZZARELLA STICKS
#3 DUTCH APPLE PIE
#2 BLUE CHEESE BURGER
#1 RED VELVET CAKE

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/4/2020 3:45pm:

THE CDC NOW RECOMMENDING AMERICANS WEAR A FACE MASK WHEN VENTURING OUT. THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCED THE POLICY CHANGE YESTERDAY, NOTING THAT IT’S VOLUNTARY. HEALTH EXPERTS AGREE THAT IT MAKES SENSE TO WEAR A MASK COVERING YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH WHEN IN PUBLIC.

PHYSICIANS IMMEDIATE CARE IS THE FIRST URGENT CARE CLINIC IN ILLINOIS TO ROLLOUT ABBOTT’S RAPID COVID-19 TEST. RESULTS CAN BE HAD IN AS LITTLE AS 5 MINUTES.

THE STATE OF ILLINOIS HAS REPORTED 1,453 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS AND 33 MORE DEATHS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS. THIS BRINGS THE TOTAL NUMBER TO MORE THAN 10,000 AND FATALITIES NEARING 250. MORE THAN 7,100 HAVE DIED NATIONALLY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/4/2020 2:45pm:

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL NOW PICK UP THE TAB FOR HOSPITALS TREATING UNINSURED CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS. FUNDS WILL COME FROM THE ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGE. IN A RELATED NOTE, BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD WON’T REQUIRE ANY CO-PAYS FROM INFECTED PATIENTS. OTHER INSURANCE COMPANIES HAVE BEGUN TO MAKE SIMILAR MOVES.

ONLY EIGHT STATES ARE NOT UNDER MANDATORY STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS NOW. ARKANSAS, IOWA, NEBRASKA, NORTH DAKOTA, SOUTH DAKOTA, SOUTH CAROLINA, UTAH AND WYOMING ARE THE HOLD-OUTS. OF THE GROUP, SOUTH CAROLINA HAS THE MOST POSITIVE CASES AT 1554 AND THE MOST DEATHS AT 31.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO HAS BEEN INUNDATED WITH APPLICATIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF MONEY. CITY EMPLOYEES ARE WORKING 16 HOUR DAYS TO SORT THROUGH ALL THE REQUESTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/4/2020 12:45pm:

MORE FEDERAL PRISONERS ARE BEING RELEASED BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC. ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL BARR ISSUED AN EMERGENCY ORDER FRIDAY DECLARING THE BUREAU OF PRISONS IS FACING EMERGENCY CONDITIONS DUE TO THE RAPID SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE ORDER GIVES PRIORITY TO PLACING VULNERABLE INMATES INTO HOME CONFINEMENT FROM PRISONS HIT HARDEST. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S ORDER ALSO REQUIRES INMATES SPEND 14 DAYS IN QUARANTINE BEFORE BEING RELEASED.

THE CDC IS OUT WITH NEW CORONAVIRUS FACE MASK RECOMMENDATIONS. PRESIDENT TRUMP MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE WHITE HOUSE YESTERDAY THAT THE NEW GUIDELINES RECOMMEND THE USE OF A CLOTH FACE MASK TO HELP REDUCE THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. HOWEVER HE NOTED THE POLICY IS VOLUNTARY. FEDERAL HEALTH EXPERTS SAY IT MAKES SENSE TO WEAR A MASK COVERING YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH WHEN IN PUBLIC.

WALMART IS STARTING TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS INTO THEIR STORES. THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY IT WOULD ALLOW FIVE CUSTOMERS PER THOUSAND SQUARE FEET OF STORE SPACE WHICH IS ABOUT 20 PERCENT OF A STORE’S CAPACITY. CUSTOMERS WILL BE LET IN ON A ONE IN- ONE OUT BASIS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/4/2020 11:45am:

COVID 19 CONTINUES TO SPREAD ACROSS THE U.S. OVER 7,100 PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF THE VIRUS AND THERE ARE OVER 270,000 CONFIRMED CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. NEW YORK HAS THE MOST CASES BY FAR WITH OVER 100,000 – THE ONLY STATE TO HIT THAT MARK. NEW JERSEY HAS THE SECOND MOST WITH OVER 29,000. MICHIGAN, CALIFORNIA, MASSACHUSETTS, LOUISIANA AND FLORIDA ALL HAVE 10,000 CASES EACH.

WALMART IS STARTING TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS INTO THEIR STORES AMID THE ONGOING PANDEMIC. THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY IT WOULD ALLOW FIVE CUSTOMERS PER THOUSAND SQUARE FEET OF STORE SPACE WHICH IS ABOUT 20% OF A STORE’S CAPACITY. CUSTOMERS WILL BE LET IN ON A ONE IN-ONE OUT BASIS.

A NEW POLL SHOWS NINE OUT OF TEN AMERICANS FEAR GETTING THE CORONAVIRUS. THE ABC NEWS SURVEY FOUND THAT 89% OF THOSE POLLED WERE EITHER SOMEWHAT OR VERY CONCERNED ABOUT BEING INFECTED. ABOUT 90% SAID THEY HAD CHANGED THEIR DAILY ROUTINES AS A RESULT OF THEIR CONCERNS. OVER 70% SAID THEY HAD CANCELLED OR POSTPONED ACTIVITIES BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 6:40pm:

THE NUMBER OF VICTIMS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS IN NEW YORK HAS NOW SURPASSED THAT OF 9/11. COVID-19 HAS KILLED MORE THAN 2,935 NEW YORKERS, MORE THAN THE NUMBER WHO DIED IN THE WORLD TRADE CENTER IN 2001. TODAY MARKED THE LARGEST NUMBER OF REPORTED CASES IN A 24-HOUR PERIOD IN ILLINOIS, WITH 1,209 CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 SINCE YESTERDAY.

DISNEY WORKERS WILL SOON FEEL THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC. THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL FURLOUGH WORKERS STARTING ON APRIL 19TH, BUT DID NOT SAY HOW MANY EMPLOYEES WOULD BE LET GO. THE COMPANY SAYS FURLOUGHED WORKERS WILL KEEP THEIR HEALTHCARE BENEFITS.

THE NATION’S TOP DOCTOR ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES SAYS THERE IS NO STRONG EVIDENCE THAT THE ANTI-MALARIA DRUG HYDROXYCHLOROQUIN IS EFFECTIVE IN FIGHTING COVID-19. DOCTOR ANTHONY FAUCI SAID THAT THE DRUG NEEDS TO UNDERGO MORE STUDIES TO DETERMINE HOW SAFE AND EFFECTIVE IT IS. CHINESE DOCTORS CLAIMED THE DRUG HELPED SPEED RECOVERIES IN A SMALL NUMBER OF PATIENTS WHO WERE MILDLY ILL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 5:30pm:

THE CDC HAS MADE NEW RECOMMENDATIONS TO FIGHT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. THE AGENCY IS NOW ADVISING USING A NON-MEDICAL CLOTH FACE COVERING AS ADDITIONAL PROTECTION. THE FACE COVERING COULD BE A SCARF, A BANDANA, OR OTHER CLOTH THAT COVERS THE NOSE AND MOUTH. USING FACE COVERING IS VOLUNTARY, ACCORDING TO THE PRESIDENT IN A NEWS BRIEFING TODAY, AND IT DOES NOT REPLACE THE CDC’S GUIDELINES ON SOCIAL DISTANCING.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID IN A BRIEFING THAT ILLINOIS DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH TESTS FOR COVID-19. HE SAID THAT ILLINOIS IS DOING ABOUT FIVE-THOUSAND TESTS A DAY, BUT HOPE TO GET TO TEN-THOUSAND. PRITZER SAID THAT THE MILLIONS OF TESTS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAID THEY WOULD PROVIDE HAVE NOT MATERIALIZED, AND THAT TESTING SUPPLIES WERE VERY DIFFICULT TO COME BY AS EVERY STATE IS ON THEIR OWN IN PROCURING THEM. THE INCREASE ON TESTS WOULD OFFER BETTER DATA AND HONE IN ON OUTBREAK AREAS.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES OWNER JEFFREY LURIE IS MAKING A ONE MILLION DOLLAR DONATION TO HELP FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS. THE DONATION WILL GO TO PENN MEDICINE, AND WITH IT, HE IS ESTABLISHING THE COVID-19 IMMUNOLOGY DEFENSE FUND TO HELP FIGHT THE VIRUS AND SUPPORT RESEARCH AT THE HOSPITAL HEALTH SYSTEM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 3:45pm:

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR TONY EVERS ISSUED THE ORDER TODAY FOR A SPECIAL SESSION OF LEGISLATURE TO HAPPEN OVER THE WEEKEND IN ORDER TO DELAY THE PRIMARY ELECTION IN THE STATE, WHICH HAS BEEN SET TO GO NEXT TUESDAY AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. EVERS NOW WANTS AN ALL-MAIL-IN ELECTION, WITH A BALLOT TO EVERY WISCONSINITE BY MAY 19TH AND AN EXTENDED DATE OF MAY 26TH TO RECEIVE MAIL-IN VOTES.

STOCKS ARE DOWN TO END ANOTHER UNSTEADY WEEK ON WALL STREET, AFTER A BLEAK UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT OF 700,000 JOBS LOST IN THE U.S. IN MARCH AND A RISE IN COVID-19 CASES NATIONWIDE WITH OVER 261,000 CASES. AT CLOSING BELL, THE DOW WAS DOWN 360 POINTS, THE S&P LOST 38 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ FELL 114 POINTS.

UNDER ARMOUR IS LAYING OFF 6,700 WORKERS TEMPORARILY DUE TO PLUMMETING SALES DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE SERIES OF CUTS WILL BEGIN ON APRIL 12TH AT STORES AND DISTRIBUTION CENTERS ACROSS THE U.S. CEO AND PRESIDENT PATRIK FRISK SAID “THE UNANTICIPATED SHOCK TO BUSINESS HAS BEEN ACUTE.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 2:45pm:

1,209 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS WERE REPORTED IN THE PAST 24 HOURS, WITH 53 ADDITIONAL DEATHS. THERE ARE NOW 8,904 TOTAL CASES IN THE STATE, AND 210 TOTAL DEATHS DUE TO THE VIRUS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID IN A PUBLIC ADDRESS TODAY THAT COVERING YOUR FACE WHEN GOING OUT – EVEN WITH A SCARF OR A BANDANA – IS A GOOD IDEA BASED ON WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT HOW THE VIRUS IS SPREAD FROM PERSON TO PERSON.

THERE ARE NOW OVER 261,000 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE US, ACCORDING TO JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY’S CASE REPORT. SO FAR TODAY, OVER 15,000 NEW CASES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NATIONWIDE. THE TOTAL INCLUDES CASES FROM ALL 50 STATES, D.C. AND OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES. WYOMING IS THE ONLY STATE NOT REPORTING A DEATH FROM COVID-19.

AS THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK CONTINUES, THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS IS HANDLING HUNDREDS OF REQUESTS FOR MAKESHIFT MILITARY HOSPITALS AROUND THE U.S. DURING A PENTAGON BRIEFING, LIEUTENANT GENERAL TODD SEMONITE SAID THE CORPS IS WORKING CLOSELY WITH GOVERNORS AND STATE-AND-LOCAL OFFICIALS ON “SITE ASSESSMENTS” IN WHICH EXISTING BUILDINGS COULD BE CONVERTED INTO HOSPITALS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 1:45pm:

THERE ARE NOW OVER 258,000 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE US, ACCORDING TO JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY’S LATEST TALLY OF CASES NATIONWIDE.

GOOGLE IS USING THE PERSONAL DATA IT COLLECTS FROM ITS USERS TO HELP DOCTORS FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS. THE COMPANY IS MAKING THE DATA AVAILABLE TO PANDEMIC EXPERTS SO THEY CAN SEE IF PEOPLE ARE STAYING HOME OR TRAVELING. IT WILL ALSO ALLOW EXPERTS TO SEE POSSIBLE HOT SPOTS FOR THE VIRUS. GOOGLE SAID IT WILL NOT PUBLISH REAL-TIME MOVEMENTS OF USERS OR LIST THE PLACES THEY VISIT.

UNITED AIRLINES WILL ANNOUNCE A PROGRAM TO PROVIDE FREE ROUND-TRIP FLIGHTS FOR MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO WANT TO HELP IN THE FRONTLINE FIGHT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS IN NEW YORK CITY. THE AIRLINE IS WORKING WITH GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN OTHER HOTSPOTS TO EXPAND THE SERVICE TO OTHER PLACES.

SOME MAJOR RETAILERS WILL CLOSE ON EASTER SUNDAY TO GIVE EMPLOYEES A BREAK DURING THE PANDEMIC. TRADER JOE’S ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WOULD BE CLOSING THEIR DOORS ON APRIL 12TH TO GIVE EMPLOYEES A “MUCH NEEDED DAY OF REST.” OTHERS STORES THAT PLAN TO CLOSE ON EASTER INCLUDE TARGET, SAM’S CLUB, AND COSTCO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 12:45pm:

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT SAID THAT AT THIS TIME, LOLLAPALOOZA IS STILL ON SCHEDULE FOR JULY 30TH AND AUGUST 2ND AT GRANT PARK IN CHICAGO. SHE ADDED THE EVENT IS FOUR MONTHS OUT AND THAT OFFICIALS WILL MONITOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS IT GETS CLOSER REGARDING ANY CORONAVIRUS-RELATED POSTPONEMENT OR CANCELLATION.

THE FBI IS ADVISING AMERICANS TO BE ON HIGH ALERT FOR SCAMS POPPING UP AS THE PANDEMIC SURGES. CAUTION IS ESPECIALLY ADVISED ABOUT ANYONE PITCHING INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES OR SEEKING DONATIONS IN CASH, BY GIFT CARD OR WIRE TRANSFER.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY IS GETTING READY TO SHIP ONE MILLION PLASTIC FDA-APPROVED FACE SHIELDS. THESE CRITICAL SUPPLIES WILL GO OUT TO HOSPITALS AND FIRST RESPONDERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ON SUNDAY.

THE COMPANY THAT MAKES CORONA BEER WILL TEMPORARILY STOP BREWING AND EXPORTING IT AFTER IT WAS DECLARED NON-ESSENTIAL BY THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT. THE SUSPENSION WILL BEGIN THIS WEEKEND. THE COMPANY, GRUPO MODELO, IS PART OF ANHEUSER-BUSCH BREWING, AND OPERATES ELEVEN BREWERIES IN MEXICO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 11:45am:

THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 53,000 CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DEATHS AROUND THE WORLD. THE U.S. REPORTED THE HIGHEST DAILY DEATH TOLL OF ANY COUNTRY SO FAR AT NEARLY 1,200, AND MORE THAN 6,000 FATALITIES IN TOTAL TODAY. HERE IN ILLINOIS, 157 PEOPLE HAVE DIED DUE TO COVID-19, AND THERE ARE NEARLY 7,700 CONFIRMED CASES.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT IS JOINING INTERIM CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT CHARLIE BECK IN THANKING BUSINESSES THAT HAVE SUPPORTED THE POLICE FORCE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. MORE THAN 100 BUSINESSES HAVE DONATED FOOD AND SUPPLIES TO OFFICERS AND DISTRICTS. THE ANNOUNCEMENT COMES A DAY AFTER THE DEPARTMENT HAD ITS FIRST DEATH OF AN OFFICER AS A RESULT OF COVID-19. OFFICER MARCO DIFRANCO CONTRACTED THE VIRUS LAST WEEK AND WAS HOSPITALIZED LAST WEEKEND. HE WAS A 21-YEAR VETERAN AND WORKED OUT OF THE HOMAN SQUARE STATION IN THE NARCOTICS DIVISION.

CLOSE TO 300 EMPLOYEES AT THE TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AND TOWER IS CHICAGO WERE AMONG MORE THAN 14,000 LAYOFFS REPORTED TO THE STATE LAST MONTH. MEANWHILE, INTERCONTINENTAL CHICAGO MAG MILE LAID OFF 350 LAYOFFS AND FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LET GO 308 WORKERS. MOST OF THEM WERE CONNECTED TO THE NEW CORONAVIRUS IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY AS COMPANIES CUT BACK OR CLOSE THEIR DOORS.

RESTAURANTS AND HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN HIT HARD SINCE GOVERNOR PRITZKER ISSUED A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER MARCH 20TH TO CONTAIN THE VIRUS SPREAD. THAT ORDER WAS TO EXPIRE APRIL 7TH, BUT HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO APRIL 30TH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 10:45am:

ARRIVING THIS MONTH. DURING A WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING, STEVEN MNUCHIN ANNOUNCED THE ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS WOULD BE HITTING DIRECT DEPOSIT ACCOUNTS WITHIN TWO WEEKS. THE PAYMENTS WERE PART OF THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE SIGNED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP LAST MONTH.

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI SAYS CONGRESS MUST KEEP WORKING ON ADDITIONAL STIMULUS BILLS TO CURB THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. PELOSI TOLD CNBC THAT THE TWO-TRILLION-DOLLAR STIMULUS BILL WHICH PASSED LAST WEEK IS “NOT ENOUGH.” HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY HAS SAID ANOTHER STIMULUS MEASURE IS NOT APPROPRIATE AT THIS TIME.

GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING SINGER AND SONGWRITER BILL WITHERS DIED. THE 81-YEAR-OLD SOUL SINGER HAD BIG HITS WITH “LEAN ON ME” AND “AIN’T NO SUNSHINE” DURING THE 1970S AND ’80S. HIS FAMILY SAID HE DIED FROM HEART COMPLICATIONS. HE WAS NOMINATED FOR NINE GRAMMYS AND WON THREE TIMES. HE WAS BORN IN WEST VIRGINIA AND JOINED THE NAVY WHEN HE WAS 17. AFTER HE LEFT THE NAVY, HE MOVED TO LOS ANGELES TO BEGIN HIS MUSIC CAREER. HE RELEASED HIS FIRST ALBUM IN 1971.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 9:45am:

THE U.S. ECONOMY LOST MORE THAN 700,000 JOBS IN MARCH AS 3.5% IN FEBRUARY. THE JOB LOSS AND UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS REFLECT THE NATION’S ECONOMIC SITUATION IN MID-MARCH, BEFORE MANY BUSINESSES SHUT DOWN AND SCHOOLS CLOSED TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

STOCKS ARE OPENING LOWER AS INVESTORS WEIGH A SHARP JOBS DECLINE. THE MAJOR INDEXES ARE DOWN AFTER GOVERNMENT FIGURES SHOWED PAYROLLS FELL BY 701,000 IN MARCH. UNEMPLOYMENT JUMPED TO 4.4% REFLECTING THE EARLY STAGES OF THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS OFF ABOUT 100 POINTS. THE S&P 500 AND NASDAQ WERE ALSO LOWER AFTER THE OPENING BELL.

AMAZON IS NO LONGER SELLING N95 MASKS TO THE PUBLIC. THE ONLINE RETAIL GIANT SAID THURSDAY IT WILL SELL ESSENTIAL PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT, CALLED PPE, ONLY TO HOSPITALS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. AMAZON SAYS IT ALSO IS RESTRICTING THE PURCHASE OF CORONAVIRUS DIAGNOSTIC KITS TO MAKE SURE HOSPITALS AND AGENCIES CAN GET THE TESTING SUPPLIES. AN AMAZON SPOKESMAN SAYS LOWER VOLUME PRODUCTS SUCH AS HAND SANITIZERS AND HAND WIPES CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 8:45am:

THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DEATHS IS NOW MORE THAN 53,000 AROUND THE WORLD, WITH MORE THAN ONE MILLION CONFIRMED INFECTIONS. TODAY, THE U.S. REPORTED THE HIGHEST DAILY DEATH TOLL OF ANY COUNTRY SO FAR AT NEARLY 1,200, WITH OVER 6,000 FATALITIES. MEANWHILE, SPAIN REPORTED A RECORD ONE-DAY NUMBER OF DEATHS, 950, BRINGING ITS OVERALL TOLL TO ABOUT 10,000, WHILE ITALY HAS A TOTAL OF NEARLY 14,000 FATALITIES. ACCORDING TO THE DATA FROM JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, MORE THAN 210,000 PEOPLE HAVE RECOVERED FROM THE DISEASE, INCLUDING 9,000 IN THE U.S.

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED THE CITY’S NEWEST TOP COP. FORMER DALLAS POLICE CHIEF DAVID BROWN WILL BE THE NEXT CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT. BROWN HAS 40 YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND HE’S KNOWN FOR BUILDING TRUST, AND ADVOCATING FOR THE WELLBEING OF HIS OFFICERS, FOCUSING ON THEIR MENTAL HEALTH. HE MADE NATIONAL NEWS IN 2016 WHEN HE DECIDED TO USE A REMOTE CONTROL ROBOT CARRYING AN EXPLOSIVE TO KILL A MAN WHO SHOT AND KILLED FIVE POLICE OFFICERS. LIGHTFOOT SAID YOU CAN TELL A PERSON’S CHARACTER DURING TRAGEDY — AND BROWN’S CHARACTER IS OUTSTANDING.

24% OF SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE U.S. SAY THEY’LL BE OUT OF BUSINESS WITHIN TWO MONTHS BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. A NEW POLL BY THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND METLIFE OUT TODAY FINDS ELEVEN-PERCENT OF SMALL BUSINESSES SAY THEY’LL SHUT DOWN WITHIN A MONTH. TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT SAY THEY’RE ALREADY CLOSED TEMPORARILY AND 54-PERCENT ARE LIKELY TO CLOSE TEMPORARILY IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ARE DISTRIBUTING MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AFTER SEIZING THEM FROM HOARDERS. OFFICIALS SAY THEY DISCOVERED THE SUPPLIES LAST WEEK IN NEW JERSEY DURING AN ENFORCEMENT OPERATION BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S COVID-19 HOARDING AND PRICE GOUGING TASK FORCE.

A COUPLE FEEL GOOD STORIES OUT THERE TOO—A WORLD WAR II VET IN OREGON JUST CELEBRATED HIS 104TH BIRTHDAY AFTER BEATING THE VIRUS. IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S THE OLDEST PERSON IN THE WORLD TO SURVIVE IT SO FAR.

A LANDLORD IN BROOKLYN SAYS HE’S NOT CHARGING RENT NEXT MONTH FOR ALL 200 TENANTS WHO LIVE IN HIS BUILDINGS. HE SAYS HE JUST WANTS THEM TO FOCUS ON THEIR LOVED ONES, AND ON STAYING HEALTHY. ALSO, A PIZZA PLACE IN NEW YORK HAS BEEN MAKING 400 PIZZAS A DAY FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS. SO THAT PIZZA JOINT’S LANDLORD FROZE THEIR RENT FOR THREE MONTHS, AND GAVE THEM $20,000.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 7:10am:

ILLINOIS IS RUSHING TO BUILD HOSPITAL BEDS AND LAUNCHED A CAMPAIGN TO GET RESIDENTS TO FOLLOW SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES AS THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE STATE PASSED 7,500 YESTERDAY. THERE ARE NOW 7,695 CASES, INCLUDING 157 DEATHS, IN 61 COUNTIES IN ILLINOIS.

IDPH DIRECTOR DR. EZIKE SAID 85% OF DEATHS ARE AMONG INDIVIDUALS 60 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER, BUT NOTED “NO ONE IS IMMUNE” TO THE VIRUS. HOWEVER, EZIKE SAID 50% OF PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS WITH A CONFIRMED CASES RECOVER WITHIN SEVEN DAYS.

UBER IS HALTING CONSTRUCTION ON ITS NEW SPACE IN CHICAGO’S OLD MAIN POST OFFICE BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. THE DECISION MARKS THE CITY’S FIRST BIG OFFICE BUILD-OUT TO BE PUT ON HOLD BECAUSE OF PANDEMIC. THE RIDE-HAILING COMPANY ANNOUNCED LAST YEAR THAT IT SIGNED A 10-YEAR LEASE FOR 463,000 SQUARE FEET IN THE LONG-VACANT OLD POST OFFICE. UBER ISN’T EXPECTED TO MOVE IN UNTIL NEXT YEAR.

OPRAH ANNOUNCED THAT SHE’S DROPPING A WHOPPING $10 MILLION TO HELP AMERICANS DURING THE PANDEMIC. SHE’S ALSO SPECIFICALLY HYPING A GOFUNDME CALLED “AMERICA’S FOOD FUND,” WHICH AIMS TO HELP FEED THE COUNTRY’S MOST VULNERABLE POPULATIONS . . . “CHILDREN WHO ARE OUT OF SCHOOL AND RELY ON SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAMS, LOW-INCOME FAMILIES, THE ELDERLY, AND INDIVIDUALS FACING JOB DISRUPTIONS.” . . IT WAS ACTUALLY STARTED BY LEONARDO DICAPRIO AND STEVE JOBS’ WIDOW LAURENE POWELL JOBS, ALONG WITH APPLE AND THE FORD FOUNDATION.

AMAZON’S JEFF BEZOS, THE WORLD’S RICHEST MAN, ANNOUNCED A $100 MILLION GIFT TO FEEDING AMERICA, WHICH SUPPORTS FOOD BANKS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BILL GATES HAS ALSO COMMITTED $100 MILLION TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL, TO FIND TREATMENT AND A VACCINE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/3/2020 6:10am:

IN THE BATTLE AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS, FORD MOTOR COMPANY IS PITCHING IN, THEY DONATED 3,000 FACE SHIELDS TO CHICAGO FIREFIGHTERS YESTERDAY TO KEEP THE FIRST RESPONDERS SAFE. AS OF THURSDAY, 22 MEMBERS OF THE CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, WHILE ANOTHER 31 REMAIN IN SELF-QUARANTINE.

FOR THE LAST WEEK, FORD SUBSIDIARY TROY DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING HAVE BEEN ASSEMBLING THE LIFE-SAVING DEVICES FROM PARTS ON HAND AT THEIR MICHIGAN PLANT. WORN OVER THE N95 MASKS, THE SHIELDS OFFER ANOTHER LAYER OF PROTECTION. THE CAR MANUFACTURER PRODUCED OVER 366,000 FACE SHIELDS OVER THE LAST WEEK, AND THEY’RE NOW GOING TO FIRST RESPONDERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IN ADDITION TO CHICAGO’S FIRE DEPARTMENT GETTING 3,000 SHIELDS THURSDAY, THE CITY GOT AN ADDITIONAL 5,000 THAT WILL LIKELY GO TO POLICE OFFICERS AS WELL.

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED THURSDAY HER CHOICE FOR THE CITY’S NEWEST TOP COP. FORMER DALLAS POLICE CHIEF DAVID BROWN. BROWN HAS 40 YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND HE’S KNOWN FOR BUILDING TRUST, AND ADVOCATING FOR THE WELL-BEING OF HIS OFFICERS, FOCUSING ON THEIR MENTAL HEALTH. HE MADE NATIONAL NEWS IN 2016 WHEN HE DECIDED TO USE A REMOTE CONTROL ROBOT CARRYING AN EXPLOSIVE TO KILL A MAN WHO SHOT AND KILLED FIVE POLICE OFFICERS.
THE NEW SUPERINTENDENT GREW UP POOR, IN THE SEGREGATED SOUTH AND HIS LIFE HAS BEEN TRAGIC. HIS SON WAS KILLED IN A POLICE SHOOT OUT. HIS PARTNER DIED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. HE WAS POLICE CHIEF WHEN FIVE OF HIS OFFICERS WERE KILLED IN AN AMBUSH. LIGHTFOOT SAID YOU CAN TELL A PERSON’S CHARACTER DURING TRAGEDY — AND BROWN’S CHARACTER IS OUTSTANDING. THE MAYOR GOT CHOKED UP TALKING ABOUT BECK. SHE THANKED HIM FOR HIS SERVICE AND CALLED HIM A GIFTED LEADER, A COP’S COP.

ANOTHER SHUTTERED SUBURBAN HOSPITAL IS BEING REOPENED TO HELP DEAL WITH THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT WESTLAKE HOSPITAL IN MELROSE PARK WILL TEMPORARILY BE USED TO TREAT COVID-19 PATENTS. WESTLAKE IS THE FOURTH FACILITY BEING REOPENED AS AN ALTERNATE TREATMENT SITE. THE OTHERS ARE THE MCCORMICK PLACE CONVENTION CENTER IN CHICAGO, METROSOUTH MEDICAL CENTER IN BLUE ISLAND AND ADVOCATE SHERMAN HOSPITAL IN ELGIN.

CNN ANCHOR CHRIS CUOMO, WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS EARLIER THIS WEEK, SAYS HE HAS LOST 13 POUNDS IN THREE DAYS. CUOMO GAVE THE HEALTH UPDATE FROM HIS BASEMENT DURING A CNN TOWN HALL LAST NIGHT. HE SAYS IT HAS NOT BEEN EASY FIGHTING OFF THE VIRUS, AND THAT HE HAS BEEN EATING, BUT ALSO SWEATING IT ALL OUT. CUOMO SAYS WHILE HE IS HAPPY THAT HE DOES NOT NEED HOSPITALIZATION, HE WANTS PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT BATTLING THE VIRUS AT HOME IS LIKELY NOT EASY FOR ANYONE. HE HAS SUFFERED WITH A FEVER AND SERIOUS CHILLS THAT WERE SO BAD HE CHIPPED A TOOTH BECAUSE HIS TEETH WERE CHATTERING SO INTENSELY.
SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 6:45pm:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE RECENTLY CLOSED WESTLAKE HOSPITAL IN MELROSE PARK WILL BE REOPENED AS A 230-BED ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE SITE TO COMBAT THE CORONAVIRUS. MCCORMICK PLACE, THE FORMER ADVOCATE SHERMAN HOSPITAL IN ELGIN, AND METROSOUTH MEDICAL CENTER IN BLUE ISLAND ARE ALSO DESIGNATED ALTERNATIVE FACILITIES.

UBER HAS STOPPED CONSTRUCTION ON ITS ENORMOUS SPACE AT THE OLD POST OFFICE IN CHICAGO DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. THE COMPANY PLANS TO CONSOLIDATE ITS OFFICES IN THE ICONIC BUILDING, HAVING LEASED 463,000 SQUARE FEET FOR 10 YEARS. UBER HAD ORIGINALLY PLANNED TO MOVE IN THIS FALL, BUT NOW SAY THEY ANTICIPATE MOVING NEXT YEAR.

SONY IS THE LATEST ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY SETTING UP A MASSIVE RELIEF FUND TO HELP PEOPLE AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS. THE 100-MILLION-DOLLAR EFFORT IS GEARED TOWARD HELP FOR HEALTH WORKERS. IT COMES AFTER NETFLIX ANNOUNCED IT WAS GOING TO HELP TV AND FILM INDUSTRY WORKERS WITH ITS OWN 100-MILLION-DOLLAR PLEDGE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 5:30pm:

THE WHITE HOUSE IS SAID TO BE FORMALIZING GUIDANCE FOR ALL AMERICANS TO WEAR A FACE COVERING WHEN OUTSIDE OR IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO OTHER PEOPLE. A FACE COVERING COULD BE A SCARF OR A BANDANA, IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A FACE MASK. THE STEP TOWARD THIS PROTECTIVE MEASURE COMES AFTER DATA WAS RELEASED YESTERDAY SAYING THAT ASYMPTOMATIC PEOPLE COULD TRANSMIT THE CORONAVIRUS. THERE ARE NOW OVER 240,000 KNOWN CASES OF THE VIRUS IN THE U.S.

BANK OF AMERICA RESEARCHERS ARE FORECASTING THE DEEPEST RECESSION ON RECORD, WITH A WORLDWIDE IMPACT. 6.6 MILLION AMERICANS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE U.S. LAST WEEK. B-OF-A RESEARCHERS FORECAST UP TO 20-MILLION JOBS LOST AND AN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE THAT REACHES MORE THAN 15%, WHICH IS HIGHER THAN GREAT RECESSION LEVELS.

HBO IS STEPPING UP TO HELP WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE NETWORK WILL PROVIDE 500 HOURS OF FREE PROGRAMMING STARTING TOMORROW. IT WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE HBO NOW AND HBO GO SERVICES WITHOUT A SUBSCRIPTION FOR A LIMITED TIME, SO YOU CAN BINGE WATCH THE SOPRANOS AND OTHER HIT SHOWS FOR FREE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 3:50pm:

WEST SUBURBAN AURORA WILL EXTEND ITS EMERGENCY DECLARATION THROUGH MAY 15TH TO COMBAT THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. CITY HALL AND ALL OTHER CITY PROPERTIES WILL REMAIN CLOSED. MAYOR RICHARD IRVIN AND POLICE CHIEF KRISTEN ZEE-MEN ARE AMONG AURORA RESIDENTS WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, AND BOTH CONTINUE TO WORK FROM HOME. THE EXTENSION IN AURORA MEANS ALL PARKS, PLAYGROUNDS, MUSEUMS, THE GOLF COURSE AND ZOO WILL ALSO REMAIN CLOSED.

STOCKS CLOSED HIGHER TODAY ON WALL STREET. AT CLOSING BELL, THE DOW WAS UP 470 POINTS, THE S&P GAINED 56 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ WAS UP 127 POINTS.

FEEL THE NEED TO KICK UP YOUR HEELS? THE NEW YORK CITY ROCKETTES ARE HOSTING A DANCE CLASS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. THE WORLD FAMOUS DANCE TROUPE’S FIRST VIRTUAL LIVE CLASS STARTED TODAY ON THEIR INSTAGRAM PAGE, AND THE CLASS WILL HAPPEN THERE EVERY THURSDAY AT NOON EASTERN TIME (11AM CENTRAL TIME).

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 2:50pm:

OFFICIALS SAID 715 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS WERE CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS SINCE YESTERDAY, INCLUDING 16 MORE DEATHS. THAT MAKES 7,695 CASES OF THE VIRUS IN THE STATE, WITH 157 DEATHS. NATIONWIDE, MORE THAN 236,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED. WORLDWIDE, THAT NUMBER IS NOW OVER 1 MILLION.

PHYSICIANS IMMEDIATE CARE URGENT CARE CLINICS WILL BEGIN TESTING PATIENTS THIS WEEK USING THE NEW RAPID COVID-19 TEST FROM ABBOTT LABORATORIES. THE TEST DELIVERS RESULTS IN AS LITTLE AS 5 MINUTES, THE FASTEST TURNAROUND AVAILABLE. THE CLINICS IMPLEMENTED CURBSIDE CARE, WHICH ALLOWS PATIENTS TO BE SCREENED AT THE CURB BEFORE ENTERING. THERE ARE MORE THAN 40 LOCATIONS ACROSS ILLINOIS AND INDIANA.

INDIANA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR, OFFICIALS SAID IN A PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY. THE SCHOOLS WILL BE DELIVERING REMOTE INSTRUCTION TO STUDENTS. SCHOOLS IN ILLINOIS ARE CLOSED TO ON-SITE LEARNING THROUGH AT LEAST APRIL 30.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 1:45pm:

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI IS FORMING A SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO SEE THAT THE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS MONEY IS SPENT EFFICIENTLY. THE BIPARTISAN PANEL WILL BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR PROFITEERING AND WASTE SPENDING. IN A NEWS BRIEFING, PELOSI CALLED ON THE PRESIDENT TO FULLY INVOKE THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT TO SPEED UP DELIVERIES OF VITAL PROTECTIVE SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING COVID-19 TEST KITS.

OPRAH WINFREY SAYS SHE’S DONATING 10 MILLION DOLLARS TO HELP AMERICANS DURING THE PANDEMIC. WINFREY SAID SHE’S DONATING 1 MILLION TO AMERICA’S FOOD FUND. THE OTHER 9 MILLION WILL GO TO CHARITIES THAT HELP FEED THE HUNGRY. APPLE ALONG WITH A NUMBER OF CELEBRITIES LAUNCHED THE FOOD FUND IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK.

THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE HARRY POTTER SERIES IS NOW FREE TO STREAM ON AUDIBLE. THE RELEASE OF THE AUDIOBOOK, NARRATED BY BRITISH ACTOR STEPHEN FRY, IS PART OF INITIATIVES LAUNCHED BY AUTHOR J.K. ROWLING TO KEEP EVERYONE ENTERTAINED WHILE THEY’RE COOPED UP AT HOME. THE SERIES’ PUBLISHERS ARE ALSO RELAXING LICENSING RESTRICTIONS TO ALLOW TEACHERS TO READ THE BOOKS TO THEIR STUDENTS IN REMOTE VIDEO LESSONS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 12:40pm:

THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN MILWAUKEE IS BEING POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. DNC CEO JOE SOLMONESE SAID THE EVENT HAS BEEN MOVED FROM JULY 13-17 TO THE WEEK OF AUGUST 17. THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION IS STILL SET FOR AUGUST 24-27 IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.

A RECORD NUMBER OF AMERICANS ARE FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, INCLUDING MORE THAN 178,000 ILLINOIS RESIDENTS LAST WEEK. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT SAID TODAY THAT MORE THAN 6.6 MILLION AMERICANS SOUGHT BENEFITS, MORE THAN DOUBLE THE 3.3 MILLION CLAIMS FILED THE WEEK BEFORE. IT’S THE HIGHEST TOTAL IN THE HISTORY OF SEASONALLY-ADJUSTED FIGURES.

CHICAGO HAS RECEIVED ROUGHLY 500 COMPLAINTS ABOUT NONESSENTIAL BUSINESSES REMAINING OPEN DURING THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION SAYS THE COMPLAINTS INCLUDE RESTAURANTS, BARS, YOGA STUDIOS, HAIR SALONS AND MORE. ANY BUSINESS VIOLATING THE ORDER, WHICH HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 30, COULD FACE FINES UP TO $10,000. THE CITY IS URGING RESIDENTS AND EMPLOYEES TO SUBMIT COMPLAINTS THROUGH THE 311 SYSTEM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 11:45am:

THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO IS PARTICIPATING IN TWO CLINICAL TRIALS FOR COVID-19 TREATMENTS. IN ONE TRIAL, LAUNCHED THIS WEEK, A TEAM FROM UIC IS STUDYING A DRUG PREVIOUSLY APPROVED BY THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION FOR TREATING RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. IN ANOTHER TRIAL, LAUNCHED LAST WEEK, UIC RESEARCHERS ARE INVESTIGATING AN ANTIVIRAL DRUG PREVIOUSLY STUDIED AS A TREATMENT FOR EBOLA IN HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS WITH COVID-19. THE DRUG IS CALLED REMDESIVIR AND THE TRIAL IS FUNDED BY THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH.

EARLY RETIREMENT AND BUYOUT PLANS ARE BEING OFFERED TO EMPLOYEES AT BOEING AS THE COMPANY REELS FROM THE IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE VOLUNTARY LAYOFF PLAN ANNOUNCED BY THE CHICAGO-BASED COMPANY TODAY WILL LET EMPLOYEES HAVE A PAY AND BENEFITS PACKAGE AS THEY LEAVE BOEING. BOEING’S STOCK HAS TAKEN A TUMBLE SINCE THIS TIME LAST YEAR WHEN IT WAS HOVERING A LITTLE BELOW 400-DOLLARS A SHARE. IT’S NOW BELOW 130-DOLLARS A SHARE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 10:45am:

STOCKS ARE FALLING ON WALL STREET AFTER A RECORD NUMBER OF AMERICANS FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTS MORE THAN 6.6 MILLION WORKERS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS LAST WEEK AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THAT’S MORE THAN DOUBLE THE THREE-POINT-THREE-MILLION CLAIMS FILED THE WEEK BEFORE AND IT’S THE HIGHEST TOTAL IN THE HISTORY OF THE SEASONALLY-ADJUSTED FIGURES.

SOME HEALTH RESEARCHERS BELIEVE THE DAILY DEATH TOLL COULD DOUBLE IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS AFTER MORE THAN A THOUSAND AMERICANS DIED OF THE VIRUS YESTERDAY. THE U.S. COUNTED 1,040 DEATHS WEDNESDAY, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO MORE THAN 5,000 SINCE THE VIRUS FIRST APPEARED HERE IN LATE JANUARY. A UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON MODEL PREDICTS A DAILY DEATH TOLL OF MORE THAN 2,200 BY MID-APRIL.

THE CORONAVIRUS HAS MUCH OF THE NATION AT HOME, BUT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBERG IS STILL WORKING OUT. HER PERSONAL TRAINER, BRYANT JOHNSON, SAYS RBG IS HITTING THE PRIVATE GYM TWICE A WEEK INSIDE THE SUPREME COURT. STILL, HE SAYS SHE IS BEING CAUTIOUS, MAINTAINING SOCIAL DISTANCE AND THOROUGHLY CLEANING EVERY PIECE OF EQUIPMENT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 9:45am:

STOCK FUTURES ARE UP AS WALL STREET LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK FROM WEDNESDAY’S ROUGH START TO THE SECOND QUARTER. DOW, S&P 500, AND NASDAQ FUTURES ALL ARE UP MORE THAN ONE-PERCENT, POINTING TO SOME LIFT AT THE OPEN.

MORE THAN A 1,000 AMERICANS DIED FROM CORONAVIRUS YESTERDAY, AND SOME HEALTH RESEARCHERS SAY THE DAILY DEATH TOLL COULD DOUBLE THAT IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE MEMBER DR. ANTHONY FAUCI TOLD THE TODAY SHOW THERE’S A LONG WAY TO GO AND THINGS WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY GET WORSE BEFORE THEY GET BETTER.

THE LABOR DEPARTMENT SAYS 6.6 MILLION AMERICANS FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS LAST WEEK AS THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC CONTINUES TO TAKE A TOLL ON THE ECONOMY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 7:10am:

HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORTED 986 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 AND 42 ADDITIONAL DEATHS RELATED TO THE VIRUS IN ILLINOIS AS OF YESTERDAY, THE LARGEST ONE DAY JUMP YET.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DR. NGOZI EZIKE SAID, “THE COMING WEEKS ARE GOING TO GET MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT AS THE NUMBER OF CASES AND DEATHS CONTINUE TO RISE,” SHE SAYS PEOPLE SHOULD CONTINUE WASHING THEIR HANDS, STAYING HOME AND CLEANING FREQUENTLY-TOUCHED SURFACES. THESE LATEST STATISTICS BRING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES IN ILLINOIS UP TO 6,980, INCLUDING 141 DEATHS. CASES HAVE BEEN FOUND IN 56 COUNTIES.

FORMER PATRIOT TOM BRADY WILL TAKE ON OLD RIVAL PEYTON MANNING AGAIN. GOLF.COM REPORTS BRADY AND MANNING WILL PAIR UP WITH EITHER TIGER WOODS OR PHIL MICKELSON WHEN THE GOLF STARS REMATCH. THE 18-HOLE CHARITY EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE TWO WEEKS BEFORE PRO SPORTS LEAGUES RETURN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/2/2020 6:10am:

SOME COUNTRIES HAVE TAKEN DRASTIC MEASURES TO CURB THE SOCIAL SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. PANAMA HAS RESORTED TO SEPARATING GENDERS, ALLOWING WOMEN AND MEN TO RUN ERRANDS IN PUBLIC ON ALTERNATING DAYS. IN THE PHILIPPINES, THE PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE HAS WARNED THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE “UNRULY” OR WHO BREAK QUARANTINE MAY BE SHOT BY POLICE. MORE THAN 939,000 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS HAVE BEEN REPORTED WORLDWIDE, AND OVER 47,000 PEOPLE HAVE DIED.

MORE AMERICANS ARE DYING FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. THE DEATH TOLL FROM THE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS STOOD AT MORE THAN 5,100 LAST NIGHT. THERE ARE MORE THAN 216,000 CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY CONTINUE TO ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN HALF THE CASES.

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS CONFIRMED THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S EMERGENCY MEDICAL STOCKPILE IS NEARLY GONE BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS DEMANDS. THE WASHINGTON POST FIRST REPORTED THE SUPPLY OF RESPIRATOR MASKS, GLOVES, AND OTHER MEDICAL SUPPLIES WAS RUNNING LOW. SPEAKING YESTERDAY, TRUMP SAID THE SUPPLY IS RUNNING DOWN BECAUSE, “WE’RE SENDING IT DIRECTLY TO HOSPITALS.”

A PLANE FULL OF CRITICAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES FROM RUSSIA HAS ARRIVED IN NEW YORK, WHERE THE CORONAVIRUS IS HITTING HARD. THE SUPPLIES INCLUDE PROTECTIVE GEAR LIKE MASKS, ALONG WITH VENTILATORS AND ANTISEPTICS. AN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER COULD BE HEARD THANKING THE PILOT WHEN HE LANDED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 6:40pm:

THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 MAY HAPPEN BEFORE PATIENTS PRESENT WITH SYMPTOMS, ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. THE CDC SAYS THAT THE TRANSMISSION MIGHT OCCUR THROUGH RESPIRATORY DROPLETS OR INDIRECT TRANSMISSION, AND THAT EVIDENCE OF TRANSMITTING THE VIRUS EVEN IN PATIENTS WHO DON’T SHOW SYMPTOMS “UNDERSCORES THE CRITICAL ROLE SOCIAL DISTANCING PLAYS” IN CONTROLLING THE PANDEMIC.

FOUR MORE STATES ARE GOING INTO LOCKDOWN DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. PENNSYLVANIA, MISSISSIPPI, GEORGIA AND FLORIDA HAVE ALL ISSUED ORDERS TO STAY-AT-HOME. THIS LEAVES ONLY FIVE STATES WITHOUT THE MANDATE. CASES OF COVID-19 ACROSS THE U.S. ARE NOW OVER 211,000.

THE GRAND CANYON IS NOW OFFICIALLY CLOSED. THE PARK HAD SHUT DOWN POPULAR HIKING TRAILS, SHUTTLES, RESTAURANTS, CAMPGROUNDS AND VISITOR CENTERS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS RISKS, BUT COUNTY AND TRIBAL LEADERS IN ARIZONA SAID KEEPING IT OPEN WAS PUTTING PEOPLE IN DANGER. THERE IS NO WORD ON WHEN THE GRAND CANYON WILL REOPEN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 5:30pm:

THE STRATEGIC NATIONAL STOCKPILE IS DEPLOYING THE LAST ROUND OF PROTECTIVE GEAR, INCLUDING VENTILATORS AND MASKS, IN ITS INVENTORY. THE STOCKPILE, MANAGED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, RETAINS A SMALL PERCENTAGE FOR CRITICAL NEEDS. 10,000 VENTILATORS ARE BEING HELD BY THE GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE THEY COULD BE DEPLOYED QUICKLY IN A FUTURE EMERGENCY. CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR NED LAMONT DESCRIBES HIS BATTLE TO FIND EQUIPMENT FOR HIS STATE AS “NOT GOING WELL” EVEN THOUGH A TEAM OF 40 STAFF IS WORKING TO TRACK DOWN LEADS ON PROTECTIVE GEAR FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

ILLINOIS HOUSE MEMBER EMANUEL WELCH IS URGING GOVERNOR PRITZKER TO REOPEN WESTLAKE HOSPITAL IN SUBURBAN MELROSE PARK TO HELP WITH THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. METROSOUTH MEDICAL CENTER IN BLUE ISLAND AND ADVOCATE SHERMAN HOSPITAL IN ELGIN HAVE ALREADY BEEN REOPENED AS CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE CENTERS.

RESEARCHERS AT JOHNS HOPKINS SAY THE GLOBAL NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IS OVER 922,000. OVER 206,000 ARE IN THE U.S. AND ILLINOIS NOW HAS NEARLY 7,000 KNOWN INFECTIONS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 3:45pm:

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR TONY EVERS IS SENDING OUT THE NATIONAL GUARD TO HELP WITH PRIMARY ELECTIONS IN THE STATE NEXT TUESDAY. WISCONSIN FACES A SHORTAGE OF SEVERAL THOUSAND POLL MONITORS FOR NEXT WEEK’S ELECTIONS, WHICH THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE WILL NOT POSTPONE DESPITE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. AT LEAST THREE FEDERAL LAWSUITS HAVE BEEN FILED LOOKING TO CHANGE THE DATE.

NEARLY 1,000 SAILORS ABOARD THE USS TEDDY ROOSEVELT ARE IN ISOLATION AS TESTING CONTINUES ON THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER. ABOUT 100 SAILORS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. THE SHIP IS DOCKED IN GUAM.

THE STOCK MARKET IS STARTING OFF THE SECOND QUARTER WITH MORE LOSSES. AT THE CLOSING BELL, THE DOW WAS DOWN 974 POINTS, THE S&P FELL 114 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ SLIPPED 340 POINTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 2:45pm:

OFFICIALS REPORTED 986 NEW CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS TODAY, INCLUDING 42 DEATHS. THERE NOW HAVE BEEN 6,980 KNOWN INFECTIONS AND 141 DEATHS STATEWIDE. THERE ARE OVER 204,000 KNOWN CASES OF COVID-19 NATIONWIDE.

MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER AND PHILANTHROPIST BILL GATES SAYS A NATIONWIDE SHUTDOWN WOULD BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. IN AN OP-ED IN THE WASHINGTON POST, GATES WROTE THAT HE’S SPOKEN WITH EXPERTS WHO SAY A NATIONAL POLICY WOULD HAVE MORE IMPACT THAN HAVING SOME STATES ISSUE STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS WHILE OTHERS REMAIN MORE OPEN. ABOUT A DOZEN STATES STILL HAVE NOT ISSUED THE MANDATE.

THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE IS FORGING AHEAD WITH PLANS TO START THE SEASON ON TIME AND PLAY EVERY GAME WITH FANS IN ATTENDANCE. THAT’S THE NEWS COMING OUT OF A CONFERENCE CALL HELD BY THE LEAGUE YESTERDAY. IT WAS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED THAT THE NFL DRAFT SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE LATER THIS MONTH WON’T BE HELD IN LAS VEGAS AS ORIGINALLY PLANNED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 1:40pm:

ILLINOIS SENATOR DICK DURBAN SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER IS PLANNING TO AIRLIFT PROTECTION EQUIPMENT FROM CHINA TO ILLINOIS, AND HE’S CALLING CEO’S OF MAJOR AIRLINES TO ORGANIZE IT. FOR SEVERAL WEEKS, PRITZKER AND NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO HAVE BEEN UPSET THAT STATES ARE COMPETING AGAINST THEMSELVES IN BIDDING FOR MASKS, VENTILATORS AND OTHER SUPPLIES TO FIGHT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. YESTERDAY, DURBAN AND OTHER STATE LAWMAKERS SENT A LETTER TO THE WHITE HOUSE SEEKING A FEDERAL EFFORT TO MEET ILLINOIS’ NEED FOR PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.

AN OKLAHOMA VETERAN IS USING HIS 3-D PRINTING COMPANY TO MAKE MEDICAL MASKS. THE SHORTAGE PROMPTED TERRY HILL TO PRODUCE TWO REUSABLE MASKS THAT CAN BE STERILIZED FOR HOSPITAL USE. ONE MASK COVERS THE ENTIRE FACE AND THE OTHER JUST THE MOUTH. HILL AND HIS STAFF ARE WORKING WITH THE F-D-A AND NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH ON PRODUCTION, WHICH ALREADY HAS OVER 20,000 ORDERS.

THE SMALL BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM AUTHORIZED IN THE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE WILL BE UP AND RUNNING TOMORROW. CONGRESS AUTHORIZED GIVING SMALL BUSINESSES LOANS TO KEEP THEM GOING THROUGH THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN CAUSED BY THE PANDEMIC. IF THOSE BUSINESSES KEEP PAYING THEIR EMPLOYEES, THOSE LOANS BECOME GRANTS AND WILL NOT NEED TO BE PAID BACK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 12:40pm:

THE WHITE HOUSE GUIDELINES ON COVID-19 SHOULD BE INTERPRETED AS A NATIONAL STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THAT’S ACCORDING TO SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS, WHO SPOKE TO NBC’S “TODAY” SHOW. ADAMS EXPLAINED THAT GOVERNORS HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER THEY FEEL THEIR CITIZENS WILL LISTEN TO THEM WITHOUT A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. GOVERNORS IN ABOUT A DOZEN STATES ARE STILL RESISTING MAKING A STATEWIDE ORDER, EVEN THOUGH THAT IS THE NATIONAL RECOMMENDATION. IN ILLINOIS, THE ORDER HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 30.

IT’S THE FIRST OF THE MONTH, AND PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT OF WORK OR STRUGGLING BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC ARE NOW FACING THE STRESS OF RENT AND MORTGAGE PAYMENTS. THE CITY OF CHICAGO HAS PUT A 2 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT PROGRAM INTO ACTION, WHICH WILL PROVIDE 2,000 CHICAGOANS $1,000 TOWARD HOUSING PAYMENTS. THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS MIDNIGHT TONIGHT AT CHICAGO.com/CORONAVIRUS.

FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE WORLD WAR II, THE WIMBLEDON GRAND SLAM TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP IS CANCELED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. IT IS SCHEDULED TO RETURN ON JUNE 28TH OF NEXT YEAR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 11:45am:

STOCKS ARE FALLING IN EARLY TRADING ON WALL STREET, A DAY AFTER THE MARKETS ENDED THEIR WORST QUARTER ON RECORD. SHORTLY AFTER THE OPENING BELL, THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE FELL AROUND 900 POINTS. ALSO, THE U.S. LOST 27,000 PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS IN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF MARCH, BEFORE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC SHUT DOWN BROAD STRETCHES OF THE ECONOMY.

THE CDC AND DR. ANTHONY FAUCI SAY THE GOVERNMENT IS STRONGLY CONSIDERING A RECOMMENDATION FOR AMERICANS TO WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC. THEY AREN’T TALKING ABOUT SURGICAL MASKS OR N95 MASKS, THE HOSPITALS NEED THOSE. THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT CLOTH MASKS, WHICH AREN’T VERY EFFECTIVE AT PREVENTING YOU FROM GETTING THE VIRUS, BUT CAN HELP PREVENT YOU FROM SPREADING THE VIRUS IF YOU HAVE IT.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HAS CANCELED A TWO-GAME SERIES IN LONDON BETWEEN THE CHICAGO CUBS AND THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE TEAMS HAD BEEN SCHEDULED TO PLAY AT OLYMPIC STADIUM ON JUNE 13-14.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 10:45am:

THE INDIANA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ANNOUNCED A STATE TOTAL OF 2,565 CORONAVIRUS CASES AND 65 DEATHS. HERE IN ILLINOIS, THERE ARE 5,994 CONFIRMED CASES, WITH A TOTAL OF 99 DEATHS. AND IN WISCONSIN, 1,439 PEOPLE ARE NOW SICK WITH THE VIRUS, AND THERE HAVE BEEN 25 DEATHS.

TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN SAYS DISCUSSIONS ARE UNDERWAY WITH CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS ON AN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL. HE SAID THIS MORNING THAT IT SHOULD BE DESIGNED TO BOOST THE ECONOMY AND HELP IT RECOVER FROM THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. HE SAID NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO DO IT BECAUSE INTEREST RATES ARE LOW.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE FALLING AT THE OPENING BELL ON WALL STREET, A DAY AFTER THE MARKETS ENDED THEIR WORST QUARTER ON RECORD. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IS DOWN AROUND 900 POINTS, LOSING ABOUT FOUR-PERCENT. THE NASDAQ AND S&P 500 MORE THAN 3 1/2 PERCENT LOWER. ALSO, THE U.S. LOST 27,000 PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS IN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF MARCH, BEFORE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC SHUT DOWN BROAD STRETCHES OF THE ECONOMY.

RENT IS DUE TODAY, ON APRIL 1 FOR MANY RESIDENTS, CHICAGO ALDERMEN HAVE BEEN SWAMPED WITH REQUESTS FOR HELP, THE CITY HAS BEEN FIELDING APPLICATIONS FOR ITS $1000 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS, AND IT COULD BE AT LEAST A COUPLE WEEKS BEFORE FEDERAL STIMULUS MONEY GETS TO THOSE IN NEED. SOME CHICAGO RENTERS ARE ORGANIZING A STRIKE. A COALITION OF RENTERS AND LANDLORDS IS CALLING ON THE STATE TO COME UP WITH A MORE EXTENSIVE RELIEF PLAN BEFORE THE PROBLEM WORSENS ON MAY 1.

STARTING THIS FRIDAY, COSTCO WILL ALLOW NO MORE THAN TWO PEOPLE TO ENTER ANY OF ITS WAREHOUSES WITH EACH MEMBERSHIP CARD. THE COMPANY SAYS THE TEMPORARY CHANGE IS FOR THE SAFETY OF THEIR CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES, TO ASSIST WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING EFFORTS. ALSO, HOME DEPOT HAS ALSO ISSUED SOME NEW SHOPPING GUIDELINES. STORES WILL LIMIT THE NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS INSIDE AT ANY GIVEN TIME. SOCIAL DISTANCING MARKERS HAVE BEEN PLACED AT COUNTERS ALONG WITH SIGNAGE THROUGHOUT THE STORES. STORE HOURS HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED TO CLOSE DAILY AT 6 P.M. TO GIVE STAFF MORE TIME TO PERFORM CLEANING AND RESTOCK SHELVES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 8:50am:

MURDERS AND SHOOTINGS ARE UP SO FAR THIS YEAR IN CHICAGO. POLICE SAY 93 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN THE CITY BETWEEN JANUARY 1ST AND MARCH 31ST. THERE WERE 82 MURDERS OVER THE SAME TIME PERIOD LAST YEAR. THE CITY RECORDED 419 SHOOTINGS THROUGH THE END OF MARCH, UP FROM THE 344 DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2019. HOWEVER, OVERALL CRIME IN CHICAGO FELL BY 4%.

ANOTHER RESIDENT OF A SUBURBAN WILLOWBROOK NURSING HOME IS DEAD AFTER CONTRACTING CORONAVIRUS. DUPAGE COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY A WOMAN IN HER 70’S WHO LIVED AT THE CHATEAU NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER HAS DIED. THERE HAVE BEEN 10 COVID-19-RELATED DEATHS IN DUPAGE COUNTY, INCLUDING 6 AT THE NURSING HOME.

BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPIST AND MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER BILL GATES SAYS A NATIONWIDE SHUTDOWN WOULD BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. GATES MADE THAT PLEA IN AN OP-ED IN THE WASHINGTON POST TUESDAY. GATES WROTE THAT HE’S SPOKEN WITH EXPERTS WHO SAY A NATIONAL POLICY WOULD BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN HAVING SOME STATES ISSUE STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS WHILE OTHERS REMAIN MORE OPEN.

ALCOHOL SALES IN THE U.S. ARE SKYROCKETING. SALES WERE UP 55% OVERALL FOR THE WEEK THAT ENDED ON MARCH 21ST. LIQUOR SALES WENT UP 75%, WINE WAS UP 66%, AND BEER WAS UP 42%.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 7:10am:

ANOTHER RESIDENT OF A SUBURBAN WILLOWBROOK NURSING HOME IS DEAD AFTER CONTRACTING CORONAVIRUS. DUPAGE COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY A WOMAN IN HER 70s WHO LIVED AT THE CHATEAU NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER HAS DIED. THERE HAVE BEEN 10 COVID-19-RELATED DEATHS IN DUPAGE COUNTY, INCLUDING 6 AT THE NURSING HOME.

THE CDC AND DR. ANTHONY FAUCI SAY THE GOVERNMENT IS STRONGLY CONSIDERING A RECOMMENDATION FOR AMERICANS TO WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC. THEY AREN’T TALKING ABOUT SURGICAL MASKS OR N95 MASKS…THE HOSPITALS NEED THOSE. THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT CLOTH MASKS, WHICH AREN’T VERY EFFECTIVE AT PREVENTING YOU FROM GETTING THE VIRUS… BUT CAN HELP PREVENT YOU FROM SPREADING THE VIRUS IF YOU HAVE IT. THERE IS THE RISK OF THE MASK BECOMING CONTAMINATED THOUGH, WHICH COULD INCREASE THE CHANCES OF YOU GETTING INFECTED…WHICH IS WHY THIS RECOMMENDATION ISN’T OFFICIAL.

BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPIST AND MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER BILL GATES SAYS A NATIONWIDE SHUTDOWN WOULD BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. GATES MADE THAT PLEA IN AN OP-ED IN THE WASHINGTON POST TUESDAY. GATES WROTE THAT HE’S SPOKEN WITH EXPERTS WHO SAY A NATIONAL POLICY WOULD BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN HAVING SOME STATES ISSUE STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS WHILE OTHERS REMAIN MORE OPEN.

ALCOHOL SALES IN THE U.S. ARE SKYROCKETING. SALES WERE UP 55% OVERALL FOR THE WEEK THAT ENDED ON MARCH 21ST. LIQUOR SALES WENT UP 75%, WINE WAS UP 66%, AND BEER WAS UP 42%.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 4/1/2020 6:10am:

THE CORONAVIRUS COULD KILL NEARLY A QUARTER-MILLION AMERICANS, EVEN IF PEOPLE PRACTICE STRICT SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES. TOP MEDICAL EXPERTS ON THE FEDERAL CORONAVIRUS TASKFORCE SAY, IF PEOPLE DO NOTHING, THE DEATH TOLL IN AMERICA COULD EXCEED 2 MILLION. THERE ARE ALREADY NEARLY 200,000 CONFIRMED CASES IN THE U.S. AND MORE THAN 4,000 DEATHS.

A BELOVED PASTOR ON CHICAGO’S SOUTH SIDE IS DEAD AFTER CONTRACTING THE CORONAVIRUS. PASTOR KEITH BURGESS OF OLD FRIENDSHIP MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH PASSED AWAY MONDAY AT THE HOSPITAL. BURGESS BEGAN FEELING FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS LAST MONTH BEFORE BEING HOSPITALIZED. HE WAS EVENTUALLY PLACED IN A MEDICALLY-INDUCED COMA.

PRISONS WILL GO INTO VIRTUAL LOCKDOWN TODAY TO FIGHT CORONAVIRUS BEHIND BARS. ALL INMATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WILL STAY IN THEIR CELLS FOR 14-DAYS. OFFICIALS WILL THEN REEVALUATE AND DECIDE WHETHER TO EXTEND THE TIME.

BLAME THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC FOR GOOGLE NOT HAVING JOKES AND PRANKS ON APRIL FOOLS’ DAY. THE TECH GIANT MADE THE DECISION TO FORGO THE TRADITION IN LIGHT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 6:40pm:

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE STATEWIDE ORDER TO STAY AT HOME IN ILLINOIS WILL BE EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 30. THIS EXTENSION IS IN LINE WITH FEDERAL RECOMMENDATIONS TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING THROUGH THE END OF THE MONTH.

THE FDA IS GIVING EMERGENCY APPROVAL TO A COVID-19 TEST FROM A COMPANY CALLED BODYSPHERE INCORPORATED THAT RETURNS RESULTS IN A COUPLE OF MINUTES. IT WOULD MAKE IT THE FASTEST TEST DEVELOPED SO FAR.

THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ISSUED GUIDELINES TODAY FOR AIRLINES TO MAINTAIN FLIGHTS TO ALL U.S. DESTINATIONS THEY SERVED BEFORE MARCH 1ST. MOST AIRLINES HAVE CUT THE NUMBER OF FLIGHTS BY ABOUT HALF BECAUSE FEWER PEOPLE ARE FLYING. THE ORDER WILL ALLOW AIRLINES TO CONSOLIDATE FLIGHTS THAT SERVE CITIES WITH MULTIPLE AIRPORTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 5:30pm:

ILLINOIS WILL REMAIN UNDER STAY-AT-HOME ORDER THROUGH APRIL 30. GOVERNOR PRITZKER EXTENDED THE ORDER TODAY, AND OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 937 NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN THE STATE SINCE YESTERDAY. THERE ARE 5,994 TOTAL CONFIRMED CASES IN THE STATE, AND THE U.S. NOW HAS THE MOST CONFIRMED CASES IN THE WORLD WITH OVER 165,000 REPORTED.

WISCONSIN IS MOVING FORWARD WITH ITS APRIL 7TH PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY, DESPITE THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. GOVERNOR TONY EVERS SAID “NOTHING HAS CHANGED” FROM HIS VANTAGE POINT AND REMAINS LOCKED IN ON THE ORIGINAL DATE. STATE POLLING LOCATIONS, MEANWHILE, LACK ENOUGH WORKERS BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC, FORCING SOME TO CLOSE.

THE FEW AMERICANS WHO ARE DRIVING ARE PAYING LESS FOR GAS. GAS-BUDDY-DOT-COM SAYS THE NATIONAL AVERAGE HAS DROPPED BELOW TWO DOLLARS A GALLON FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN FOUR YEARS. WITH MOST AMERICANS STAYING HOME DEMAND TO GAS UP HAS SLIPPED TO AN AVERAGE PER GALLON COST OF A $1.97.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 3:50pm:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS WILL BE EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 30. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS WILL ALSO STAY CLOSED THROUGH THE MONTH. THERE WERE 937 NEW COVID-19 CASES CONFIRMED IN THE STATE OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS, AND 26 MORE DEATHS. THAT BRINGS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES TO 5,994 IN ILLINOIS, INCLUDING 99 DEATHS.

IN CHICAGO, RESIDENTS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO SIGN UP FOR SMART 9-1-1 AND PROVIDE CRITICAL MEDICAL INFORMATION SO RESPONDERS CAN GET HELP FASTER IN AN EMERGENCY. RESIDENTS CAN CREATE A PROFILE FOR THEMSELVES AND FAMILY MEMBERS, INCLUDING WHETHER OR NOT THE HOUSEHOLD IS UNDER QUARANTINE, AND IT WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE PROVIDED TO FIRST RESPONDERS WHEN CALLING 9-1-1. THE WEBSITE TO SIGN UP IS SMART-9-1-1-DOT-COM.

A PAINFUL FIRST QUARTER IS NOW OVER FOR WALL STREET. AMID UNCERTAINTIES AROUND THE CORONAVIRUS, THE DOW JONES HAD ITS BIGGEST DROP IN THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF A YEAR SINCE THE 1987 CRASH. AT CLOSING BELL TODAY, THE DOW WAS DOWN 410 POINTS, THE S & P FELL 42 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ DROPPED 74 POINTS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 2:50pm:

IN A PUBLIC ADDRESS THIS AFTERNOON, GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THAT THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER IN ILLINOIS WILL BE EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 30TH. THIS IS IN STEP WITH THE LATEST RECOMMENDATIONS FROM FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS STATEWIDE WILL ALSO REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH THE MONTH. PRITZKER SAID PROJECTIONS FOR THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ILLINOIS WILL PEAK SOMETIME IN APRIL.

MORE TEMPORARY HOSPITALS ARE OPENING IN NEW YORK CITY AS THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES CLIMBS. NEW YORK HAS OVER 75,000 CASES ACROSS THE STATE, WITH 43,000 OF THOSE IN MANHATTAN. A FIELD HOSPITAL IN CENTRAL PARK IS OPENING TODAY, ALONG WITH TENTS THAT WILL BE USED FOR X-RAYS, A PHARMACY, AND OTHER FACILITIES.

GOODWILL IS URGING BORED AMERICANS TO STOP SPRING CLEANING AND BRINGING DONATIONS WHILE ITS STORES ARE CLOSED BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC. DONATIONS HAVE BEEN PILING UP IN STATES THAT ARE UNDER A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THE COMPANY SAID THAT IT WILL NEED THE DONATIONS MORE THAN EVER ONCE THE CRISIS PASSES, BUT RIGHT NOW THERE IS NO ONE TO PROCESS THEM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 1:40pm:

GENERAL MOTORS IS ANNOUNCING THEY EXPECT TO HAVE THE FIRST SHIPMENT OF MASKS FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS OUT THE DOOR NEXT WEEK, WHEN ABOUT 20,000 MASKS WILL BE DELIVERED FROM THEIR MICHIGAN PLANT. GM SAYS ONCE THEIR PRODUCTION LINE IS AT CAPACITY, THEY WILL DELIVER 50,000 MASKS A DAY AND 1.5 MILLION EVERY MONTH. A GM FACILITY IN INDIANA WILL ALSO BE PRODUCING MUCH-NEEDED VENTILATORS.

JC PENNEY IS THE LATEST MAJOR CHAIN TO FURLOUGH THOUSANDS OF EMPLOYEES, ALONG WITH MACY’S, KOHL’S AND OTHER RETAILERS. THE COMPANY SAID THEY WILL TEMPORARILY FURLOUGH THE MAJORITY OF THEIR HOURLY EMPLOYEES, AND A PORTION OF CORPORATE STAFF. JC PENNEY EMPLOYS ABOUT 90,000 PEOPLE.

CHICAGO WILL PROVIDE OVER 270 HOTEL ROOMS FOR PARAMEDICS, FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS WHO MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO PEOPLE WITH THE CORONAVIRUS WHILE IN THE LINE OF DUTY. THE HOTEL ESSEX ON MICHIGAN AVE WILL HOST THE ROOMS, WHICH WILL GIVE FIRST RESPONDERS A PLACE TO REST WITHOUT THE RISK OF BRINGING THE VIRUS HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 12:40pm:

THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES AROUND THE WORLD IS NOW OVER 800,000, AND OVER 39,000 HAVE DIED WORLDWIDE. THE U.S. HAS OVER 165,000 CONFIRMED CASES, AND IN ILLINOIS THE NUMBER HAS NOW TOPPED 5,000. AS CASES RISE IN THE STATE, GOVERNOR PRITZKER HAS SAID HE’S UNSURE IF THE CURRENT STAY-AT-HOME ORDER WILL EXTEND PAST APRIL 7.

MORE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS ARE BEING ACTIVATED TO HELP SUPPORT THE STATE’S COVID-19 RESPONSE, INCLUDING ABOUT 115 MEMBERS THAT WERE CALLED UP YESTERDAY. AROUND 80 OF THOSE WILL HELP WITH COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTING BETWEEN HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND THE STATE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER. MOST OF THE REMAINDER WILL HELP CONVERT MCCORMICK PLACE IN CHICAGO INTO A MEDICAL FACILITY.

CNN ANCHOR CHRIS CUOMO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS. CUOMO TWEETED THAT HE IS QUARANTINED IN THE BASEMENT OF HIS HOME AND HOPES HE HASN’T PASSED THE VIRUS TO HIS WIFE AND KIDS. HE STILL PLANS TO DO HIS NIGHTLY SHOW FROM HIS BASEMENT. CUOMO IS THE BROTHER OF NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 11:45am:

STOCKS ARE TURNING POSITIVE IN EARLY TRADING ON WALL STREET. SHORTLY AFTER THE OPENING BELL, STOCKS FELL MORE THAN 1% BEFORE RISING.

CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS NOW AT 5,057 WITH 73 DEATHS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE’S NOT SURE IF HE PLANS TO EXTEND THE CURRENT STAY AT HOME ORDER BEYOND APRIL 7.

LAKE BLUFF BASED ABBOTT LABS, IS EXPECTED TO ROLL OUT A NEW COVID19 TEST THAT PROVIDES RESULTS IN FIVE MINUTES. THE ILLINOIS-BASED COMPANY RECEIVED EMERGENCY APPROVAL FOR THE MACHINE LAST WEEK, AND COULD DELIVER 50,000 TESTS PER-DAY. THE NEW TEST WILL ACCELERATE THE PROCESS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

WALMART EMPLOYEES WILL UNDERGO TEMPERATURE CHECKS WHEN THEY COME INTO WORK. THE COMPANY MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY AND SAID AN EMPLOYEE WITH A FEVER OF 100-DEGREES WILL BE SENT HOME. HOWEVER, THEY WILL BE PAID FOR COMING INTO WORK THAT DAY, BUT THEY CAN’T COME BACK UNTIL THEY’VE GONE THREE DAYS WITHOUT A FEVER. EMPLOYEES WILL ALSO BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO WEAR MASKS AND GLOVES AT WORK.

Source: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 10:45am:

STOCKS ARE FALLING AT THE OPEN ON WALL STREET AMID UNCERTAINTY AROUND THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IS ON TRACK FOR ITS WORST FIRST QUARTER EVER AND ITS WORST QUARTER SINCE 1987. THE DOW JONES IS DOWN NEARLY 22% IN THE QUARTER AND THE S&P 500 HAS FALLEN NEARLY 19% IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE YEAR. THAT’S THE S&P 500’S WORST QUARTER SINCE 2008 AND THE WORST FIRST QUARTER SINCE 1938. AT THE OPENING BELL, THE DOW JONES, NASDAQ AND S&P 500 ARE ALL TRADING LOWER.

THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE ESTIMATES MORE THAN 80,000 AMERICANS COULD DIE FROM THE INFECTION BY AUGUST. THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE U.S. REACHED MORE THAN 164,000 MONDAY NIGHT. EARLIER IN THE DAY, THE DEATH TOLL SURPASSED 3,000.

THE CDC IS DISCUSSING WHETHER TO RECOMMEND PEOPLE WEAR FACE MASKS AS THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC SPREADS. THE GOVERNMENT ISN’T RECOMMENDING THAT NOW, BUT SOME PEOPLE HAVE DECIDED TO WEAR MASKS AS A MATTER OF PERSONAL PROTECTION. A CDC OFFICIAL SAYS ANY NEW GUIDANCE WOULD RECOMMEND PEOPLE AVOID USING MEDICAL GRADE MASKS, WHICH ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED BY HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS.

Source: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 9:45am:

AIR TRAVEL IS DOWN BY 90% — FIGURES SHOW THAT THE NUMBER OF AIRLINE PASSENGERS WAS BELOW THE 200,000 MARK BOTH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS. ON THE SAME DAYS LAST YEAR MORE THAN TWO MILLION PEOPLE MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH TSA CHECKPOINTS.

MORE THAN 800,000 PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD ARE DEALING WITH A COVID-19 INFECTION. NEARLY 39,000 PEOPLE HAVE DIED. THE RATE OF INFECTIONS IS INCREASING RAPIDLY WITH OUTBREAKS NOW UNDERWAY AROUND THE WORLD. NEARLY 165,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED IN THE U.S. THAT’S LED TO ALMOST 3,200 DEATHS IN THIS COUNTRY.

A TENTED TEMPORARY HOSPITAL TO HELP CARE FOR CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS IS OPENING IN NEW YORK’S CENTRAL PARK THIS MORNING. THE CHRISTIAN RELIEF GROUP SAMARITAN’S PURSE HAS BROUGHT IN BEDS, TEN VENTILATORS, AND A TEAM OF 70 HEALTH CARE WORKERS. IN THE PAST, SAMARITAN’S PURSE HAS TREATED EBOLA PATIENTS IN WEST AFRICA, AND EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN ECUADOR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/2020 8:50am:

A MASSIVE NEW MAKESHIFT HOSPITAL IN CHICAGO’S LARGEST CONVENTION CENTER COULD BE READY THIS WEEK TO HANDLE COVID-19 CASES. MCCORMICK PLACE, WHICH IS NORMALLY BUSY WITH CONVENTIONS, CURRENTLY SITS DORMANT BUT SOON IT WILL BE REACTIVATED IN THIS NEW ROLE. ABOUT 30 ILLINOIS AIR NATIONAL GUARDS WERE DEPLOYED UNDER GOV. PRITZKER, PREPARING THE CONVENTION CENTER BY PUTTING IN WHEELCHAIRS, HUMIDIFIERS AND GETTING THE AREA READY FOR WHAT COULD BE A SURGE OF COVID-19 CASES. THE HOSPITAL WILL HAVE 3,000 BEDS AND PRITZKER SAID THE FIRST 500 COULD BE READY THIS WEEK.

GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO PLUMMET AROUND THE COUNTRY AS PEOPLE LIVE UNDER SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDERS AMID THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. GASBUDDY.COM REPORTS THE NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR UNLEADED WAS DOWN 10 CENTS ON MONDAY TO A $1.97. THAT’S THE FIRST TIME THE AVERAGE HAS BEEN UNDER TWO DOLLARS IN MORE THAN FOUR YEARS.

THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED 10-PART MICHAEL JORDAN DOCUMENTARY, “THE LAST DANCE,” IS BEING MOVED UP TO APRIL. IT WAS ORIGINALLY SLATED FOR JUNE, PRIOR TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK THAT HAS HALTED GAMES AT ALL LEVELS OF COMPETITION. AFTER FANS ON SOCIAL MEDIA BEGGED ESPN/ABC TO MOVE UP THE DOCUMENTARY’S LAUNCH, WITH THEIR HUNGER FOR NEW SPORTS PROGRAMMING. ESPN AND ITS FOUR PARTNERS, INCLUDING NETFLIX, JORDAN, THE NBA AND MANDALAY SPORTS MEDIA, HEARD THE CALLS. NETFLIX OWNS THE INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS TO THE DOCUMENTARY SERIES. IT COVERS MJ AND THE 1990s CHICAGO BULLS, AND THEIR SIX NBA TITLES WITH TEAMMATES SCOTTIE PIPPEN, STEVE KERR AND DENNIS RODMAN. THE START DATE IS SUNDAY, APRIL 19.

UPDATE 3/31/2020 7:10am:

YESTERDAY, KRISPY KREME GAVE OUT FREE DONUTS TO HEALTHCARE WORKERS ON THE FRONT LINES. AND THEY’LL BE DOING IT EVERY MONDAY THROUGH MAY 12TH.

THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE U.S. DOESN’T APPEAR TO BE SLOWING DOWN ANYTIME SOON. OVER 164,000 HAD BEEN CONFIRMED AS OF LAST NIGHT. THE DEATH TOLL ALSO SURPASSED THE 3,000 MARK EARLIER IN THE DAY. THAT’S MORE LIVES LOST THAN ON 9-11. NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY ACCOUNT FOR ROUGHLY HALF OF ALL CASES IN THE COUNTRY. CALIFORNIA, MICHIGAN AND MASSACHUSETTS ROUND OUT THE TOP FIVE FOR STATES WITH THE MOST CASES. THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 HAS LED PRESIDENT TRUMP TO EXTEND SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES TO THE END OF APRIL.

THE RACE IS ON FOR COMPANIES TO TEST POSSIBLE CORONAVIRUS TREATMENTS AND VACCINES. PHARMACEUTICAL GIANT JOHNSON & JOHNSON SAYS IT PLANS TO BEGIN HUMAN CLINICAL TRIALS OF A COVID-19 VACCINE BY SEPTEMBER, WITH A GOAL OF THE FIRST BATCHES BEING AVAILABLE FOR EMERGENCY USE EARLY NEXT YEAR. OTHER SMALLER BIOTECH COMPANIES ARE ALSO WORKING ON POTENTIAL VACCINES, BUT MORE IMMEDIATE HOPE MAY BE FOUND IN TREATMENTS THAT ARE ALREADY AVAILABLE FOR OTHER AILMENTS.

IN LESS THAN 100 HOURS, ENGINEERS FROM THE MERCEDES FORMULA ONE TEAM TOOK AN ORDINARY CPAP MACHINE, LIKE PEOPLE USE WHEN THEY HAVE SLEEP APNEA. THEY TWEAKED IT TO HELP PEOPLE WITH THE VIRUS STAY OFF VENTILATORS. THEY’RE ABOUT TO START TESTING DOZENS OF THEM, AND SHOULD BE ABLE TO ROLL THEM OUT FAST IF THEY WORK.

WHOLE FOODS WORKERS ARE SET TO STRIKE TODAY TO PROTEST EMPLOYEE PROTECTIONS IN DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. THE COMPANY HAS RAISED WAGES FOR U.S. WORKERS BY TWO-DOLLARS AN HOUR, BUT A WHOLE FOODS LABOR GROUP SAID THEIR “FUNDAMENTAL NEEDS AS WORKERS HAVE BECOME MORE URGENT.” EMPLOYEES AT THE AMAZON-OWNED CHAIN WILL CALL OUT SICK TO DEMAND THINGS LIKE SICK LEAVE FOR SELF-ISOLATED EMPLOYEES, HEALTH CARE COVERAGE, DOUBLE HAZARD PAY, AND CLEAN WORKPLACES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/31/20 6:10am:

CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS ARE ABOVE 5,000. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE’S NOT SURE IF HE PLANS TO EXTEND THE CURRENT STAY AT HOME ORDER BEYOND APRIL 7. ONE OF THE MOST RECENT DEATHS IS A MALE INMATE AT STATEVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER IN SOUTH SUBURBAN CREST HILL. 12 OTHER PRISONERS THERE HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED.

TWO MORE RESIDENTS AT A SUBURBAN WILLOWBROOK NURSING HOME HAVE DIED DUE TO COVID-19. DUPAGE COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY FIVE RESIDENTS AT THE FACILITY HAVE DIED AFTER TESTING POSITIVE. IN DUPAGE COUNTY, THERE ARE 319 CONFIRMED CASES OF THE VIRUS, INCLUDING NINE DEATHS.

A MASSIVE NEW MAKESHIFT HOSPITAL IN THE CITY’S LARGEST CONVENTION CENTER COULD BE READY THIS WEEK TO HANDLE COVID-19 CASES. MCCORMICK PLACE, WHICH IS NORMALLY A BUSTLING HIVE OF ACTIVITY WITH CONVENTIONS, CURRENTLY SITS DORMANT BUT SOON IT WILL BE REACTIVATED INTO AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ROLE.

ABOUT 30 ILLINOIS AIR NATIONAL GUARDS WERE DEPLOYED UNDER A DIRECTIVE FROM GOV. JB PRITZKER. THEY ARE PREPARING THE CONVENTION CENTER BY PUTTING IN WHEELCHAIRS, HUMIDIFIERS AND GETTING THE AREA READY FOR WHAT COULD BE A SURGE OF COVID-19 CASES. THE HOSPITAL WILL HAVE 3,000 BEDS AND PRITZKER SAID THE FIRST 500 COULD BE READY THIS WEEK.

SOURCE:TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 6:40pm:

CONSTRUCTION IS NOW UNDERWAY AT MCCORMICK PLACE IN CHICAGO FOR CORONAVIRUS PATIENT CARE. PART OF THE ENORMOUS CONVENTION CENTER WILL BE CONVERTED INTO A FACILITY FOR PATIENTS WITH MILD SYMPTOMS WHO DON’T NEED INTENSIVE CARE TO FREE UP MUCH-NEEDED SPACE IN EXISTING HOSPITALS. THE BUILD-OUT WILL TAKE PLACE IN PHASES AND WILL HOUSE 3,000 PATIENTS. 500 BEDS ARE EXPECTED TO BE ASSEMBLED BY THE END OF THIS WEEK.

THE U.S. NAVY HOSPITAL SHIP THE USNS COMFORT IS NOW DOCKED IN MANHATTAN TO HELP ALLEVIATE THE CITY’S HARD-HIT HOSPITALS, WHICH ARE HEAVILY FOCUSED ON TREATING COVID-19 PATIENTS. THE SHIP HAS 1,000 HOSPITAL BEDS, AND WILL TAKE IN OVERFLOW PATIENTS WHO NEED MORE TRADITIONAL TREATMENT. THE SHIP WAS ALSO DEPLOYED TO NEW YORK CITY AFTER THE 9/11 ATTACKS. THE USNS MERCY WILL PROVIDE SIMILAR SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES.

A NEW DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR THE TOKYO OLYMPICS, WHICH WERE POSTPONED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. THE SUMMER GAMES WILL NOW START ON JULY 23, 2021. THE CLOSING CEREMONY IS SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 8TH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 5:30pm:

STOCKS ARE REBOUNDING AFTER A VOLATILE COUPLE OF WEEKS. THE DOW GAINED 690 POINTS, THE S&P ROSE 85 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ WAS UP 271 POINTS AT CLOSING TODAY. SHARES IN COMPANIES LIKE JOHNSON & JOHNSON, MERCK, AND CATERPILLAR, AND TECH STOCKS INCLUDING MICROSOFT AND AMAZON HELPED LEAD THE SURGE.

WORKERS AT WHOLE FOODS ARE PLANNING A STRIKE TOMORROW TO PROTEST A LACK OF EMPLOYEE PROTECTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC. A WHOLE FOODS LABOR GROUP SAID THEIR “FUNDAMENTAL NEEDS AS WORKERS HAVE BECOME MORE URGENT” THAN THE TWO-DOLLARS-PER-HOUR RAISE THEY WERE GIVEN AS HAZARD PAY. THEY ARE DEMANDING DOUBLE HAZARD PAY, SICK LEAVE FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE SELF-ISOLATING, AND MORE.

RICHARD BRANSON’S ROCKET COMPANY VIRGIN ORBIT HAS PARTNERED WITH MEDICAL RESEARCHERS TO DEVELOP A VENTILATOR THAT HOSPITALS CAN USE. COMPANY OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE HOPING FOR QUICK FDA APPROVAL TO BEGIN MASS PRODUCTION OF THE NEW DEVICES GIVEN THE CRITICAL NEED FOR VENTILATORS WORLDWIDE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 3:50pm:

OFFICIALS WITH BANK BLUE ANNOUNCED TODAY THEY WILL OFFER AID TO CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS ON THE FRONT LINES FIGHTING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. THE ORGANIZATION IS JOINING FORCES WITH AREA BUSINESSES TO PROVIDE SUPPLIES TO OFFICERS, INCLUDING HAND SANITIZER, MASKS, DISINFECTANT WIPES AND MORE. THEY WILL ALSO BE WORKING WITH LOOP MEDICAL CENTER TO PROVIDE FREE SCREENINGS FOR THE VIRUS TO ALL CPD OFFICERS.

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL START REMOTE LEARNING ON APRIL 13TH, AND WILL DELIVER 100,000 ELECTRONIC DEVICES TO THE MOST NEEDY STUDENTS. THE CITY COLLEGES OF CHICAGO HAS SUSPENDED ALL IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION THROUGH AT LEAST APRIL 20TH, COINCIDING WITH THE TARGET DATE FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO REOPEN.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE PREDICTS THE NATION’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE COULD GO AS HIGH AS 32% BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS. ECONOMISTS ARE PROJECTING THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM THE PANDEMIC COULD COST OVER 47-MILLION JOBS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 2:50pm:

OFFICIALS REPORTED 461 NEW KNOWN CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS TODAY, WITH EIGHT ADDITIONAL DEATHS. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF KNOWN CASES IN THE STATE IS 5,057, INCLUDING 73 DEATHS. GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER WARNED IN AN ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC TODAY THAT THE CURVE OF NEW CASES WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO RISE OVER THE NEXT WEEKS.

TWO MAJOR HEALTH INSURERS ARE WAIVING MEDICAL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH CORONAVIRUS. CIGNA AND HUMANA ARE ELIMINATING OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS FOR PEOPLE RECEIVING VIRUS-RELATED TREATMENT. MEDICATIONS AND VACCINES ARE ALSO PART OF THE PLAN.

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL OFFICIALLY BEGIN REMOTE LEARNING ON APRIL 13TH. DAILY LEARNING WILL BE OFFERED, AND TEACHERS WILL BE DIRECTLY AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS FOR ACADEMIC SUPPORT. THE TARGET DATE FOR REOPENING SCHOOLS IN CHICAGO IS STILL APRIL 20TH.

FOLK MUSIC HERO AND ILLINOIS NATIVE JOHN PRINE IS NOW REPORTEDLY IN STABLE CONDITION AFTER HAVING BEEN HOSPITALIZED WITH COVID-19 SYMPTOMS OVER THE WEEKEND. HIS WIFE POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA THAT HIS CONDITION, PREVIOUSLY SAID TO BE CRITICAL, HAD IMPROVED OVER THE WEEKEND. THE GRAMMY WINNER IS 73.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 1:45pm:

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT ALL CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL OFFICIALLY SHIFT TO REMOTE LEARNING ON APRIL 13TH. MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT AND CPS OFFICIALS SAID IN A JOINT ADDRESS THAT 100,000 ELECTRONIC DEVICES WILL BE DELIVERED TO THE MOST NEEDY STUDENTS WHO MAY NOT HAVE ACCESS TO COMPUTER EQUIPMENT. SCHOOL OFFICIALS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTACT FAMILIES WITH AN UPDATE BY APRIL 6TH. BARRING FURTHER EXTENSIONS, PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN CHICAGO ARE CLOSED THROUGH APRIL 20TH.

THE FBI AND THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE COMMISSION ARE REPORTEDLY LOOKING INTO STOCK TRADES INVOLVING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS JUST BEFORE MARKETS TANKED ON WALL STREET. SENATOR RICHARD BURR OF NORTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA SENATOR KELLY LOEFFLER ARE AMONG THOSE ACCUSING OF SELLING STOCKS AFTER RECEIVING PRIVATE BRIEFINGS ABOUT THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK.

MOST OF MACY’S 130,000 EMPLOYEES WILL BE FURLOUGHED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. PHYSICAL STORES WERE CLOSED ON MARCH 17TH, AND THE COMPANY SAYS SALES HAVE ALL BUT DISAPPEARED. EXECUTIVES TOLD STAFF THAT HEALTH BENEFITS WILL BE COVERED THROUGH AT LEAST MAY, AND IT WILL KEEP SOME EMPLOYEES TO SERVICE ONLINE SALES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 12:45pm:

U.S. CAPITOL OFFICIALS ARE EXTENDING RESTRICTIONS FOR PUBLIC ACCESS, CLOSING THE CAPITOL BUILDING UNTIL AT LEAST MAY 1. NATIONAL SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES HAVE NOW BEEN EXTENDED TO APRIL 30.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON IS GOING TO START HUMAN TESTING OF A CORONAVIRUS VACCINE BY SEPTEMBER. THE COMPANY SAID THE VACCINE COULD BE READY FOR EMERGENCY USE IN EARLY 2021. CEO ALEX GORSKY ALSO TOLD NBC’S TODAY SHOW THAT IT’S SHIFTING SOME MANUFACTURING PLANTS TO PRODUCE MORE TYLENOL, WHICH HAS BECOME SCARCE DURING THE VIRUS OUTBREAK.

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL BEGIN REMOTE LEARNING ON APRIL 13. CPS INDICATES THAT ITS PLANS, WHICH WILL BE UNVEILED THIS AFTERNOON, WILL INCLUDE BOTH DIGITAL AND NON-DIGITAL LEARNING FOR STUDENTS WHO MAY NOT HAVE ONLINE ACCESS. AT THIS TIME, CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE TO REMAIN CLOSED AT LEAST THROUGH APRIL 20.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 11:45am:

MORE THAN 700,000 CASES OF COVID-19 HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED ACROSS THE GLOBE, INCLUDING NEARLY 140,000 IN THE US. THE STATE TOTAL IN ILLINOIS INCREASED TO 4,596 CASES, AND 65 DEATHS.

THOUSANDS OF CHICAGO RESIDENTS HAVE SIGNED AN ONLINE PETITION CALLING FOR PROTECTIONS, INCLUDING A FREEZE ON RENT, MORTGAGES AND UTILITY PAYMENTS, SINCE THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HAS PUT SO MANY OUT OF WORK, AND INCREASED FINANCIAL HARDSHIP. CITY OFFICIALS HAVEN’T DIRECTLY RESPONDED TO QUESTIONS ABOUT A FREEZE, BUT HAVE POINTED TO OTHER RELIEF SUCH AS GRANT PROGRAMS. COMMUNITY ACTIVIST RAUL MONTES IS ALSO DEMANDING GOVERNOR PRITZKER PUT AN INDEFINITE FREEZE ON RENT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES WHO HAD TO CLOSE DUE TO THE STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. GOVERNOR PRITZKER HAS ALREADY ORDERED A HALT TO RESIDENTIAL EVICTION CASES UNTIL APRIL 8.

PRINCE CHARLES IS NO LONGER SELF-ISOLATING AFTER BECOMING THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY TO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE PRINCE OF WALES EXITED SELF-ISOLATION AFTER TALKING WITH HIS DOCTOR. THE 71 YEAR OLD WAS DIAGNOSED LAST WEEK AND HIS HEALTH IS REPORTEDLY GOOD. HE’S NOT THE ONLY HIGH-PROFILE FIGURE IN THE UK WHO IS INFECTED, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON IS ALSO RECOVERING AFTER A POSITIVE DIAGNOSIS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 10:45am:

STOCKS ARE OPENING HIGHER TO START ANOTHER VOLATILE TRADING WEEK ON WALL STREET. INVESTORS ARE NERVOUSLY EYEING THE RISING NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES WITH THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE COMING OFF ITS BEST WEEK SINCE 1938. MARKETS CHEERED THE TWO-TRILLION-DOLLAR STIMULUS PACKAGE AND POSITIVE ACTIONS BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE. THE DOW, S&P 500 AND NASDAQ WERE ALL IN POSITIVE TERRITORY AFTER THE OPENING BELL.

CHECKS FROM THE RECENTLY-PASSED COVID-19 STIMULUS BILL SHOULD ARRIVE IN THE BANK ACCOUNTS OF AMERICANS WITHIN THREE WEEKS. THAT’S ACCORDING TO TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN, A FAMILY OF FOUR COULD GET UP TO $3,400 WHILE AN INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER, DEPENDING ON AN INDIVIDUAL’S INCOME, COULD RECEIVE UP TO $1,200.

ANIMAL SHELTERS ACROSS THE US ARE CLOSING THEIR DOORS TO THE PUBLIC AND CANCELING ADOPTION EVENTS TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. BUT NOTHING IS STOPPING NEW ABANDONED ANIMALS FROM COMING IN, SO SHELTERS ARE TRYING TO PLACE AS MANY ANIMALS IN HOMES AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. TO HELP THIS EFFORT, BUSCH BEER HAS TEAMED UP WITH MIDWEST ANIMAL RESCUE TO LAUNCH THE “FOSTER A DOG, GET BUSCH” OFFER. BUSCH BEER IS OFFERING A THREE MONTHS’ SUPPLY OF ITS BEER TO 500 PEOPLE WHO ADOPT OR FOSTER A DOG FROM MIDWEST ANIMAL RESCUE IN MINNESOTA.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 9:45am:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS CORONAVIRUS TESTING IS EXPANDING IN ILLINOIS. HE ADDED THAT CURRENTLY 4,000 TESTS ARE BEING RUN DAILY, AND IN ABOUT A WEEK-AND-A-HALF, IT SHOULD BE UP TO 10,000 A DAY. THE STATE IS WORKING WITH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERS TO INCREASE TESTING CAPABILITIES.

POPE FRANCIS IS CALLING FOR A TEMPORARY WORLDWIDE CEASEFIRE. THE POPE CALLED FOR A GLOBAL HALT TO HOSTILITIES SO COUNTRIES CAN PROTECT THEIR PEOPLE FROM THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. HE ASKED COUNTRIES THAT ARE INVOLVED IN CONFLICTS TO “FOCUS TOGETHER ON THE TRUE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES” AGAINST THE VIRUS, WHICH KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES.

THE CORONAVIRUS TOOK THE LIFE OF ALAN MERRILL, WHO WROTE AND SANG THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF “I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL” IN THE ’70S, HE WAS 69.

SOME OF MUSIC’S BIG NAMES PERFORMED LAST NIGHT FROM THEIR LIVING ROOMS AS ELTON JOHN HOSTED THE “LIVING ROOM CONCERT FOR AMERICA” ON FOX. THE GOAL OF THE CONCERT WAS TO RAISE MONEY TO HELP AMERICANS HURT BY THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. CELEBRITIES LIKE ELLEN DEGENERES AND MELISSA MCCARTHY ALSO SENT MESSAGES AND PAID TRIBUTE TO HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS AND ESSENTIAL WORKERS WORKING TO FIGHT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 8:50am:

MORE THAN 700,000 CASES OF COVID-19 HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED ACROSS THE GLOBE, INCLUDING NEARLY 140,000 IN THE US. THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTED 1,105 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, BRING THE STATE TOTAL UP TO 4,596 CASES, AND 65 DEATHS.

A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION IS GATHERING MEDICAL SUPPLIES FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS ACROSS ILLINOIS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. PROJECT C.U.R.E. HOSTED A PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DRIVE YESTERDAY AT THE UNITED CENTER IN CHICAGO. A NUMBER OF PEOPLE SHOWED UP TO DROP OFF MUCH NEEDED ITEMS, INCLUDING GLOVES, CLEANING WIPES, ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP, AND SURGICAL MASKS. PPE SUPPLIES ARE IN CRITICAL SHORTAGE AS MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS RESPOND TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS.

EMPLOYEES FROM TWO ESSENTIAL PLAYERS IN CORONAVIRUS COMMERCE ARE PLANNING STRIKES TODAY. WORKERS FOR THE FOOD DELIVERY COMPANY INSTACART HAVE ACCUSED THE COMPANY OF NOT PROVIDING ENOUGH PROTECTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC. THEY ARE DEMANDING SAFETY ITEMS INCLUDING HAND SANITIZER, DISINFECTANT WIPES, AND SPRAYS, ALONG WITH HAZARD PAY AND AN EXPANSION OF CORONAVIRUS PAY TO INCLUDE THOSE WITH UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS. MEANWHILE, AMAZON EMPLOYEES AT THE COMPANY’S STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, FACILITY PLAN TO WALK OFF THE JOB AFTER THE COMPANY KEPT THE LOCATION OPEN DESPITE A CONFIRMED CASE OF CORONAVIRUS THERE. THE LEADER OF THE WALKOUT SAYS MORE EMPLOYEES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS AT THE FACILITY THAN THE COMPANY HAS PUBLICLY ACKNOWLEDGED.

WITH ALL SPORTS SIDELINED BY THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, ESPN IS REACHING BACK TO FILL PRIME TIME. STARTING TONIGHT AND FOR THE NEXT FIVE WEEKS, ESPN WILL FILL MONDAY NIGHT PRIME TIME WITH CLASSIC MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAMES. THE COMEBACKS KICK OFF TONIGHT WITH THE RAMS’ 54-51 WIN OVER THE CHIEFS IN 2018, THE HIGHEST-SCORING MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME EVER. MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL WILL AIR AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TIME FROM TONIGHT THROUGH APRIL 27TH ON ESPN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 7:10am:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS CORONAVIRUS TESTING IS EXPANDING IN ILLINOIS. HE ADDED THAT CURRENTLY 4,000 TESTS ARE BEING RUN DAILY, AND IN ABOUT A WEEK-AND-A-HALF, IT SHOULD BE UP TO 10,000 A DAY.

PRITZKER SAYS HE’S VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HASN’T SENT MORE TESTS. MEANWHILE, HE MENTIONED THE STATE IS WORKING WITH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERS TO INCREASE TESTING CAPABILITIES.

CHECKS FROM THE RECENTLY-PASSED COVID-19 STIMULUS BILL SHOULD ARRIVE IN THE BANK ACCOUNTS OF AMERICANS WITHIN THREE WEEKS. THAT’S ACCORDING TO TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN. A FAMILY OF FOUR COULD GET UP TO $3,400 WHILE AN INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER COULD RECEIVE UP TO $1,200 BASED ON THEIR INCOME.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO SAYS NEW YORKERS WHO FAIL TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING COULD BE SOON BE SLAPPED WITH UP TO $500 FINES. THE MAYOR SAYS OFFICERS WILL GIVE THOSE WHO GATHER A WARNING FIRST, AND THEN IF THEY ARE CAUGHT AGAIN VIOLATING THE ORDER, THEY WILL BE GIVEN A TICKET. THE SUMMONSES BEGIN AT $250 AND COULD GO AS HIGH AS $500. GATHERING SPOTS SUCH AS CITY PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS ARE STILL OPEN.

THE VIRUS TOOK THE LIFE OF ALAN MERRILL, WHO WROTE AND SANG THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF “I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL” IN THE ’70S, HE WAS 69.

JON BON JOVI THINKS HIS 17-YEAR-OLD SON MAY HAVE HAD A MILD VERSION OF COVID-19.

TOM HANKS AND RITA WILSON HAVE APPARENTLY BEATEN THE CORONAVIRUS, BECAUSE THEY’RE BACK IN THE U.S. TOM TWEETED, QUOTE, “HEY, FOLKS . . . WE’RE HOME NOW AND, LIKE THE REST OF AMERICA, WE CARRY ON WITH SHELTERING IN PLACE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING. TOM AND RITA ARE BOTH 63. THEY ANNOUNCED THEIR DIAGNOSIS ON MARCH 12TH WHILE THEY WERE IN AUSTRALIA.

SOURCE:TTWN

UPDATE 3/30/2020 6:10am:

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI SAYS AS MANY AS 200,000 PEOPLE IN THE U.S. COULD DIE FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. FAUCI, A KEY MEMBER OF THE FEDERAL CORONAVIRUS TASKFORCE, ISSUED A CAVEAT WITH HIS PREDICTION THAT HE DOESN’T “WANT TO BE HELD TO THAT. FAUCI ADDED THAT THE NUMBER OF CASES WILL GO INTO THE MILLIONS.

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS EXTENDING THE WHITE HOUSE’S SOCIAL DISTANCING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORONAVIRUS. THE GUIDELINES ARE BEING EXTENDED UNTIL APRIL 30TH. TRUMP SAID THE PEAK OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS COULD HIT IN THE NEXT 14 DAYS.
AN EMPLOYEE OF A WHOLE FOODS ON CHICAGO’S NORTH SIDE IS IN QUARANTINE AFTER TESTING POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS. THE PERSON WORKS AT THE STORE NEAR CICERO AND PETERSON. FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT THE PATIENT HAVEN’T BEEN RELEASED. THE STORE HAS SINCE BEEN CLEANED AND DISINFECTED.

THE EFFECTS OF THE CORONAVIRUS COULD REVERBERATE TO THE NOVEMBER ELECTION. ON NBC’S MEET THE PRESS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN SAID IT’S POSSIBLE THAT THE ELECTION MAY HAVE TO BE HELD BY MAIL. MANY STATES HAVE ALREADY POSTPONED THEIR PRIMARY ELECTIONS BECAUSE OF THE VIRUS.

COOK COUNTY OFFICIALS ARE CRACKING DOWN ON CROWDS GATHERING IN FOREST PRESERVES TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS. COOK COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT TONI PRECKWINKLE IS THREATENING TO SHUTDOWN DOWN ALL FOREST PRESERVES. FOREST PRESERVE POLICE WILL BREAKUP GATHERINGS THAT VIOLATE THE SOCIAL-DISTANCING ORDER. THE COUNTY HAS ALREADY CLOSED ALL PUBLIC BUILDINGS, NATURE CENTERS, CAMPGROUNDS, TRAILS AND PUBLIC RESTROOMS. ALL PUBLIC EVENTS AND VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES THROUGH MAY 11TH HAVE BEEN CANCELED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/29/2020 6:40pm:

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS EXTENDING THE WHITE HOUSE’S SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR 30 DAYS TO APRIL 30TH. TRUMP SAID THE PEAK OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS COULD PEAK IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. HE SAYS THE FDA JUST APPROVED A NEW CORONAVIRUS TEST THAT WILL BEGIN SHIPPING IMMEDIATELY. THE TEST IS SAID TO DELIVER RESULTS IN MINUTES.

ILLINOIS CONFIRMED 1,105 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES AND 18 DEATHS TODAY. THERE ARE NOW 4,596 PEOPLE KNOWN TO BE INFECTED STATEWIDE.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO TODAY ANNOUNCED THE FIRST STAGE OF AN EFFORT TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY SUPPORT AND ADDRESS SOME OF THE IMMEDIATE NEEDS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS ON THE SOUTH SIDE AS THEY NAVIGATE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE PROGRAM WILL LAUNCH ON MONDAY.

MUSICIAN JOHN PRINE IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER CONTRACTING COVID-19. ACCORDING TO A STATEMENT PUT OUT ON PRINE’S TWITTER TODAY, HE HAD SUDDEN SYMPTOMS OF THE VIRUS AND WAS HOSPITALIZED ON THURSDAY. THE 73-YEAR-OLD REMAINS IN CRITICAL CARE.

THE ORIGINAL SINGER OF “I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL” HAS DIED FOLLOWING COMPLICATIONS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. ALAN MERRILL CO-WROTE AND SANG LEAD ON THE ARROWS ORIGINAL VERSION OF THE SONG THAT WENT MAINSTREAM AFTER JOAN JETT’S COVER IN THE EARLY 1980S.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/29/2020 5:40pm:

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS EXTENDING THE WHITE HOUSE’S SOCIAL DISTANCING TO APRIL 30TH. TRUMP SAID THE PEAK OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS COULD HIT IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. HE PREVIOUSLY HOPED THAT THE COUNTRY WOULD BE RE-OPENED FOR BUSINESS BY EASTER, APRIL 12TH. NOW HE PREDICTS THAT THE COUNTRY WILL BE GETTING BACK ON TRACK BY JUNE 1ST.

TRUMP SAYS MORE TESTING FOR THE CORONAVIRUS IS ON THE WAY. HE SAYS THE FDA JUST APPROVED A NEW CORONAVIRUS TEST THAT WILL BEGIN SHIPPING IMMEDIATELY. THE TEST IS SAID TO DELIVER RESULTS IN MINUTES.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI IS OUT WITH A SOBERING PREDICTION ON COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES SAID THERE COULD BE BETWEEN 100,000 AND 200,000 DEATHS IN THE U.S. FAUCI TOLD CNN’S STATE OF THE UNION THAT HE DOESN’T “WANT TO BE HELD TO THAT” ESTIMATE SINCE THE CORONAVIRUS IS A “MOVING TARGET.

TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN SAID SUNDAY THAT AMERICANS COULD EXPECT CHECKS FROM THE HISTORIC $2 TRILLION STIMULUS BILL TO BE DIRECT DEPOSITED IN THEIR ACCOUNTS WITHIN THREE WEEKS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/29/2020 4:40pm:

TODAY, ILLINOIS SAW ITS BIGGEST ONE-DAY JUMP IN CORONAVIRUS CASES. 1,105 NEW CASES WERE CONFIRMED. THAT BRINGS IT TO 4,596 CORONAVIRUS CASES STATEWIDE. IN ADDITION, 10 MORE DEATHS HAVE BEEN REPORTED RAISING FATALITIES TO 64. ELEVEN OF THOSE IN COOK COUNTY.

MEANWHILE, GOV. PRITZKER ON SUNDAY ANNOUNCED THE STATE IS NOW AVERAGING 4,000 TESTS PER DAY – UP FROM 2,000 TESTS AT THE TIME OF THE LAST UPDATE ON TUESDAY.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO IS EXTENDING THE NEW YORK STATE “PAUSE” DIRECTIVE THAT REQUIRES ALL NON-ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES TO WORK FROM HOME UNTIL APRIL 15TH. HE ALSO ANNOUNCED THAT 16,000 CORONAVIRUS TESTS WERE PERFORMED SATURDAY NIGHT, BRINGING THE STATEWIDE TESTING TOTAL TO 172,000 – WHICH IS THE HIGHEST TESTING NUMBER IN THE U.S.

TOM HANKS IS BACK IN LOS ANGELES AFTER GETTING THE CORONAVIRUS IN AUSTRALIA. HANKS TWEETED, “TWO WEEKS AFTER OUR SYMPTOMS, WE FEEL BETTER.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/29/2020 3:40pm:

TODAY, ILLINOIS SAW ITS BIGGEST ONE-DAY JUMP IN CORONAVIRUS CASES. 1,105 NEW CASES WERE CONFIRMED. THAT BRINGS IT TO 4,596 CORONAVIRUS CASES STATEWIDE. IN ADDITION, 18 MORE DEATHS HAVE BEEN REPORTED RAISING FATALITIES TO 65.
11 OF THE 18 REPORTED FATALITIES WERE IN COOK COUNTY.

47 OF THE STATE’S 102 COUNTIES HAVE NOW REPORTED AT LEAST ONE CONFIRMED CASE OF THE VIRUS. BOND, KNOX, MENARD AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES ALL REPORTED THEIR FIRST CONFIRMED CASES OF THE VIRUS ON SUNDAY.

A FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER BELIEVES THE COUNTRY IS IN FOR A VERY DIFFICULT APRIL. SPEAKING TO CBS’ FACE THE NATION, DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB WARNED THAT NEXT MONTH WILL BE TERRIBLE, BUT THAT MAY OFFERS A BIT OF HOPE. HE ALSO INSISTED THAT NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS.

MEANWHILE, DR. FAUCI TOLD CNN’S STATE OF THE UNION THERE COULD BE MORE THAN 100,000 DEATHS IN THE U.S. BUT SAID HE DOESN’T “WANT TO BE HELD TO THAT” BECAUSE THE CORONAVIRUS IS A “MOVING TARGET.” FAUCI ALSO SAID THERE’S A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN PARTS OF THE COUNTRY THAT DON’T MANY CASES YET.

AS FOR THE TOKYO OLYMPICS? JAPAN IS NOW SAYING IT WILL BE HELD IN JULY 2021.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/29/2020 2:40pm:

DR. ANTHONY FAUCCI SAYS THERE COULD BE UP TO 200,000 CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN THE U.S. FAUCCI ISSUED A CAVEAT WITH HIS PREDICTION ON CNN SAYING HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE HELD TO THAT. HE SAID THAT’S BECAUSE THE CORONAVIRUS IS A MOVING TARGET. FAUCCI ADDED THAT THE NUMBER OF CASES WILL GO INTO THE MILLIONS.

IT’S TOO EARLY TO SAY WHETHER INFECTED PEOPLE CAN BECOME IMMUNE. SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DR. DAVID HEYMANN MADE THE COMMENT ON CBS’ FACE THE NATION. HE SAID THAT ISSUE NEEDS TO BE STUDIED AND HE ALSO WARNED PEOPLE ABOUT TWO POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS OF THE VIRUS SUCH AS LOSS OF TASTE AND SMELL WHICH HAVE BEEN NOTED AMONG PATIENTS IN THE U-K. HOWEVER THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS ARE A FEVER AND A DRY COUGH.

ONCE AGAIN, UNITED CENTER IS HELPING COLLECT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT UNTIL 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON IN THE PARKING LOT. THAT INCLUDES PROTECTIVE EYE WEAR LIKE GOGGLES, FACE MASKS AND SHIELDS. MEDICAL GLOVES ARE ALSO NEEDED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/29/2020 1:40pm:

A CHICAGO INFANT WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS HAS DIED, ILLINOIS OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED SATURDAY. THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAID IT’S THE FIRST CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DEATH OF A CHILD UNDER ONE YEAR OF AGE IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE UNITED CENTER IS HELPING COLLECT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR FIRST RESPONDERS DEALING WITH THE GROWING CASELOAD OF COVID-19 PATIENTS AROUND THE CHICAGO-AREA. THE EVENT SPACE IS HOSTING A SUPPLY DRIVE TODAY UNTIL 4PM. ITEMS NEEDED INCLUDE PROTECTIVE EYE WEAR LIKE GOGGLES, FACE MASKS AND SHIELDS, MEDICAL GLOVES AND DISPOSABLE PROTECTIVE

ILLINOIS IS ABOUT TO REACH 3,500 CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19. NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE CASES – 2,613 – HAVE OCCURRED IN COOK COUNTY. THE STATE HAS REPORTED 47 DEATHS, WITH THE GREATEST NUMBER BEING 28 IN COOK COUNTY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/29/2020 11:40am:

ILLINOIS IS ABOUT TO REACH 3,500 CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19. NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE CASES – 2,613 – HAVE OCCURRED IN COOK COUNTY. THE STATE HAS REPORTED 47 DEATHS, WITH THE GREATEST NUMBER BEING 28 IN COOK COUNTY. ILLINOIS WAS THE SECOND STATE TO INSTITUTE A STAY-AT-HOME POLICY ON MARCH 21ST, FOLLOWING CALIFORNIA.

THE UNITED CENTER IS HELPING COLLECT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR FIRST RESPONDERS DEALING WITH THE GROWING CASELOAD OF COVID-19 PATIENTS AROUND THE CHICAGO-AREA. THE EVENT SPACE IS HOSTING A SUPPLY DRIVE TODAY UNTIL 4PM. ITEMS NEEDED INCLUDE PROTECTIVE EYE WEAR LIKE GOGGLES, FACE MASKS AND SHIELDS, MEDICAL GLOVES AND DISPOSABLE PROTECTIVE

BOTH ILLINOIS SENATORS SAY THE RECENTLY APPROVED 2 TRILLION DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL INCLUDES 4.9 BILLION DOLLARS IN DIRECT AID TO ILLINOIS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. DICK DURBIN ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT THE LEGISLATION, WHICH PASSED IN THE U.S. SENATE 96-0, SHOWED THAT LAWMAKERS BUT POLITICS ASIDE FOR THE WELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE THAT THEY REPRESENT.

UPDATE 3/28/2020 6:40pm:

THE U.S. SURGEON GENERAL SAID CHICAGO IS AMONG A NUMBER OF AMERICAN CITIES IDENTIFIED AS “HOT SPOTS” FOR COVID-19 CASES AND THAT WE WILL SEE NUMBERS CONTINUE TO RISE IN THE COMING WEEKS.

RENTERS ACROSS CHICAGO ARE CALLING ON THE CITY AND LANDLORDS TO PROVIDE SOME SORT OF RELIEF AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, AKIN TO WHAT HAS TAKEN PLACE IN CALIFORNIA. WITH “STAY AT HOME” ORDERS, MANY ARE FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO MEET RENT PAYMENTS AT THE MOMENT

AS JON BON JOVI WAS, BRIAN MAY OF QUEEN WAS INSPIRED TOO BY THE LATEST DRIVE “SING-A-LONG” LAST NIGHT TO SEND OUT A VIDEO MESSAGE VIA TWITTER THANKING DRIVE LISTENERS AND CHICAGO FANS FOR CHOOSING “WE WILL ROCK YOU/WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.” “GREAT CHOICE OF MUSIC, BY THE WAY! TAKE CARE GUYS. WE WILL GET THROUGH”, SAID MAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/28/2020 5:40pm:

THE FDA HAS APPROVED EMERGENCY USE OF A NEW CORONAVIRUS TEST BY ABBOTT. THE COMPANY PLANS TO MAKE 50,000 A DAY AND START DELIVERING TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS NEXT WEEK.

THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ARE CONVERTING MCCORMICK PLACE INTO A MAKESHIFT 3,000 BED HOSPITAL FOR PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM CORONAVIRUS.

WITH TOILET PAPER IN SHORT SUPPLY, AMERICANS ARE SNAPPING UP SOMETHING THEY USED TO SNICKER ABOUT… WATER-SPRAYING BIDETS. SALES ARE 10 TIMES HIGHER NOW THAN BEFORE COVID-19.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/28/2020 4:40pm:

THE UNITED CENTER WILL HOST A PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DRIVE SUNDAY IN RESPONSE TO LOCAL SHORTAGES OF ESSENTIAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES AMID THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THEY WILL BE ACCEPTING ITEMS INCLUDING UNUSED GLOVES, MASKS, DISPOSABLE GOWNS, AND CLEANING SUPPLIES FROM NOON-4PM.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO HAS ANNOUNCED AN EXTENSIVE SERIES OF PROGRAMS TO HELP SOUTH SIDE RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS INCLUDING MEALS AND BRIDGE LOANS.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ORDERED THE CHICAGO LAKEFRONT AND OTHER HIGH PROFILE PUBLIC AREAS CLOSED OFF, AS WELL AS PREDICTING THE “STAY AT HOME” ORDER WOULD LIKELY EXTEND LONGER THAN THE CURRENT APRIL 7th.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/28/2020 3:40pm:

THEY HAVEN’T EVEN ISSUED THE PERSONAL STIMULUS CHECKS YET, BUT THE FBI, MULTIPLE STATE ATTORNEY’S GENERAL AND OTHER AGENCIES ARE WARNING US NOT TO FALL FOR SCAM PHONE CALLS, TEXTS, EMAILS OR WEBSITES THAT ASK FOR PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THE UP TO $1,200 FEDERAL PAYMENT. YOU CAN REST ASSURED… THE IRS KNOWS HOW TO FIND YOU TO SEND YOU THE MONEY.

STATE EDUCATION OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED SCHOOLS WILL NOT HAVE TO MAKE UP DAYS LOST TO THE COVID-19 SHUTDOWN, BUT WILL HAVE TO TRANSITION TO REMOTE LEARNING STARTING ON TUESDAY.

TACO BELL IS DOING IT’S PART TO SHOW SOME LOVE TO IT’S SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES DURING THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC. STARTING NEXT WEEK TACO BELL IS TURNING ALL OF IT’S TACO TRUCKS INTO MOBILE COMMISSARIES TO BRING FOOD TO ESSENTIAL WORKERS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/28/2020 2:40pm:

THE U.S. NOW HAS MORE OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. MEANWHILE, THERE ARE 465 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ILLINOIS BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 3,491 WITH 47 DEATHS, INCLUDING THE FIRST INFANT. INDIANA’S HEALTH DEPARTMENT REPORTS 31 DEATHS, 1,232 COVID-19 CASES.

AND THE VIRUS KNOWS NO SOCIAL STATUS EITHER, ROCKERS JACKSON BROWNE, DAVID BRYAN OF BON JOVI, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON AND PRINCE CHARLES HAVE ALL BEEN DIAGNOSED IN RECENT DAYS IN ADDITION TO MANY SPORTS FIGURES AND OTHER CELEBRITIES.

EVEN THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH HAS BEEN AFFECTED AS DISNEYLAND ANNOUNCED THEY WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. DISNEY HAS BEEN CLASSY THOUGH, CONTINUING TO PAY THEIR EMPLOYEES SINCE THE PARK SHUT DOWN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/28/2020 1:40pm:

THE U.S. NOW HAS MORE OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

STATE EDUCATION OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED SCHOOLS WILL NOT HAVE TO MAKE UP DAYS LOST TO THE COVID-19 SHUTDOWN, BUT WILL HAVE TO TRANSITION TO REMOTE LEARNING STARTING ON TUESDAY.

A POSITIVE OFFSHOOT OF THIS PANDEMIC IS THAT GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO PLUMMET. IN FACT, SOME AREA GAS STATIONS ARE OFFERING GAS AT 99 CENTS A GALLON.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/28/2020 12:40pm:

THE FDA HAS APPROVED EMERGENCY USE OF A NEW TEST BY ABBOTT. THE COMPANY PLANS TO MAKE 50-THOUSAND A DAY AND START DELIVERING TO HEALTH ARE PROVIDERS NEXT WEEK. THIS IS ACTUALLY THEIR SECOND CORONAVIRUS TEST TO BE LAUNCHED, SO COMBINED, ABBOTT CAN MAKE FIVE-MILLION A MONTH.

THE SURGEON GENERAL HAS WARNED CHICAGO RESIDENTS TO EXPECT THIS COMING WEEK TO BE WORSE THAN LAST FOR CASES OF CORONAVIRUS AND POTENTIAL DEATHS.

SOME GOOD NEWS… THE “STAY AT HOME AND SHELTER” ORDER HAS RESULTED IN A DROP IN LOCAL AREA CRIME.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/28/2020 11:40am:

THE MASSIVE $4.9 BILLION FEDERAL RELIEF BILL IS NOW A REALITY FOR ILLINOIS IN ADDITION TO THOSE PERSONAL CHECKS UP TO $1,200.

U.S. INFECTIONS OF COVID-19 HAVE RISEN QUICKLY AND SHARPLY, NOW PASSING 100,000. SO FAR, 12 CHICAGOANS HAVE DIED AS A RESULT, MEDIAN AGE BEING 47.

SOME AREA RESTAURANTS ARE SHUTTING DOWN CARRYOUT AND DELIVERY CITING THE NEED TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THEIR GUESTS AND STAFF. BEST TO CHECK AHEAD WITH YOUR FAVORITE(S) TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/28/2020 10:40am:

YESTERDAY, CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ORDERED THE CHICAGO LAKEFRONT AND OTHER HIGH PROFILE PUBLIC AREAS CLOSED OFF, AS WELL AS PREDICTING THE “STAY AT HOME” ORDER WOULD EXTEND LONGER THAN THE CURRENT APRIL 7th.

8 MORE DEATHS IN ILLINOIS, NOW 488 CASES STATEWIDE, DEATH TOLL AT 34 AND MORE THAN 3,000 KNOWN CASES AS OF THIS MORNING.

THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ARE CONVERTING MCCORMICK PLACE INTO A MAKESHIFT 3,000 BED HOSPITAL FOR PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM CORONAVIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 6:40pm:

THE ARMY PUT OUT THE CALL AND 9,000 ANSWERED. THAT’S HOW MANY RETIRED SOLDIERS WITH MEDICAL EXPERIENCE VOLUNTEERED TO RETURN TO SERVICE TO HELP WITH THE PANDEMIC. ARMY OFFICIALS CALL THE RESPONSE SO FAR VERY POSITIVE.

UNITED AIRLINES OFFICIALS HAVE SAID THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE IS NOT ENOUGH TO PREVENT A REDUCTION IN ITS WORKFORCE. CEO OSCAR MUNOZ SAID IT WILL BE SOME TIME BEFORE TRAVEL DEMAND RETURNS TO THE LEVELS BEFORE THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS AND THAT THEY EXPECT DEMAND TO BE LOWER POSSIBLY INTO NEXT YEAR.

KRISPY KREME IS GIVING BACK TO THOSE ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE CORONAVIRUS FIGHT. ALL HEALTH CARE WORKERS CAN GET AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF GLAZED DONUTS FROM ANY DRIVE-THRU. THE PROMOTION STARTS MONDAY AND WILL CONTINUE EVERY MONDAY AFTERWARD THROUGH MAY 6TH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 5:30pm:

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS SIGNED THE MASSIVE ECONOMIC STIMULUS BILL, WHICH WAS PASSED IN THE HOUSE EARLIER TODAY AND IN THE SENATE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE TWO-TRILLION-DOLLAR MEASURE WILL DELIVER RELIEF TO FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19.

UNDER THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT, GM NOW HAS A PRESIDENTIAL ORDER TO MAKE VENTILATORS. GM OFFICIALS SAID THEY WOULD BUILD CRITICAL-CARE VENTILATORS AT ONE OF ITS PLANTS IN INDIANA, AND THEY EXPECT TO MAKE 10,000 UNITS A MONTH. THE COMPANY ALSO PLANS TO MAKE SURGICAL MASKS AT A PLANT IN MICHIGAN.

488 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS WERE REPORTED IN ILLINOIS TODAY, BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS TO 3,026. THERE ARE NOW OVER 100,000 CASES REPORTED IN THE UNITED STATES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 3:40pm:

WALL STREET ENDED A ROLLER-COASTER WEEK SHARPLY LOWER, AS STOCKS FELL DESPITE THE HOUSE PASSING THE TWO-TRILLION DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL. AT CLOSING BELL, THE DOW WAS DOWN 915 POINTS, THE S&P FELL 88 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ WAS DOWN 295 POINTS.

FORD IS GETTING ITS FACTORIES TO WORK MAKING MUCH-NEEDED MEDICAL EQUIPMENT TO HELP DEAL WITH THE PANDEMIC. THE COMPANY SAID IT IS DELIVERING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FACE SHIELDS TO HOSPITALS AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS. FORD IS ALSO WORKING WITH GE ON MAKING SIMPLIFIED VENTILATORS.

APPLE IS HELPING AMERICANS KNOW IF THEY NEED TO BE TESTED FOR COVID-19. IT LAUNCHED A WEBSITE AND APP WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE VIRUS AND WILL SCREEN PEOPLE FOR SYMPTOMS. THE WEBSITE IS APPLE-DOT-COM-SLASH-COVID19.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 2:40pm:

THE TWO-TRILLION-DOLLAR ECONOMIC STIMULUS BILL, PROVIDING RELIEF FOR AMERICANS IMPACTED BY COVID-19, IS EXPECTED TO BE SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT THIS AFTERNOON. IT PASSED IN THE HOUSE EARLIER TODAY.

OFFICIALS REPORTED 488 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF THE VIRUS IN ILLINOIS TODAY, AND EIGHT MORE DEATHS. THAT BRINGS THE TOTAL CASE NUMBER IN THE STATE TO 3,026 AND THE NUMBER OF DEATHS TO 34.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES AND HIS WIFE BRITTANY DONATED 5 MILLION DOLLARS TO CHARITIES WHO WILL DELIVER 10,000 MEALS PER DAY THROUGHOUT LOUISIANA TO HELP THOSE IN NEED DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN LOUISIANA JUMPED DRAMATICALLY THIS WEEK.

BANK OF AMERICA HAS PLEDGED NO LAYOFFS FOR EMPLOYEES DURING THE PANDEMIC. ALL 200-THOUSAND EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED THEY DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THEIR JOBS THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR. CEO BRIAN MOYNIHAN SAID BANK OF AMERICA WILL CONTINUE TO PAY EVERYONE, EVEN IF THEY CAN’T WORK FROM HOME BECAUSE OF THE TYPE OF JOB THEY DO.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 1:40pm:

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE CITY OF CHICAGO WILL GIVE ONE-TIME GRANTS OF $1,000 DOLLARS FOR RENT OR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS TO RESIDENTS WHO QUALIFY. TO QUALIFY, PROOF OF A CHANGE IN THE STATUS OF EMPLOYMENT MUST BE PROVIDED, ALONG WITH AN UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIM, AND PROOF THAT INCOME IS 60 PERCENT OF THE AREA MEDIAN. RESIDENTS CAN APPLY ONLINE AT THE CITY’S CORONAVIRUS WEBPAGE.

PEOPLE WHO WORK AS INSTACART SHOPPERS ARE PLANNING TO WALK OFF THEIR JOBS ON MONDAY AND NOT RETURN UNTIL THE COMPANY MEETS CERTAIN DEMANDS, INCLUDING HAZARD PAY AND PROVIDING DISINFECTANT WIPES. INSTACART ALLOWS PEOPLE TO SHOP FOR GROCERIES ONLINE AND THEN HAVE THEM DELIVERED BY A PERSON WHO SERVES AS A SHOPPER. GIG WORKERS COLLECTIVE SAID THAT SHOPPERS ARE ON THE FRONT LINES WITH A HIGHER RISK OF BEING INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS.

THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS BILL IS NOW HEADING TO THE PRESIDENT’S DESK AFTER BEING PASSED BY THE HOUSE TODAY. THE TWO-TRILLION DOLLAR MEASURE IS A RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, AND INCLUDES A DIRECT CASH PAYMENT TO INDIVIDUALS, EXPANDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, AND MONEY FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND HOSPITALS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 12:40pm:

THE HOUSE HAS APPROVED THE TWO-TRILLION DOLLAR ECONOMIC STIMULUS BILL, THE LARGEST RESCUE MEASURE IN U.S. HISTORY. THE STIMULUS WOULD GIVE DIRECT PAYMENTS TO AMERICANS, AMONG OTHER BENEFITS DESIGNED TO EASE THE BLOW OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE LEGISLATION WILL NOW GO TO THE PRESIDENT, WHO IS EXPECTED TO SIGN SHORTLY AFTER RECEIVING IT.

ILLINOIS SENATORS DICK DURBIN AND TAMMY DUCKWORTH SAY OVER 3.5 MILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL FUNDING IS COMING TO COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS. 45 CENTERS ACROSS THE STATE WILL RECEIVE THE GRANTS TO AID THEIR RESPONSE TO THE VIRUS.

RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER IS CONVERTING ITS MAIN LOBBY INTO A TRIAGE CENTER FOR NON-COVID-19 PATIENTS TO PREPARE FOR A POTENTIAL OVERFLOW. THE LOBBY IS EXPECTED TO BE OPEN TO PATIENTS TODAY. ALSO STARTING TODAY, THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICAL CENTER WILL BRING BACK ASYMPTOMATIC STAFF WHO HAVE BEEN OFF WORK AFTER POSSIBLE EXPOSURE TO THE VIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 11:45am:

OVER 40 PEOPLE ARE REPORTEDLY SICK, 10 HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AFTER ATTENDING CHURCH IN GLENVIEW. THERE WERE AN ESTIMATED 80 PEOPLE AT LIFE CHURCH’S SERVICE ON MARCH 15TH, THE PASTOR IS REPORTEDLY FEELING SICK AS WELL, HE IS RECOVERING IN ISOLATION.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS, HE IS THE FIRST MAJOR WORLD LEADER TO GET THE VIRUS. JOHNSON SAYS HE WILL CONTINUE TO LEAD BRITAIN’S FIGHT AGAINST THE VIRUS WHILE SELF-ISOLATING AT TEN DOWNING STREET. A SECOND TOP OFFICIAL IN THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IS ALSO DEALING WITH A COVID-19 INFECTION. HEALTH SECRETARY MATT HANCOCK ANNOUNCED ON TWITTER THAT HE ALSO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS.

IF YOU WEAR CONTACT GLASSES, THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPHTHALMOLOGISTS IS URGING YOU TO SWITCH TO GLASSES ONLY DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. THAT’S BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO WEAR CONTACTS TOUCH THEIR FACES AND EYES SEVERAL TIMES A DAY TO PUT IN CONTACTS, ADJUST THEM AND TAKE THEM OUT. THAT INCREASES THE RISK OF CORONAVIRUS DROPLETS GETTING INTO THE EYES, EITHER THROUGH SOMEONE COUGHING OR SNEEZING OR TOUCHING A SURFACE THAT HAS THE VIRUS AND THEN TOUCHING THE EYES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 10:45am:

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP HAS APPROVED ILLINOIS’ REQUEST FOR A FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION, MAKING FEDERAL FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR COVID-19 RECOVERY EFFORTS. THIS COMES AFTER THE STATE HAD THE HIGHEST JUMP IN CASES, WITH 673 NEW CASES AND SEVEN ADDITIONAL DEATHS, MORE THAN DOUBLE THE AMOUNT REPORTED WEDNESDAY. THERE ARE NOW 2,538 CASES CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS AND 26 DEATHS.

NO ONE WANTS TO SIT IN THE MIDDLE SEAT ON AIRPLANES, AND NOW IF YOU FLY AMERICAN AIRLINES, YOU MAY NOT HAVE TO. AS THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS CONTINUES, THE AIRLINE WILL BLOCK HALF OF ALL MIDDLE SEATS ON PLANES TO CREATE MORE SPACE BETWEEN PASSENGERS.

ESPN HAS A NEW PLAN FOR PROGRAMMING WHILE IT WAITS FOR LIVE SPORTING EVENTS TO RESUME. STARTING TODAY, THE NETWORK WILL AIR DISNEY MOVIES ON FRIDAY NIGHTS. THE NBA, MLB, NHL AND OTHER SPORTING LEAGUES HAVE POSTPONED THEIR SEASONS DUE TO THE ONGOING CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 9:45am:

GLOBALLY, THERE ARE NOW OVER 500,000 CASES OF THE CORONA VIRUS. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS. JOHNSON TOOK TO TWITTER TO SAY HE IS SHOWING ONLY MILD SIGNS OF THE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS, INCLUDING FEVER AND COUGH. HE SAID HE’S SELF-ISOLATING FOR NOW AND WORKING FROM HOME.

STOCK FUTURES ARE POINTING TO A ROUGH LANDING AFTER THREE STRAIGHT DAYS OF BIG GAINS. DOW FUTURES INDICATE A 600-POINT DROP, MORE THAN TWO AND-A-HALF PERCENT, WHEN TRADING BEGINS. S&P 500 AND NASDAQ FUTURES ARE DOWN CLOSE TO TWO AND-A-HALF PERCENT AS WELL. THE DOW AND THE S&P 500 EACH ADDED MORE THAN SIX-PERCENT ON THURSDAY.

THE FAMOUS CROSSWALK ON THE BEATLES’ ABBEY ROAD ALBUM COVER IS GETTING A FRESH PAINT JOB. LONDON IS CURRENTLY ON LOCKDOWN BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS, SO, SINCE NO ONE WAS OUT AND ABOUT, THE CITY’S HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT DECIDED IT WAS A GOOD TIME TO GIVE THE LANDMARK A FRESH COAT OF PAINT. TOURISTS FLOCK TO THE CROSSWALK EVERY YEAR, TO GET A PICTURE OF THEMSELVES CROSSING ABBEY ROAD THE WAY THE BEATLES DID IN 1969. THE CROSSWALK WAS DESIGNATED A NATIONAL LANDMARK IN 2010.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 8:45am:

THE U.S. HAS THE MOST CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE WORLD. WITH OVER 82,000 CASES, AMERICA HAS PASSED BOTH ITALY AND CHINA. OVER 1,100 PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN THE U.S. MOST OF THOSE DEATHS HAVE BEEN IN NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON STATE. IN ILLINOIS, WE HAVE 26 PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED, OVER 2,500 CASES OF COVID-19.

WALGREENS HAS BEGUN DRIVE-THRU SHOPPING DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE DRUG STORE CHAIN SAYS SHOPPERS CAN NOW PULL UP TO THE DRIVE-THRU WINDOW AND ASK FOR A MENU OF AVAILABLE ITEMS. THE MENU INCLUDES COUGH AND COLD MEDICINE, PAIN RELIEF MEDICATIONS, BABY FORMULA AND GROCERIES. DRIVERS CAN THEN PLACE AN ORDER AND WAIT FOR IT TO BE BAGGED.

THE NFL DRAFT WILL GO ON AS SCHEDULED. IN A MEMO THURSDAY, LEAGUE COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL SAID THE DRAFT WILL STILL PROCEED ON APRIL 23RD, BUT THE EVENT WILL HAVE MAJOR CHANGES DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. ACCORDING TO THE MEMO, PROSPECTS AND THEIR FAMILIES WILL NOT BE BROUGHT TO THE DRAFT. LSU QUARTERBACK JOE BURROW IS EXPECTED TO BE THE NUMBER ONE OVERALL PICK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/27/2020 7:10am:

TWO CHICAGO HOSPITALS ARE PREPARING FOR A POSSIBLE OVERFLOW OF PATIENTS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER IS CONVERTING ITS MAIN LOBBY INTO A TRIAGE CENTER FOR NON-COVID-19 PATIENTS. THE LOBBY IS EXPECTED TO BE OPEN TO PATIENTS TODAY. ALSO STARTING TODAY, THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICAL CENTER WILL BRING BACK STAFF WHO HAVE BEEN OFF OF WORK AFTER POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. FACULTY AND STAFF WHO WERE ASYMPTOMATIC ARE RETURNING.

STATE OFFICIALS ARE WARNING CONSUMERS TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR PRICE GOUGING. ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL HAS CREATED A WEBSITE WHERE PEOPLE CAN REPORT UNNECESSARY SPIKES IN PRICES. RAOUL’S OFFICE REPORTS THAT IT IS AWARE OF SEVERAL INSTANCES OF SEVERE PRICE GOUGING.

THE EAGLES ARE POSTPONING THE REST OF THEIR HOTEL CALIFORNIA TOUR BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE BAND’S BEEN PLAYING THEIR FAMOUS 1976 ALBUM AT ARENAS ACROSS THE U.S. SINCE EARLY FEBRUARY. THE TOUR’S NOW BEING PUSHED BACK TO SEPTEMBER BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS, STARTING ON THE 18TH WITH TWO NIGHTS IN DENVER.

THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 IS THE LATEST MAJOR SPORTS EVENT TO FALL VICTIM TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. RACE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THE TRADITIONAL MEMORIAL WEEKEND EVENT WILL BE POSTPONED UNTIL AUGUST 23RD. IT WAS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE ON MAY 24TH.

SOURCE: TTWN

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSING THE CITY’S LAKEFRONT, RIVERWALK AND 606 TRAIL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THE MAYOR MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY IN RESPONSE TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE GATHERING IN THE CITY WHILE THE STATE’S STAY AT HOME ORDER IS IN EFFECT. THE ORDER BANS LAKEFRONT ACCESS TO ALL PARKS IN CHICAGO ADJOINING

UPDATE 3/27/2020 6:10am:

LAKE MICHIGAN, INCLUDING WALKING, RUNNING AND CYCLING PATHS, BEACHES AND OTHER RECREATIONAL FACILITIES. IT ALSO BANS CONTACT SPORTS, LIKE BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL.

THE NUMBER OF CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS JUMPED BY NEARLY 700, AND SEVEN MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED. SO FAR, 26 PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS HAVE DIED FROM THE VIRUS AND MORE THAN 2,500 PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN SICK. THE GOVERNOR SAYS MOST OF THE DEATHS ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE OVER THE AGE OF 60.

THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BELIEVES SOME AREAS OF THE MIDWEST COULD BECOME HOT SPOTS FOR THE ILLNESS – INCLUDING CHICAGO AND DETROIT, AREAS SHOWING A “MORE RAPID INCREASE” THAN OTHER AREAS. THE U.S SURPASSED BOTH ITALY AND CHINA TODAY FOR THE HIGHEST CASE COUNT OF COVID-19 WITH OVER 82,000.

MOST FLIERS TRY TO AVOID THE MIDDLE SEAT AND NOW AMERICAN AIRLINES IS GETTING RID OF IT. AT LEAST, DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. STARTING TODAY, THE AIRLINE WILL BLOCK HALF OF ALL MIDDLE SEATS ON PLANES TO CREATE MORE SPACE BETWEEN PASSENGERS.

A CALIFORNIA SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER IS IN THE HOSPITAL WITH THE COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS AFTER LICKING A PUBLIC TOILET AS PART OF A TIKTOK CHALLENGE. KNOWN AS LARZ, THE 21-YEAR-OLD BEVERLY HILLS MAN CONFIRMED THE DIAGNOSIS FROM A HOSPITAL BED IN A VIDEO ON HIS TWITTER ACCOUNT, WHICH HAS SINCE BEEN SUSPENDED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 6:40pm:

THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BELIEVES SOME AREAS OF THE MIDWEST COULD BECOME HOT SPOTS FOR THE ILLNESS – INCLUDING CHICAGO AND DETROIT. DR. DEBORAH BIRX SAYS THESE AREAS ARE HAVING A “MORE RAPID INCREASE” THAN OTHER AREAS. BIRX ALSO SAID MOST OF THE NEW COVID-19 CASES ARE STILL COMING OUT OF NEW YORK CITY. THE U.S SURPASSED BOTH ITALY AND CHINA TODAY FOR THE HIGHEST CASE COUNT OF COVID-19 AT OVER 82,000.

CROCS IS STEPPING IN TO GET COMFORTABLE SHOES TO THOSE ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE CRISIS. HEALTH CARE WORKERS CAN REGISTER FOR A FREE PAIR OF CROCS EVERY DAY AT NOON EASTERN. THE REGISTRATION WEBSITE WILL STAY OPEN UNTIL 10,000 CROCS HAVE BEEN GIVEN OUT EVERY DAY. THE COMPANY IS ALSO DONATING 100,000 PAIRS OF SHOES TO SELECT ORGANIZATIONS.

HERE IN CHICAGO, THE SOPHY HYDE PARK WILL CLOSE TO THE PUBLIC FRIDAY AND RE-OPEN SPECIFICALLY TO UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICAL CENTER STAFF WORKING TO COMBAT THE PANDEMIC. ROOMS WILL BE FREE OF CHARGE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 5:30pm:

THE U.S. NOW HAS THE MOST CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE WORLD. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY REPORTED DATA THAT SHOWS MORE THAN 82,000 CASES IN THE U.S., SURPASSING BOTH ITALY AND CHINA. OVER 1,100 PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN THE U.S. DUE TO THE PANDEMIC.

ILLINOIS STATE OFFICIALS HAVE NOW DECIDED THAT RECREATIONAL SPORTS BUSINESSES LIKE GOLF COURSES ARE NOT DEEMED ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES, AND MUST CLOSE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN. THESE BUSINESSES HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN ALLOWED TO REMAIN OPEN, BUT THAT REVERSAL OF ORDER WAS DELIVERED THIS AFTERNOON.

ANGELINA JOLIE HAS DONATED A MILLION DOLLARS TO “NO KID HUNGRY,” WHICH IS AN ORGANIZATION THAT HELPS FEED CHILDREN WHO RELY ON SCHOOL LUNCHES FOR THEIR MEALS. IN A STATEMENT, JOLIE SAID THAT DUE TO SCHOOLS BEING SHUT DOWN BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC, NEARLY 22-MILLION CHILDREN CAN’T GET THE NUTRITION AND CARE THEY WOULD NORMALLY DEPEND ON DURING SCHOOL HOURS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 3:50pm:

THE DOW IS UP OVER 20 PERCENT SINCE CLOSING ON MONDAY, DESPITE THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTING THAT 3.3 MILLION AMERICANS FILED FIRST-TIME UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS LAST WEEK. INVESTORS APPEAR CONFIDENT THAT THE TWO-TRILLION-DOLLAR STIMULUS PACKAGE PASSED LAST NIGHT WILL EASE THE ECONOMIC HARDSHIP OF THE PANDEMIC.

A RELIEF PACKAGE WAS ANNOUNCED TODAY FOR COOK COUNTY BUSINESSES. THE PACKAGE WILL WAIVE FINES AND FEES AND DEFER TAX COLLECTIONS FOR ALL COUNTY BUSINESS OWNERS.

OFFICIALS REPORTED 673 NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS TODAY, BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES IN THE STATE TO 2,538. THERE ARE OVER 75,000 REPORTED CASES IN THE U.S.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 2:50pm:

IN A STATE BRIEFING TODAY, 673 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS WERE REPORTED, WITH 7 ADDITIONAL DEATHS. THERE ARE NOW 2,538 TOTAL CONFIRMED CASES, WITH 26 TOTAL DEATHS.

IN THE BRIEFING, GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS APPROVED THE ILLINOIS DISASTER DECLARATION, MAKING FEDERAL AID AVAILABLE TO SUPPLEMENT STATE EFFORTS. PRITZKER EMPHASIZED THE NECESSITY TO FOLLOW THE MANDATE TO STAY HOME AND PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING TO COMBAT THIS PANDEMIC.

FIFTY DETAINEES AT THE COOK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS HAVE BEEN TESTED FOR THE VIRUS AFTER SHOWING FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS. ACCORDING TO A STATEMENT FROM THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, 17 HAVE TESTED POSITIVE, 2 NEGATIVE, AND 31 ARE AWAITING TEST RESULTS. FOUR CORRECTIONAL STAFFERS AND ONE DEPUTY HAVE TESTED POSITIVE.

THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL AUGUST 23 DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE RACE WON’T RUN ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1946, AFTER WORLD WAR II.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 1:40pm:

TREASURY SECRETARY STEVE MNUCHIN SAYS AMERICANS COULD START RECEIVING RELIEF CHECKS FROM THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THREE WEEKS. THAT ASSUMES THE TWO-TRILLION-DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS BILL, WHICH HAS CLEARED THE SENATE, CLEARS THE HOUSE TOMORROW AND IS THEN SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT.

THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE HAS GAINED OVER 1,200 POINTS AT TIMES DURING TRADING TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTED OVER THREE MILLION UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS WERE FILED LAST WEEK.

THE REAL ID PROGRAM, WHICH SEEKS TO MAKE ALL STATE-ISSUED IDENTIFICATION UNIFORM, WILL BE DELAYED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE ORIGINAL DEADLINE, SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 1 OF THIS YEAR, HAS BEEN MOVED TO OCTOBER 1 OF 2021. THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HAS DETERMINED A TWELVE-MONTH DELAY IS REQUIRED.

AND IN THE LATEST STEP TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS, CHICAGO’S ENTIRE LAKEFRONT TRAIL, ADJACENT PARKS, THE 606 TRAIL AND THE CHICAGO RIVERWALK ARE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. POLICE ARE INCREASING PATROLS IN THESE AREAS AND WILL TICKET VIOLATORS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 12:40pm:

STARTING TODAY, ALL OF THE LAKEFRONT IN CHICAGO IS CLOSED, AS WELL AS ITS ADJOINING PARKS. OFFICIALS SAY THIS WILL REMAIN IN PLACE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 INFECTION. ALL FIELDHOUSES, PLAYLOTS, SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDS, THE CHICAGO RIVERWALK AND THE 606 TRAIL ARE ALSO CLOSED.

ALMOST 115,000 WORKERS IN ILLINOIS APPLIED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK, OVER 10 TIMES THE NUMBER FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK. TO HANDLE THE VOLUME OF CLAIMS, THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL HAS BEEN MOVED TO A MORE ROBUST PLATFORM. THE STATE HAS ALSO EXTENDED CALL CENTER HOURS AND ADDED STAFF. NATIONWIDE, UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS BROKE RECORDS LAST WEEK, WHERE THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTED OVER 3.3 MILLION APPLICATIONS.

THE SENATE PASSED THE ROUGHLY TWO-TRILLION DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE LAST NIGHT. IT MUST NOW PASS THE HOUSE BEFORE GOING TO THE PRESIDENT FOR SIGN-OFF. THE BILL WOULD PROVIDE DIRECT PAYMENTS TO INDIVIDUALS, SUSPEND STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS, BOOST UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, AND MORE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 11:45am:

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT WANTS TO REMIND CHICAGOANS THAT “CHICAGO IS AT RISK” AFTER CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS BROKE UP MANY GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE ALONG THE LAKE FRONT YESTERDAY. THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE MAYOR WANT THE PUBLIC TO KNOW, IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW THE GOVERNOR’S STAY AT HOME ORDER, AND KEEP THEIR DISTANCE FROM OTHER PEOPLE, WHEN THEY DO GO OUTSIDE…IT COULD RESULT IN A CITATION AND FINE OF UP TO $500.

THE UNITED CENTER IS ABOUT TO BECOME A LOGISTICAL HUB FOR CHICAGO’S FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19, AND MORE LOCAL HOTELS HAVE AGREED TO RENT ROOMS TO ISOLATE PATIENTS. WITH THE NBA AND NHL SEASONS SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY, THE UNITED CENTER HAS BEEN SITTING UNUSED. THE HOME OF THE BLACKHAWKS AND BULLS WILL BE USED FOR FOOD DISTRIBUTION, STAGING AND COORDINATION FOR VALUABLE SHIPMENTS OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES. THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD WILL LIKELY BE INVOLVED IN THE EFFORT AFTER ACTIVATING MORE THAN 100 SPECIALISTS. ALSO, MCCORMICK PLACE HAS BEEN DISCUSSED AS A POTENTIAL TEMPORARY SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS.

BLOOMINGTON-BASED STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY SAYS IT IS PAUSING ALL IN-OFFICE WORK AT ITS FACILITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. WITH ALMOST 58,000 EMPLOYEES ARE WORKING FROM HOME. THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS ASKING CUSTOMERS FOR PATIENCE AS THEY MAY EXPERIENCE INCREASED HOLD TIMES.

UPDATE 3/26/2020 10:45am:

AT THE OPENING BELL, STOCKS WERE UP WITH THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE INCREASING MORE THAN 400 POINTS. THE DOW IS COMING OFF OF BACK-TO-BACK POSITIVE DAYS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVEN WEEKS.

MORE AMERICANS THAN EVER BEFORE ARE FILING FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. NEARLY 3.3 MILLION WORKERS FILED INITIAL CLAIMS LAST WEEK AS THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC SHUTS DOWN MUCH OF THE NATION’S ECONOMY. THAT’S NEARLY FIVE TIMES AS MANY AS THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF JUST UNDER 700,000, SET IN OCTOBER OF 1982.

THE ARMY IS ASKING RETIRED SOLDIERS WITH MEDICAL EXPERIENCE TO COME BACK AND FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS. THIS INCLUDES ALL DOCTORS AND MEDICS. THE ARMY SENT OUT EMAILS DESCRIBING IT A VOLUNTARY RECALL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 9:45am:

GLOBALLY, SPAIN NOW HAS MORE CORONAVIRUS DEATHS THAN CHINA, SECOND ONLY TO ITALY. COVID-19 HAS ALSO REACHED THE UK’S ROYAL FAMILY, WHICH ANNOUNCED THAT 71-YEAR-OLD PRINCE CHARLES, NEXT IN LINE TO THE THRONE, HAS TESTED POSITIVE.

IN THE US, ONE EPIDEMIOLOGIST ESTIMATES VIRUS DEATHS WILL LIKELY REACH THEIR PEAK IN THREE WEEKS. THE AMERICAN EPICENTER OF THE OUTBREAK IS NEW YORK CITY, WHERE THE NUMBER CASES IS DOUBLING ABOUT EVERY THREE DAYS.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS IS ANNOUNCING MODIFICATIONS TO ITS ACADEMIC POLICIES FOR THIS SEMESTER IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE CHANGES FOLLOW THE U OF I’S DECISION TO SUSPEND FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION THIS WEEK. STUDENTS ARE BEING GIVEN THE OPTION TO RECEIVE CREDIT OR NO CREDIT INSTEAD OF REGULAR GRADES. INSTRUCTORS WILL ALSO HAVE THE OPTION OF MAKING THEIR COURSES PASS-FAIL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 8:45am:

THE HOUSE WILL VOTE TODAY ON A TWO-TRILLION DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE. THE SENATE PASSED THE BILL ON A 96-0 VOTE LATE LAST NIGHT. THE BILL WILL SEND CASH TO INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES TO HELP KEEP THE ECONOMY GOING DURING THE PANDEMIC.

THE CORONAVIRUS HAS NOW KILLED MORE THAN A 1,000 AMERICANS. THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 68,100 CASES REPORTED IN THE U.S. SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN. IN ILLINOIS, 19 PEOPLE HAVE DIED, AND THE TOTAL NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES JUMPED TO OVER 1,800, WITH 330 NEW CASES REPORTED YESTERDAY. AMONG THE CASES: TWO STUDENTS AT NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND A PRISONER AT THE STATEVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, AND A CONTRACTOR AT SHERIDAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER.

STARBUCKS IS OFFERING FREE COFFEE TO PEOPLE ON THE FRONTLINES OF THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. EVERYONE FROM FIRST RESPONDERS TO DOCTORS, NURSES, AND RESEARCHERS CAN GET A FREE COFFEE THROUGH MAY 3RD.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 7:10am:

HOURS AFTER CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT REMINDED RESIDENTS AGAIN TO TAKE THE COVID-19 STAY-AT-HOME ORDER SERIOUSLY, POLICE OFFICERS CLEARED THE LAKEFRONT. AROUND 6:30 P.M. OFFICERS AND SQUAD CARS WERE AT NORTH AVENUE BEACH AND THE SURROUNDING AREA ENFORCING THE “DO NOT CONGREGATE MANDATE” ISSUED BY GOV. JB PRITZKER.

THE WARM WEATHER YESTERDAY HAD RESIDENTS FLOCKING TO SIDEWALKS, PARKS AND PATHS…UP AND DOWN THE LAKEFRONT LATE IN THE AFTERNOON SCORES OF OFFICERS WERE EITHER ACTIVELY PATROLLING OR ASSIGNED TO CERTAIN SPOTS. AFTER REPEATED CALLS IN RECENT DAYS FOR COMPLIANCE, A VISIBLY FRUSTRATED LIGHTFOOT HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE TO EXPLAIN THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION – AGAIN.

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HAS HIT A GRIM MILESTONE IN THE U.S. MORE THAN A 1,000 PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE NOW DIED FROM THE VIRUS. THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 68,100 CASES REPORTED IN THE U.S. SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN.

THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES REPORTED AT AMAZON WAREHOUSES ACROSS THE COUNTRY CONTINUES TO GROW. AT LEAST 10 FACILITIES HAVE HAD CORONAVIRUS CASES SO FAR, INCLUDING JOLIET, ILLINOIS. BROWNSTOWN, MICH. STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. AND QUEENS, N.Y.

HALLMARK IS TRYING TO HELP MAKE SELF-ISOLATION A BIT EASIER. THE NETWORK ANNOUNCED THAT IT IS HAVING ANOTHER WEEKEND CHRISTMAS MOVIE MARATHON. IT’S SISTER NETWORK HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES ALSO HAS ITS OWN LINEUP OF HOLIDAY MOVIES. HALLMARK’S “COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS” AND HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES’ HOLIDAY MARATHONS KICK OFF THIS FRIDAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/26/2020 6:10am:

THREE MORE CORONAVIRUS DEATHS WERE REPORTED IN ILLINOIS ON WEDNESDAY, BRINGING THE OVERALL DEATH TOLL IN THE STATE TO 19. THE DEATHS WERE A KANE COUNTY MAN IN HIS 90S, A COOK COUNTY MAN IN HIS 60S AND A WILL COUNTY WOMAN IN HER 50S; 13 OF THE 19 DEATHS HAVE BEEN FROM COOK COUNTY. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES JUMPED TO OVER 1,800, WITH 330 NEW CASES REPORTED YESTERDAY. AMONG THE CASES: TWO STUDENTS AT NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND A PRISONER AT THE STATEVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, AND A CONTRACTOR AT SHERIDAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER.

LATE WEDNESDAY THE SENATE PASSED THE $2.2 TRILLION ECONOMIC RESCUE PACKAGE AIMED TO AID BUSINESSES, WORKERS AND HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS ENGULFED BY THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE BILL WOULD PROVIDE ONE-TIME DIRECT PAYMENTS TO AMERICANS OF $1,200 PER ADULT MAKING UP TO $75,000 A YEAR, AND $2,400 TO A MARRIED COUPLE MAKING UP TO $150,000, WITH $500 PAYMENTS PER CHILD.

GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER ON WEDNESDAY PUSHED BACK THE STATE INCOME TAX-FILING DEADLINE TO MATCH THE NEW FEDERAL DEADLINE OF JULY 15TH. THE GOVERNOR ALSO ANNOUNCED THREE PROGRAMS THAT WILL OFFER 90-MILLION DOLLARS’ WORTH OF LOW-INTEREST LOANS AND GRANTS TO SMALL BUSINESSES THAT HAVE BEEN ECONOMICALLY IMPACTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS.

THE APOLLO THEATER STAGE IS ABOUT TO GO DIGITAL. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 86 YEARS, THE APOLLO THEATER ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL BE HOLDING ITS FAMOUS AMATEUR NIGHT OPEN AUDITIONS FOR ITS SUMMER AND FALL SEASON SOLELY ONLINE. ORGANIZERS SAY THEY MADE THE MOVE AFTER THEATERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WERE FORCED TO GO DARK AMID THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO AUDITION SHOULD HEAD TO APOLLOTHEATER.ORG TO APPLY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/25/2020 6:40pm:

A VOTE ON THE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS BILL IS NOW HUNG UP IN THE SENATE. SOME REPUBLICANS HAVE RAISED CONCERNS ABOUT LANGUAGE INVOLVING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AFTER THE WHITE HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERS STRUCK A DEAL ON THE PACKAGE LAST NIGHT. THE BILL WOULD NEED TO GET APPROVAL BY THE HOUSE BEFORE IT CAN BE SENT TO THE PRESENT.

THE PENTAGON IS ORDERING U.S. TROOPS TO STOP MOVEMENT OVERSEAS FOR UP TO 60 DAYS DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. ALL U.S. SERVICE MEMBERS OVERSEAS OR CURRENTLY SCHEDULED TO DEPLOY FROM THE U.S. WILL STAY IN THEIR PRESENT LOCATIONS FOR THE NEXT 60 DAYS. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MARK ESPER SAID THE ORDER APPLIES TO ALL U.S. FORCES, CIVILIAN PERSONNEL AND FAMILIES.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT IS WARNING THE PUBLIC AGAINST SO-CALLED MIRACLE CURES FOR COVID-19. IN A RECENT APPEARANCE ON THE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER’S DAILY INTERNET ADDRESS, LIGHTFOOT DISPELLED THE METHOD OF INHALING STEAM TO KILL THE VIRUS, AMONG OTHER FALSE TREATMENTS, AND REITERATED THAT THERE IS NO CURE FOR CORONAVIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/25/2020 5:30pm:

AMAZON IS MAKING A LIST OF THE MOST POPULAR BOARD GAMESTO HELP PASS THE TIME WHILE UNDER STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS. CLASSIC GAMES LIKE CANDY LAND, BATTLESHIP, AND GUESS WHO MADE THE LIST. AMAZON IS TAKING ORDERS, BUT ESSENTIAL ITEMS WILL BE PRIORITIZED FOR ESSENTIAL DELIVERY.

THE COMMISSIONER OF THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DR. STEPHEN HAHN, WARNS AGAINST SELF-MEDICATING WITH ANY FORM OF CHLOROQUINE PHOSPHATE, AFTER IT WAS WRONGFULLY TOUTED BY SOME AS HAVING CURATIVE PROPERTIES. AN ARIZONA MAN DIED THIS WEEK AFTER TAKING A FORM USED IN TREATING AQUARIUMS.

JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS REPORT THAT THERE ARE OVER 440-THOUSAND CONFIRMED CASES WORLDWIDE, WITH OVER 20-THOUSAND DEAD. THE U.S. HAS THE THIRD MOST INFECTIONS AT MORE THAN 61-THOUSAND.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/25/2020 3:50pm:

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVEN WEEKS THE DOW POSTED CONSECUTIVE TRADING SESSIONS THAT FINISHED WITH GAINS. A DAY AFTER POSTING RECORD HIGHS, AT CLOSING BELL TODAY IT HAD GAINED 495 POINTS.

THE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS BILL IS STILL PENDING IN THE SENATE, WHERE SENATORS HAVE BEEN DISSECTING THE LANGUAGE IN THE DOCUMENT, WHICH IS OVER ONE THOUSAND PAGES LONG. THE WHITE HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERS STRUCK A BIPARTISAN DEAL OVERNIGHT, BUT SOME LAWMAKERS HAVE RAISED CONCERNS ABOUT LANGUAGE INVOLVING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION.

THE ILLINOIS STATE DENTAL SOCIETY IS RECOMMENDING ALL DENTISTS CEASE ALL IN-PERSON DENTAL TREATMENT EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCIES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THE SOCIETY PREVIOUSLY RECOMMENDED POSTPONING ELECTIVE PROCEDURES ONLY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/25/2020 2:50pm:

IN TODAY’S PUBLIC BRIEFING, ILLINOIS OFFICIALS REPORTED 330 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS, AND THREE MORE DEATHS. THERE ARE NOW 1,865 CONFIRMED CASES AND 19 DEATHS REPORTED IN THE STATE. GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THAT THE STATE TAX DEADLINE IS DELAYED UNTIL JULY 15, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE DELAYED DEADLINE FOR FEDERAL TAXES.

CHICAGO INTERIM POLICE SUPERINTENDENT CHARLIE BECK SAID THAT POLICE WILL BEGIN TICKETING THOSE WHO DO NOT FOLLOW THE STATE’S STAY-AT-HOME MANDATE. STARTING TODAY, THOSE WHO DEFY SOCIAL DISTANCING ORDERS WILL BE GIVEN ONE WARNING, THEN CITED UP TO TO 500 DOLLARS AND EVEN ARRESTED IF THEY CONTINUE TO VIOLATE THE ORDER.

THE UNITED CENTER WILL BE REPURPOSED INTO A LOGISTICS HUB FOR CHICAGO TO BATTLE THE PANDEMIC LOCALLY. THE ARENA WILL BE USED TO STAGE FIRST RESPONDERS, COLLECT MEDICAL SUPPLIES, AND HELP WITH FRONT LINE FOOD DISTRIBUTION.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/25/2020 1:40pm:

IN A PUBLIC BRIEFING, MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ORDERED CHICAGOANS TO OBEY THE MANDATE TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING OVER CONCERNS ABOUT THE WARMER, SUNNIER WEATHER TODAY. SHE SAID SHE WILL SHUT DOWN THE ENTIRE LAKEFRONT IN THE CITY IF CITIZENS ARE NOT HEEDING THE ORDER TO STAY AT HOME. INTERIM POLICE SUPERINTENDENT CHARLIE BECK ADDED THAT IF CITIZENS CONGREGATE FOR SPORTS, GAMES, OR OTHER REVELRY AMID THE SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER, THEY WILL BE FINED STARTING TODAY.

ILLINOIS IS ONE OF ELEVEN STATES GETTING A MEDICAID WAIVER REQUEST GRANTED. THE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVES SAY THE WAIVERS OFFER NEW FLEXIBILITIES TO FOCUS STATE RESOURCES ON COMBATTING THE PANDEMIC. THEY PROVIDE RELIEF ON THINGS LIKE PRIOR AUTHORIZATION AND PROVIDER ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS.

WAFFLE HOUSE IS CLOSING 365 OF ITS RESTAURANTS ACROSS THE U.S. BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE COMPANY MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT ON TWITTER, AND POSTED A MAP OF THE LOCATIONS BEING CLOSED. THE CHAIN RARELY CLOSES UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LEADING TO WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE WAFFLE HOUSE INDEX, WHICH IS AN UNOFFICIAL EMERGENCY SYSTEM USED TO MEASURE THE SEVERITY OF STORMS AND OTHER CRISES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/25/2020 12:40pm:

THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IS SHOWING THE FIRST BACK-TO-BACK GAINS IN MORE THAN A MONTH. DURING MID-DAY TRADING, THE INDEX WAS UP BY MORE THAN A THOUSAND POINTS. THE DOW SET A SINGLE-DAY RECORD YESTERDAY BY GAINING MORE THAN 2100 POINTS, LARGELY IN ANTICIPATION OF THE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE BILL INJECTING CASH INTO THE ECONOMY. THE BILL IS NOW UNDER REVIEW BY HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS.

STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE CONSIDERING MAKING MCCORMICK PLACE A TEMPORARY SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS IN CHICAGO. THE ENORMOUS CAMPUS, USUALLY BUSY WITH MAJOR CONVENTIONS, HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN BY THE VIRUS AND THE STATEWIDE ORDER TO SHELTER-IN-PLACE.

AND YOUTUBE WILL HELP EASE THE STRAIN ON THE INTERNET BY REDUCING VIDEO QUALITY WORLDWIDE. THE UNPRECEDENTED AMOUNT OF PEOPLE STAYING HOME AND USING THE WEB DURING THE PANDEMIC HAS CAUSED FEARS OF CRASHING DUE TO OVER-USE. YOUTUBE WILL DEFAULT TO STANDARD DEFINITION FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/25/2020 10:45am:

THE SENATE IS EXPECTED TO MOVE QUICKLY TODAY TO APPROVE A MASSIVE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE. THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS STRUCK A DEAL OVERNIGHT ON THE ROUGHLY TWO-TRILLION BILL. THE BIPARTISAN MEASURE IS A RESPONSE TO THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM THE GROWING CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HAS LED TO COMPLAINTS ABOUT PRICE GOUGING AT STORES ACROSS THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. CONSUMERS SAY PRICES HAVE SOARED ON CERTAIN ITEMS THAT ARE IN DEMAND. ILLINOIS’ ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS STORES CAUGHT PRICE GOUGING COULD FACE STIFF CONSEQUENCES.

NEW YORK CITY IS CURRENTLY THE EPICENTER OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE U.S. WHERE THE NUMBER OF INFECTIONS CONTINUES TO SKY-ROCKET. NEARLY 16-THOUSAND CASES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED. NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO HAS WARNED THE NUMBER OF INFECTIONS MIGHT NOT PEAK UNTIL MID-APRIL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/25/2020 8:20am:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED TUESDAY ILLINOIS’ TOTAL COVID-19 CASE NUMBER TICKED UP TO 1,535 WITH 16 DEATHS.

IT’S ALL OVER BUT THE VOTING AFTER THE SENATE AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REACHED A DEAL FOR A TWO-TRILLION DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE. THE AGREEMENT ANNOUNCED AFTER MIDNIGHT CAME AFTER FIVE STRAIGHT DAYS OF INTENSE NEGOTIATIONS ON A BILL THAT WILL PROVIDE RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES, LAID-OFF WORKERS AND FAMILIES.

WITH THE NUMBER OF CASES STATEWIDE IN ILLINOIS CONTINUING TO RISE, OFFICIALS SAYS MORE THAN HALF THE STATE’S HOSPITAL BEDS ARE NOW OCCUPIED. WITH 26,025 HOSPITAL BEDS AVAILABLE, ILLINOIS OFFICIALS CLAIM IF NO PROTECTIVE MEASURES WERE TAKEN, THEY PREDICT THE STATE WOULD RUN OUT OF BEDS IN LESS THAN A WEEK.

PRINCE CHARLES HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. THE 71-YEAR-OLD IS SHOWING MILD SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 AND IS SELF-ISOLATING AT A ROYAL ESTATE IN SCOTLAND.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/24/2020 6:40pm:

THE HILTON CHICAGO IS NOTIFYING GUESTS THAT IT WILL SUSPEND OPERATIONS INDEFINITELY AS OF THIS FRIDAY DUE TO LOSSES STEMMING FROM THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. WITH OVER 1500 ROOMS, IT IS ONE OF THE LARGEST IN CHICAGO. CITY OFFICIALS THIS WEEK UNVEILED A PLAN TO PAY FOR HOTEL ROOMS TO USE FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS WHO NEED TO BE ISOLATED.

NEW YORK CITY, ONE OF THE STATES HARDEST-HIT BY THE VIRUS, WILL PILOT A PROGRAM AIMED AT ALLOWING PEOPLE TO GET FRESH AIR AND EXERCISE WHILE UNDER SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDERS. TWO STREETS PER BOROUGH WILL CLOSE TO TRAFFIC AND OPEN UP TO RESIDENTS. AUTHORITIES WILL MONITOR THE ACTIVITY TO DETERMINE WHETHER SOCIAL DISTANCING POLICIES ARE BEING ADHERED TO.

WALL STREET INVESTORS ARE PREPARING FOR THE MARKET TO TURN AROUND AS THE SENATE NEGOTIATES A DEAL TO INJECT MONEY INTO THE ECONOMY WITH A BIPARTISAN STIMULUS PACKAGE. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS UP ABOUT TEN PERCENT TODAY, DESPITE A REPORT THAT NEW HOME SALES WERE DOWN DRAMATICALLY IN FEBRUARY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/24/2020 5:30pm:

PRESIDENT TRUMP OPENED TODAY’S CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BRIEFING WITH A STATED GOAL TO EASE SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES AROUND EASTER. THIS IS AT ODDS WITH MAJOR HEALTH OFFICIALS, INCLUDING SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS, WHO ALL WARN THAT THE VIRUS WILL GET WORSE IN THE U.S.

WORK ON AN ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE CONTINUES IN THE SENATE. THE BI-PARTISAN BILL AIMS TO DEAL WITH THE GROWING ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

CHICAGO POLICE AND FIRE OFFICIALS SAID TODAY THAT THEIR DEPARTMENTS ARE PREPARED TO CONTINUE TO ASSIST DURING THE CRISIS. INTERIM POLICE DEPARTMENT SUPERINTENDENT CHARLIE BECK SAID THAT AT LEAST 12,000 PROTECTIVE KITS INCLUDING GLOVES AND MASKS HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO OFFICERS. THERE ARE NOW SIX MEMBERS OF THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT WITH CONFIRMED CASES OF THE VIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/24/2020 3:50pm:

THE DOW ENDED THE DAY WITH A GAIN OF OVER 2000 POINTS, THE LARGEST EVER RECORDED, ON WORD THAT THE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE MIGHT PASS IN THE SENATE. THE 2-TRILLION-DOLLAR BILL PROPOSES A CASH INJECTION TO AMERICANS HURTING ECONOMICALLY DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. MONEY TO ENSURE HOSPITAL OPERATIONS IS ALSO SAID TO BE PART OF THE PACKAGE.

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THERE ARE 1,535 CASES OF COVID-19 CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS, 250 MORE THAN YESTERDAY. FIVE CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEMBERS HAVE NOW TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

RESTAURANTS AROUND THE COUNTRY HAVE DECLARED TODAY “GREAT AMERICAN TAKEOUT DAY.” AS THE PANDEMIC CAUSES MAJOR LAYOFFS WITHIN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY, THE IDEA IS TO ORDER TAKE-OUT OR DELIVERY TODAY TO SUPPORT FOOD SERVICE BUSINESSES AND WORKERS, AND POST ABOUT IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA USING THE HASHTAG “THE GREAT AMERICAN TAKEOUT” TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/24/2020 2:50pm:

THE ILLINOS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTED 250 NEW CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE STATE TODAY, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 1,535. FOUR ADDITIONAL DEATHS IN ILLINOIS DUE TO THE VIRUS WERE ALSO REPORTED. IN A PUBLIC BRIEFING TODAY, GOVERNOR PRITZKER STRESSED COMPLIANCE WITH STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS TO CURB THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE INFECTED WORLDWIDE IS NOW OVER 400,000.

WASHINGTON DC MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER IS PLANNING TO ORDER ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES CLOSED IN THE DISTRICT. ALMOST 140 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED BY THE VIRUS IN DC, INCLUDING A ONE-YEAR-OLD.

YOU’LL START SEEING SNEEZE GUARDS AT ALL JEWEL-OSCO STORES. THE PLEXIGLASS GUARDS WILL BE PUT INTO PLACE AT REGISTERS, SERVICE DESKS, AND PHARMACY COUNTERS TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS FROM SPREADING INFECTION. THE COMPANY WILL ALSO PUT TAPE ON FLOORS TO HELP PEOPLE PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING WHILE SHOPPING AND CHECKING OUT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/24/2020 1:45pm:

THE DIRECTOR OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SAYS IT’S POSSIBLE TO “CHANGE THE TRAJECTORY” OF THE VIRUS, BUT MORE RIGOROUS TESTING MUST BE DONE, ESPECIALLY AS THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS PICKS UP SPEED WITH MORE THAN 365-THOUSAND CASES CONFIRMED. HE WILL ASK LEADERS TO WORK TOGETHER THIS WEEK TO BOOST PRODUCTION OF PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.

HEALTHCARE WORKERS WITH EXPIRED LICENSES IN ILLINOIS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO COME BACK INTO PRACTICE AS CORONAVIRUS CASES CONTINUE TO RISE IN THE STATE. OFFICIALS ARE NOW ALLOWING THOSE EXPIRED LICENSES TO BE TEMPORARILY RESTORED, A REGULATORY CHANGE THAT COMES AFTER GOVERNOR PRITZKER ISSUED A CALL FOR RETIRED DOCTORS AND NURSES TO HELP WITH THE SURGE IN COVID-19 PATIENTS.

WALGREENS, COSTCO AND TRADER JOE’S ARE THE LATEST FOOD RETAILERS SETTING ASIDE SPECIAL HOURS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS TO SHOP. AT WALGREENS, IT’S THE FIRST HOUR OF EVERY TUESDAY, WITH CAREGIVERS AND IMMEDIATE FAMILY ALSO ALLOWED. COSTCO OFFERS A SPECIAL HOUR TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS, AND TRADER JOE’S IS HAVING SENIOR HOUR EVERY MORNING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/24/2020 12:40pm:

STOCKS ARE UP ON WALL STREET AS DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE IN THE SENATE ON THE TWO-TRILLION-DOLLAR STIMULUS PACKAGE CREATED IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE DOW HAS SEEN SPIKES OF MORE THAN 1500 POINTS AT TIMES TODAY, WHICH INVESTORS ARE KEEPING AN EYE ON BECAUSE THE DOW IS ON A TRAJECTORY TOWARD ITS WORST MONTH SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

ITALY REPORTS AN INCREASE IN CORONAVIRUS DEATHS – 743 OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS. THAT IS MORE THAN MONDAY, WHICH HAD BEEN THE SECOND DAY OF A DOWNWARD TREND. AT LEAST 6800 PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN THE COUNTRY SO FAR. IN ILLINOIS, THERE ARE 1285 POSITIVE CASES REPORTED, AND 12 DEATHS.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED THAT THE CITY OF CHICAGO WILL BE GIVING SEVERAL BREAKS ON TRANSPORTATION DURING THE CRISIS, INCLUDING CREDITS FOR UNUSED CTA PASSES, FREE CAB RIDES FOR PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES, AND DISCOUNTED DIVVY MEMBERSHIP. THE CITY WILL ALSO DEFER VEHICLE INSPECTION AND LICENSE RENEWAL WHILE THE BUSINESS AFFAIRS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION OFFICES ARE SHUTTERED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/24/2020 11:40am:

THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES IN ILLINOIS CONTINUES TO RISE. THE STATE OF ILLINOIS CORONAVIRUS WEBSITE SAYS THERE ARE NOW 1,285 CASES IN THE STATE, AND INCREASE OF ALMOST 250 FROM THE WEEKEND. THERE ARE ALSO 12 DEATHS. THE STATE HAS NOW TESTED ALMOST 10,000 PEOPLE FOR THE VIRUS.

GOVERNOR PRIZTER ANNOUNCED A NEW EFFORT TO GET NEEDED PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY. PRITZKER SAID A NEW TASK FORCE WILL WORK WITH ILLINOIS COMPANIES TO PRODUCE AND DISTRIBUTE THE EQUIPMENT.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT IS URGING THE WHITE HOUSE TO POSTPONE THE 2020 U.S. CENSUS. SHE SAID YESTERDAY THAT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH BANDWIDTH TO GO ON WITH THE COUNT WHILE BATTLING CORONAVIRUS.

METRA IS PROVIDING FREE RIDES TO MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. THE AGENCY ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT ALL DOCTORS, NURSES, EMTS, PARAMEDICS, AND OTHER RELATED PERSONNEL CAN RIDE FARE-FREE ON ALL THEIR RAIL LINES THROUGH APRIL 7TH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/24/2020 10:40am:

THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ILLINOIS HAS REACHED 1,285 WITH A TOTAL OF 12 DEATHS.

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI IS OPTIMISTIC THAT A DEAL COULD BE STRUCK ON A MASSIVE STIMULUS DEAL SOON.

THE 2020 OLYMPICS IN JAPAN ARE BEING DELAYED UNTIL NEXT YEAR. THE GAMES WILL BE HELD NO LATER THAN NEXT SUMMER.

CHICAGO WILL BE RENTING OUT VACANT HOTEL ROOMS FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY COVID-19. MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT THE ROOMS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO THOSE EITHER WAITING FOR TEST RESULTS OR THOSE WHO HAVE A MILD CASE OF THE VIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 6:40pm:

THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD BEGAN TESTING FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS AT A NEWLY OPENED SITE ON THE NORTHWEST SIDE. THE SITE, LOCATED AT 6959 W. FOREST PRESERVE DRIVE, WILL DO 250 TESTS A DAY, GIVEN ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS.

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION’S SOLIDARITY TRIAL – WHICH EXAMINES TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR THE VIRUS – PLANS TO ENROLL ITS FIRST PATIENTS THIS WEEK. THE TRIAL WAS ORGANIZED TO TEST APPROACHES TO TACKLE THE VIRUS ACROSS SEVERAL COUNTRIES, AND COMPARE DATA TO FIND THE MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS.

MARYLAND GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN SHUT DOWN ALL NONESSENTIAL BUSINESSES IN THE STATE TODAY. VIRGINIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE NOW CLOSED THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 5:30pm:

THE 2020 TOKYO OLYMPICS WILL BE POSTPONED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE GAMES WERE SCHEDULED TO BEGIN ON JULY 24. IOC MEMBER DICK POUND TOLD USA TODAY THAT THEY WILL LIKELY BE MOVED TO 2021.

NEW YORK STATE, HARD-HIT BY THE CORONAVIRUS, NOW HAS OVER 20,000 CASES, WITH A HOSPITALIZATION RATE OF OVER 13%. GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAYS THIS INCLUDES OVER 5,700 NEW CASES AS TESTING CONTINUES TO EXPAND STATEWIDE. GLOBAL CASES OF THE VIRUS ARE OVER 350,000, AND OVER 35,000 CASES CONFIRMED IN THE U.S.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE TOLD GOVERNORS TODAY THAT FEMA IS NOW THE HUB OF THE WHITE HOUSE’S EFFORTS TO MAKE SURE CORONAVIRUS POLICIES ARE LOCALLY EXECUTED. HE SAID HE HOPES THE RECENTLY SIGNED DISASTER DECLARATION GIVES GOVERNORS CONFIDENCE THAT THEY HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 3:50pm:

THE MASSIVE ECONOMIC STIMULUS BILL DID NOT MOVE FORWARD TODAY. THIS IS THE SECOND TIME IN THREE DAYS THAT THE BILL HAS STALLED, WHEN A KEY PROCEDURAL VOTE FAILED TO HIT A 60 VOTE THRESHOLD. THE BILL PROPOSES TO INJECT CASH DIRECTLY TO AMERICANS IMPACTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS.

THE WHITE HOUSE HAS ANNOUNCED A NEW COMPUTING CONSORTIUM. COMPANIES INCLUDING IBM AND MICROSOFT WILL TEAM WITH OTHERS LIKE NASA IN A PUBIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP AIMED AT GIVING RESEARCHERS A LEG UP IN FIGHTING THE CORONAVIRUS.

REAL ESTATE COMPANY ZILLOW IS SUSPENDING HOME BUYING NATIONWIDE. THE COMPANY SAID IT IS HALTING SERVICE TODAY IN RESPONSE TO LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS. ITS HOME INVENTORY HAS DECLINED TO FEWER THAN 1,900 HOMES NATIONWIDE AS OF LAST WEEK.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 2:50pm:

A COOK COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER IS CALLING FOR THE RELEASE OF DETAINEES IN THE COUNTY JAIL DURING THE PANDEMIC, AFTER A GROUP OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS GATHERED YESTERDAY PLEADING FOR RELEASE SO THAT JAILS AND PRISONS DON’T BECOME INFECTION SITES.

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER ORDERED A STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME MANDATE TO TAKE EFFECT STARTING AT MIDNIGHT. MICHIGAN JOINS ILLINOIS, INDIANA, CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK, AND SEVERAL OTHER STATES IN ISSUING SIMILAR ORDERS TO CURB THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.

A FEDERAL RESERVE POLICYMAKER PREDICTS THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN THE U.S. COULD REACH 30 PERCENT. JAMES BULLARD, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS, TOLD BLOOMBERG NEWS HE ALSO EXPECTS A 50% DECLINE IN GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT IN THE SECOND QUARTER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 1:40pm:

SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS ISSUED A STARK WARNING TO AMERICANS ON NBC’S “TODAY”. HE SAID AMERICANS NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE PANDEMIC AND STAY HOME. THERE ARE MORE THAN 40,000 CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE U.S.

FOLLOWING ILLINOIS, OHIO AND OTHER STATES WHO HAVE STAY-AT-HOME MANDATES, INDIANA GOVERNOR ERIC HOLCOMB ORDERED RESIDENTS TO REMAIN AT HOME STARTING TODAY. WISCONSIN GOVERNOR TONY EVERS ORDERED ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES CLOSE STARTING TOMORROW.

METRA IS OPERATING AT ABOUT HALF OF ITS NORMAL WEEKDAY SERVICE TO ADJUST FOR THE REDUCED NUMBERS OF RIDERS. THERE ARE CHANGES FOR EVERY LINE EXCEPT THE HERITAGE CORRIDOR, WHICH OPERATES NORMALLY. RIDERS ARE ASKED TO AVOID PAYING WITH CASH WHILE ON TRAINS TO LESSEN THE RISK OF PERSON-TO-PERSON CONTAGION.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 12:40pm:

THE STOCK MARKET CONTINUES TO DECLINE. THE DOW FELL OVER 900 POINTS TODAY AS STOCKS ARE SOLD OFF AND TALKS REGARDING A MASSIVE STIMULUS PACKAGE STALL BETWEEN DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.

CVS HEALTH IS ADDING JOBS AS THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK SURGES. THE COMPANY IS HIRING 50,000 WORKERS, AND EMPLOYEES AT CVS STORES WILL GET A BONUS OF UP TO $500.

CITY OFFICIALS IN CHICAGO ARE PLANNING TO RENT THOUSANDS OF HOTEL ROOMS TO PEOPLE WHO NEED TO ISOLATE DUE TO THE VIRUS. SO FAR THE CAMBRIA CHICAGO MAGNIFICENT MILE IS ON BOARD, AND OTHER HOTELS ARE CLOSE TO FINALIZING A DEAL WITH THE CITY THAT WOULD MAKE ROOMS AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE WHO SHOW SYMPTOMS, HAVE BEEN EXPOSED, OR WHO ARE AWAITING TEST RESULTS. REFERRALS FOR THE ROOMS WILL COME FROM THE CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 11:45am:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER SAYS IT’S A “WILD WEST” AS STATES COMPETE FOR SUPPLIES TO FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. SPEAKING ON NBC’S TODAY, PRITZKER SAID THAT STATES ARE COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER FOR SUPPLIES. HE ADDED THAT STATES ARE ALSO FIGHTING OTHER COUNTRIES FOR SUPPLIES. PRITZKER SAID HIS STATE IS GETTING ANOTHER SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT, BUT THAT’S ONLY A “FRACTION” OF WHAT’S BEEN REQUESTED. HE LAMENTED THAT ILLINOIS IS OVER-PAYING FOR THOSE SUPPLIES.

AFTER THE FIRST FULL DAY SINCE THE GOVERNOR’S “STAY-AT-HOME” ORDER WENT INTO EFFECT SATURDAY AT 5 P.M., SOME CHICAGO AREA EMPLOYEES ARE QUESTIONING HOW THEIR COMPANY DEEMS THEIR BUSINESS AS ESSENTIAL. ALEXIA MACIAS IS AN EMPLOYEE AT MICHAELS IN BOLINGBROOK. SHE SAW A SURGE IN BUSINESS AFTER THE GOVERNOR’S ANNOUNCEMENT ON FRIDAY, BUT EXPLAINS THAT SHE DOESN’T SEE HOW YARN AND GLITTER SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL. MANY ARE PETITIONING ON CHANGE.ORG FOR MICHAELS TO TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

TWO FEDERAL COVID-19 TESTING SITES HAVE OPENED FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS AT WALMART’S IN JOLIET AND NORTHLAKE. THE DRIVE-THRU TESTING SITES ARE LOCATED IN THE STORES’ PARKING LOTS. THESE SITES ARE NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND OFFICIALS WILL ONLY TEST FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS WHO HAVE POTENTIALLY BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 10:45am:

ILLINOIS NOW HAS 1,049 CONFIRMED CASES AND 9 CONFIRMED DEATHS. SEVERAL OF CHICAGO FIRST RESPONDERS HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19, INCLUDING 2 PARAMEDICS LAST WEEK AND 4 ADDITIONAL POLICE OFFICERS SINCE THEN.

NEW YORK CITY MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO SAYS HE CAN’T GUARANTEE THE CITY’S ELEVEN PUBLIC HOSPITALS WILL BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS BEYOND THIS WEEK. THE MAYOR ALSO COMPLAINED ABOUT PRICE GOUGING SAYING HIS STAFF EXPECTED MILLIONS OF MASKS TO COME, BUT GOT OUTBID BY SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

THE SENATE IS SCHEDULED TO VOTE AGAIN TODAY TO ADVANCE A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE. THE TRILLION-DOLLAR BILL DIDN’T GET THE 60 VOTES NEEDED TO CLEAR A PROCEDURAL HURDLE SUNDAY. THE MEASURE WOULD PROVIDE PAYMENTS OF $1,200 FOR MANY INDIVIDUALS, WITH MORE FOR EACH CHILD IN A FAMILY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 9:45am:

STOCKS ARE PLUNGING AT THE OPEN ON WALL STREET AFTER THE FEDERAL RESERVE SIGNALED SUPPORT FOR FINANCIAL MARKETS. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS DOWN MORE THAN 200 POINTS IN EARLY TRADING DESPITE THE CENTRAL BANK’S SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN OPEN-ENDED ASSET PURCHASE PROGRAM.

ILLINOIS NOW HAS 1,049 CONFIRMED CASES AND 9 CONFIRMED DEATHS.

SUBURBAN BLUE ISLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT WAS SHUT DOWN AFTER AN EMPLOYEE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE COUNTY SHERIFF AND STATE POLICE ARE COVERING THE CITY WHILE THE BLUE ISLAND POLICE STATION IS THOROUGHLY CLEANED AND OTHER OFFICERS ARE TESTED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 8:45am:

ILLINOIS NOW HAS 1,049 CONFIRMED CASES AND 9 CONFIRMED DEATHS.
WISCONSIN HAS 381 CASES – 4 DEATHS BLAMED ON THE VIRUS
INDIANA 201 SICK, 6 DEAD
MICHIGAN HAS 1035 CONFIRMED CASES, 9 DEATHS.

NEW YORK STATE IS THE HARDEST HIT WITH OVER 15,000 CASES. OVER 9,600 CORONAVIRUS CASES IN NEW YORK CITY. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS ACTIVATED THE NATIONAL GUARD IN CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON AND NEW YORK, THREE OF THE STATES HARDEST HIT BY THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK.

THE SENATE IS SCHEDULED TO VOTE AGAIN TODAY TO ADVANCE A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE. THE TRILLION-DOLLAR BILL DIDN’T GET ANYWHERE CLOSE TO THE 60 VOTES NEEDED TO CLEAR A PROCEDURAL HURDLE SUNDAY EVENING. DEMOCRATIC LEADERS SAID THE BILL CURRENTLY GIVES CORPORATIONS TOO MUCH WIGGLE ROOM AND DOESN’T GIVE WORKING AMERICANS ENOUGH PROTECTION. THE MEASURE WOULD PROVIDE PAYMENTS OF $1,200 FOR MANY INDIVIDUALS, WITH MORE FOR EACH CHILD IN A FAMILY.

TWO FEDERAL COVID-19 TESTING SITES HAVE OPENED FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS AT WALMART’S IN JOLIET AND NORTHLAKE. THE DRIVE-THRU TESTING SITES ARE LOCATED IN THE STORES’ PARKING LOTS. THESE SITES ARE NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND OFFICIALS WILL ONLY TEST FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS WHO HAVE POTENTIALLY BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS GIVING BACK TO FANS WITH THE LEAGUE SHUT DOWN. EVERY GAME FROM THE PAST TWO SEASONS CAN BE STREAMED ON MLB-DOT-TV FOR FREE. THE REGULAR SEASON ISN’T EXPECTED TO BEGIN UNTIL MAY AT THE EARLIEST.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 7:10am:

ILLINOIS CONFIRMED JUST UNDER 300 NEW COVID-19 CASES, PUTTING ILLINOIS INTO THE TRIPLE DIGITS AT 1,049 CONFIRMED CASES. AT LEAST THREE OF THOSE CASES ARE OFFICERS IN THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT. 9 CONFIRMED DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19.

WISCONSIN HAS 381 CASES – 4 DEATHS BLAMED ON THE VIRUS.
INDIANA HAS 201 CASES, SIX DEATHS.
MICHIGAN HAS 1035 CONFIRMED CASES, 9 DEATHS.

NEW YORK STATE IS THE HARDEST HIT WITH OVER 15,000 CASES. OVER 9,600 CORONAVIRUS CASES IN NEW YORK CITY. THE DEATH TOLL HERE IS NEAR 100. STATISTICALLY, NEARLY ONE PERSON AN HOUR IS DYING FROM COVID-19. MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO WARNED THAT THE WORST IS YET TO COME.

HANES BRANDS IS SHIFTING PRODUCTION IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE NORTH CAROLINA-BASED CLOTHING COMPANY IS PARTNERING UP WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO MAKE FACE MASKS FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS WHO ARE RUNNING DANGEROUSLY LOW. THE COTTON MASKS HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE FDA FOR USE.

LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE DOING THEIR PART TO HELP RESIDENTS IMPACTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS. KOVAL DISTILLERY HAS STOPPED MAKING GIN AND WHISKEY AND IS INSTEAD NOW MAKING HAND SANITIZER, THANKS TO 17,000 DOLLARS RAISED ON A GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN. LAKE COUNTY’S 28-MILE VODKA IS ALSO MAKING SANITIZER.

ILLINOIS HAS ALSO RECEIVED MEDICAL SUPPLIES, INCLUDING N95 MASKS, FROM TV SHOWS THAT FILM HERE, SUCH AS “CHICAGO MED” AND “CHICAGO FIRE.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/23/2020 6:10am:

THE NUMBERS OF COVID-19 INFECTIONS CONTINUE TO RISE. THERE HAVE NOW BEEN MORE THAN 335-THOUSAND CASES OF THE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS WORLDWIDE, WITH CHINA OVER 81,000 AND ITALY CLOSING IN ON 60,000. THE UNITED STATES IS THIRD WITH 33,000.

THE SENATE WILL HAVE TO TRY AGAIN TODAY TO PASS A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE. THE TRILLION-DOLLAR BILL DID NOT GET ENOUGH VOTES SUNDAY EVENING TO CLEAR A PROCEDURAL BLOCK. DEMOCRATIC LEADERS HAVE SIGNALED THE BILL ISN’T WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR. THE MEASURE WOULD PROVIDE CHECKS OF 1,200 TO MANY INDIVIDUALS, WITH MORE FOR EACH CHILD IN A FAMILY.

DISGRACED MOVIE MOGUL HARVEY WEINSTEIN REPORTEDLY HAS COVID-19. THE NIAGARA-GAZETTE REPORTS WEINSTEIN IS NOW BEING HELD IN ISOLATION AT WENDE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN WESTERN NEW YORK WHERE HE’S SERVING A 23 YEAR SENTENCE FOR RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. THE 68-YEAR-OLD IS ONE OF TWO INMATES WHO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE; PRISON AUTHORITIES BELIEVE HE PICKED IT UP AT RIKERS ISLAND IN NEW YORK CITY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/22/2020 6:40pm:

AS THE NUMBER OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS CASES INCREASES ACROSS THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD, THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED ILLINOIS CASES HAS REACHED 1,049.

STATES HIT HARDEST BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC WILL RECEIVE ADDITIONAL HELP SOON. TRUMP ANNOUNCED THAT HE’S ISSUED ORDERS THAT ALLOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PAY FOR THE NATIONAL GUARD IN STATES LIKE NEW YORK, CALIFORNIA AND WASHINGTON STATE. HE’S ALREADY APPROVED MAJOR DISASTER DECLARATIONS FOR NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON.

THE SENATE IS FAILING TO ADVANCE A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE. THE TRILLON-DOLLAR BILL DID NOT GET ENOUGH VOTES SUNDAY EVENING TO CLEAR A PROCEDURAL HURDLE. DEMOCRATIC LEADERS HAVE SIGNALED THE BILL IS NOT TO THEIR LIKING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/22/2020 3:20pm:

ILLINOIS STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE ANNOUNCED THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ILLINOIS HAS SURPASSED 1,000 WITH 9 CONFIRMED DEATHS.

KENTUCKY SENATOR RAND PAUL HAS BECOME THE FIRST U.S. SENATOR TO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI DOESN’T BELIEVE THE U.S. WILL HAVE THE SAME CORONAVIRUS TRAJECTORY AS ITALY. ON CBS’ FACE THE NATION, ONE OF THE NATION’S TOP HEALTH OFFICIALS TALKED ABOUT ITALY NOT TAKING STEPS TO KEEP OUT INFECTIONS.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER’S ORDER TO REMAIN AT HOME AND SHELTER IN PLACE WENT IN INTO EFFECT ILLINOIS YESTERDAY AT 5PM THROUGH APRIL 7TH. ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES ARE CLOSED, AND RESIDENTS ARE ORDERED TO STAY AT HOME TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/22/2020 1:10pm:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER’S ORDER TO REMAIN AT HOME AND SHELTER IN PLACE WENT IN INTO EFFECT ILLINOIS YESTERDAY AT 5PM THROUGH APRIL 7TH. ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES ARE CLOSED, AND RESIDENTS ARE ORDERED TO STAY AT HOME TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

PRITZKER SAYS IT’S A “WILD WEST” AS STATES COMPETE FOR SUPPLIES TO FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS. PRITZKER SAID ILLINOIS IS GETTING ANOTHER SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TODAY OR TOMORROW, BUT THAT’S ONLY A “FRACTION” OF WHAT’S BEEN REQUESTED.

PRITZKER IS ALSO CALLING FOR RETIRED DOCTORS, NURSES AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS TO RETURN TO WORK IN THE MIDST OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL SAYS AN AGREEMENT ON A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE IS “VERY CLOSE.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/22/2020 10:50am:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER’S ORDER TO REMAIN AT HOME AND SHELTER IN PLACE WENT IN INTO EFFECT ILLINOIS YESTERDAY AT 5PM THROUGH APRIL 7TH. ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES ARE CLOSED, AND RESIDENTS ARE ORDERED TO STAY AT HOME TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

ABOUT A BILLION PEOPLE ARE ON CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN AROUND THE WORLD. IN THE U.S, 6 STATES HAVE ISSUED STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS TO CURB THE PANDEMIC. IN EUROPE, BOTH ITALY AND SPAIN ARE ON LOCKDOWN, WHILE FRANCE, IRELAND, DENMARK AND POLAND ARE AMONG THE COUNTRIES TELLING PEOPLE NOT TO VENTURE OUT.

AS THE NUMBER OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS CASES INCREASES ACROSS THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD, THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES IN ILLINOIS HAS REACHED 753.

THE UNITED STATES NOW HAS THE THIRD-LARGEST CORONAVIRUS CASE TOTAL IN THE WORLD. THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED INFECTIONS IN THE U.S. REACHED 27,700 CASES TODAY, FOLLOWED BY SPAIN WITH APPROXIMATELY 28,500 AND ITALY WITH MORE THAN 53,500. WHILE CHINA’S MAINLAND STILL HAS THE MOST TOTAL CASES OVER TIME, AT MORE THAN 81,000, AT LEAST 65,000 HAVE RECOVERED.

WORLDWIDE MORE THAN 308,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED AND OVER 13,000 HAVE DIED, ACCORDING TO JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/21/2020 6:45pm:

AN ORDER TO REMAIN AT HOME AND SHELTER IN PLACE WENT IN ILLINOIS TODAY AT 5PM THROUGH APRIL 7. ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES ARE CLOSED, AND RESIDENTS ARE ORDERED TO STAY AT HOME TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDERS ARE ALSO IN EFFECT IN CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK, CONNECTICUT AND NEW JERSEY.

753 CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS ARE CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS, 168 MORE THAN YESTERDAY, AND SIX DEATHS ARE NOW REPORTED IN THE STATE. THERE ARE OVER 22,000 CASES OF THE VIRUS CONFIRMED IN THE UNITED STATES.

NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE IN CONGRESS ON A CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE. THE WASHINGTON POST REPORTS IT COULD INJECT UP TO TWO TRILLION DOLLARS INTO THE ECONOMY IN THE MONTHS AHEAD. THE BILL INCLUDES DIRECT PAYMENTS TO AMERICANS, AN INCREASE IN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, MORE FUNDING FOR MEDICAL SUPPLIES, AND LOANS AND GRANTS TO BUSINESSES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/21/2020 5:40pm:

A SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER WENT INTO EFFECT TODAY AT 5 PM IN ILLINOIS, LASTING THROUGH APRIL 7. ALL CITY PARKS AND LIBRARIES IN CHICAGO ARE ALSO CLOSED FOR THE DURATION OF THE ORDER. THERE ARE NOW 753 CONFIRMED CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS, WITH SIX DEATHS REPORTED.

SENATE NEGOTIATORS ARE WORKING OVER THE WEEKEND TO REACH A DEAL ON A STIMULUS PACKAGE TO COUNTER THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE PACKAGE WOULD PROVIDE DIRECT CASH PAYOUTS TO AMERICANS AND EXPAND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, AND IS EXPECTED TO GROW WELL BEYOND THE ONE-TRILLION DOLLARS ORIGINALLY PROPOSED.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE IS BEING TESTED FOR THE CORONAVIRUS AFTER A MEMBER OF HIS STAFF TESTED POSITIVE.

APPLE WILL BE HELPING SOURCE SUPPLIES FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS TO COMBAT COVID-19. CEO TIM COOK TWEETED THAT THE COMPANY WILL DONATE MILLIONS OF MASKS IN THE U.S. AND EUROPE.

STARBUCKS WILL SWITCH TO DRIVE-THRU AND DELIVERY ONLY FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS, CLOSING ITS CAFE-ONLY STORES. STARBUCKS LOCATIONS INSIDE OF GROCERY STORES WILL REMAIN OPEN, AS WILL SOME LOCATED IN AND AROUND HEALTH CARE FACILITIES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/21/2020 3:50pm:

168 NEW CASES OF THE VIRUS HAVE BEEN REPORTED TODAY IN ILLINOIS. THAT BRINGS THE TOTAL NUMBER TO 753 CASES AND 6 DEATHS.

A SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER WILL GO INTO EFFECT IN ILLINOIS TODAY AT 5PM, LASTING THROUGH APRIL 7TH. ALL RESIDENTS ARE ORDERED TO STAY HOME AND NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES WILL BE CLOSED. ALL CITY PARKS AND LIBRARIES IN CHICAGO WILL BE CLOSED FOR THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER.YOU CAN STILL GO TO THE GROCERY STORE OR PICK UP TAKE-OUT FOOD, GET MEDICINE OR GO TO THE DOCTOR, GET PET SUPPLIES, AND GO TO THE BANK OR THE UTILITY COMPANY.

NEW JERSEY IS THE LATEST STATE TO ORDER RESIDENTS TO STAY HOME. ALL NONESSENTIAL BUSINESSES IN THE STATE WILL CLOSE BY 9 P.M. TONIGHT. NEW JERSEY JOINS ILLINOIS, CONNECTICUT, NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA IN THIS MANDATE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/21/2020 1:50pm:

TODAY AT 5 PM, A SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER BEGINS FOR THE STATE OF IN ILLINOIS THROUGH APRIL 7TH.

PRITZKER SIGNED THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER YESTERDAY PROHIBITING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE GATHERINGS OF ANY NUMBER OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE A SINGLE HOUSEHOLD, EXCEPT TO PARTICIPATE IN ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES. ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: TASKS VITAL TO HEALTH AND SAFETY (GATHERING MEDICAL SUPPLIES, MEDICATIONS, ETC.), GATHERING HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (FOOD AND CLEANING SUPPLIES), OUTDOOR ACTIVITY (WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING), CARING FOR A FAMILY MEMBER OR PET, AND PERFORMING WORK FOR AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS.

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS LAWMAKERS ARE CLOSE TO A DEAL ON A MASSIVE CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE. SPEAKING FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TODAY, TRUMP CITED PROGRESS IN THE BIPARTISAN EFFORT ON A TRILLION DOLLAR PACKAGE TO PROVIDE RELIEF FOR AMERICANS.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE SAYS HE AND HIS WIFE KAREN WILL BE TESTED FOR THE CORONAVIRUS AFTER A MEMBER OF HIS STAFF TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. PENCE SAID NEITHER HE OR PRESIDENT TRUMP HAD DIRECT CONTACT WITH THIS PERSON.

THE COVID-19 CRISIS HAS INSPIRED SOME CREATIVE WAYS TO SPREAD CREATIVITY IN CHICAGO. TWO CHICAGOANS HAVE ORGANIZED A CITY-WIDE WINDOW SING-ALONG OF BON JOVI’S “LIVING ON A PRAYER” TONIGHT AT 7PM.

TO HELP YOU SING-ALONG, TUNE INTO 97.1 FM THE DRIVE ON YOUR RADIO AS WE PLAY THE SONG LIVE AT 7PM TONIGHT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/21/2020 11:40am:

TODAY AT 5 PM, A SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER BEGINS FOR THE STATE OF IN ILLINOIS THROUGH APRIL 7TH. ALL PUBLIC PARKS AND PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN CHICAGO WILL ALSO CLOSE FOR THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER.

PRITZKER SIGNED THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER YESTERDAY PROHIBITING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE GATHERINGS OF ANY NUMBER OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE A SINGLE HOUSEHOLD, EXCEPT TO PARTICIPATE IN ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES. ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: TASKS VITAL TO HEALTH AND SAFETY (GATHERING MEDICAL SUPPLIES, MEDICATIONS, ETC.), GATHERING HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (FOOD AND CLEANING SUPPLIES), OUTDOOR ACTIVITY (WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING), CARING FOR A FAMILY MEMBER OR PET, AND PERFORMING WORK FOR AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS.

CHICAGO BUSINESSMAN WILLIE WISLON WANTS TO DONATE 10,000 MEDICAL MASKS TO THE CITY’S FIRST RESPONDERS BATTLING THE WAR AGAINST CORONAVIRUS.

FUNERALS IN THE CHICAGO AREA ARE BEING IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. FUNERAL DIRECTORS ARE RECOMMENDED TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL DISTANCING OF 6 FEET AWAY FROM PEOPLE WITH A LIMIT OF 10 IN ATTENDANCE DURING SERVICES AND TO CONDUCT GRAVESIDE SERVICES RATHER IN A CHAPEL.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/21/2020 9:20am:

TODAY AT 5 PM, A SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER BEGINS FOR THE STATE OF IN ILLINOIS THROUGH APRIL 7TH. GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE MANDATE IN A PUBLIC BRIEFING YESTERDAY, AND CALLED IT THE ONLY STRATEGY AVAILABLE TO MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE “MOST ROBUST MANNER POSSIBLE.” ALL PUBLIC PARKS AND PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN CHICAGO WILL ALSO CLOSE FOR THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER.

ALONG WITH ILLINOIS, STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR CONNECTICUT, NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA, DIRECTING ALL NON-ESSENTIAL WORKERS TO SHELTER-IN-PLACE.

THE SENATE WILL CONTINUE ITS CORONAVIRUS RELIEF EFFORTS TODAY. SENATORS LEFT CAPITOL HILL LAST NIGHT WITHOUT AN AGREEMENT ON A MASSIVE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE. THE MEASURE IS A RESPONSE TO THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

MAJOR RETAILER CHAINS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE ON CORONAVIRUS HIRING SPREES. WALMART, AMAZON, KROGER AND 7-ELEVEN ARE AMONG THE RETAILERS WHO ARE SEEING MARKED INCREASE IN DEMAND LEADING TO AN URGENCY TO HIRE MORE WORKERS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/20/2020 6:40pm:

TOMORROW AT 5 PM THROUGH APRIL 7th, A SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER WILL COME DOWN STATEWIDE IN ILLINOIS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE MANDATE IN A PUBLIC BRIEFING TODAY, AND CALLED IT THE ONLY STRATEGY AVAILABLE TO MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE “MOST ROBUST MANNER POSSIBLE.” ALL PUBLIC PARKS AND PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN CHICAGO WILL ALSO CLOSE FOR THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER.

CONNECTICUT JOINED ILLINOIS, CALIFORNIA, AND NEW YORK IN ISSUING A MANDATE TO SHELTER-IN-PLACE TO ALL ITS RESIDENTS. CONNECTICUT’S ORDER WILL GO INTO PLACE ON MONDAY AT 8PM.

LYFT SAYS ITS DRIVERS WILL SOON BE DELIVERING FOOD AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO HELP COMBAT THE VIRUS. THE COMPANY SAYS THEY’RE WORKING WITH GOVERNMENTS AND HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS, AND THAT THE PROGRAM WILL START IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA WITH HOPES TO EXPAND AS MORE STATES ISSUE ORDERS TO STAY-AT-HOME.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/20/2020 5:30pm:

A SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR ILLINOIS STARTING AT 5PM TOMORROW THROUGH THE END OF THE DAY ON APRIL 7. GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THE ORDER IN A PUBLIC BRIEFING TODAY. ILLINOIS WILL JOIN CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK IN MANDATING STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS TO CURB THE SPREAD AND IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

IT WAS A VOLATILE WEEK THAT ENDED DOWN ON WALL STREET. THE DOW JONES LOST 913 POINTS TO CLOSE AT 19-173. THE S&P FELL 104 POINTS TO 23-04 AND THE NASDAQ SLIPPED 271 POINTS TO 68-79.

THE T-S-A IS GIVING A BREAK TO SOME TRAVELERS WITH EXPIRED ID. THE AGENCY ANNOUNCED IT WOULD ALLOW THEM TO CONTINUE AS VALID DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. THE LICENSE OR OFFICIAL STATE ID MUST HAVE EXPIRED AFTER MARCH 1ST OF THIS YEAR, AND IT WILL ONLY BE ALLOWED UNTIL A YEAR AFTER EXPIRATION OR 60 DAYS AFTER THE HEALTH CRISIS ENDS, WHICHEVER IS LONGER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/20/2020 3:50pm:

IN A PUBLIC BRIEFING TODAY, GOVERNER J.B. PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THAT A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR ILLINOIS, STARTING AT 5 PM TOMORROW AND LASTING THROUGH APRIL 7TH. THE ORDER, WHICH PRITZKER SAID WAS THE BEST DEFENSE AGAINST THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS, WILL ALLOW RESIDENTS TO LEAVE THEIR HOUSE FOR ESSENTIAL TRIPS TO THE GROCERY STORE, DOCTORS OFFICE, PHARMACY, GAS STATIONS. CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK HAVE ALSO ISSUED MANDATES TO STAY HOME.

THERE ARE 163 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 585. THE STATE’S 5TH DEATH ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19 WAS REPORTED IN THE BRIEFING – A COOK COUNTY WOMAN IN HER 70s.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT SPOKE AT THE BRIEFING AND ANNOUNCING THAT ALL CITY PARKS AND LIBRARIES WILL BE CLOSED STARTING TOMORROW AT 5PM FOR THE DURATION OF THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/20/2020 2:50pm:

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES HAS CANCELLED MOST FLIGHTS IN AND OUT OF MIDWAY AIRPORT. EARLIER THIS WEEK THE CONTROL TOWER WAS CLOSED AFTER TECHNICIANS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. OTHER AIRLINES OPERATING AT MIDWAY REMAIN OPEN.

COOK COUNTY HAS LAUNCHED A NEW EMERGENCY TEXT ALERT SYSTEM, GIVING SUBSCRIBERS A DIRECT LINE OF COMMUNICATION FOR UPDATES ON PUBLIC HEALTH ALERTS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. TEXT “ALERTCOOK” TO 888-777.

SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE STIMULUS PLAN INTRODUCED EARLIER THIS WEEK, SAYING IT DOES NOT INCLUDE ENOUGH MONEY TO DEAL WITH THE MEDICAL ASPECT OF THE CRISIS. ILLINOIS SENATOR DICK DURBIN SAID THEY ARE WORKING TO GET MORE MONEY FOR HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL EQUIPMENT.

INDIANA IS POSTPONING ITS MAY 5TH PRIMARY ELECTION. GOVERNOR ERIC HOLCOMB ANNOUNCED IT WILL MOVE TO JUNE 2ND FOR THE SAFETY OF VOTERS AND POLL WORKERS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/20/2020 1:45pm:

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER WILL HOLD A PUBLIC BRIEFING AT 3PM TODAY, JOINED BY MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT. WE WILL BE CARRYING THAT ADDRESS LIVE HERE ON THE DRIVE.

IT WAS ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE U.S. BORDER WITH MEXICO WILL CLOSE TO NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL. THE US-CANADA BORDER WAS CLOSED EARLIER THIS WEEK.

GOLDMAN SACHS PREDICTS THAT MORE THAN 2 MILLION AMERICANS WILL FILE FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS THIS WEEK DUE TO THE VIRUS. THAT WOULD BE THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF WEEKLY CLAIMS EVER.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/20/2020 12:40pm:

DURING A WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING, PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT INTEREST WILL TEMPORARILY BE WAIVED ON FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS. STANDARDIZED TESTING FOR STUDENTS IS ALSO SUSPENDED.

THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCED THAT AMERICANS WILL NOW HAVE UNTIL JULY 15TH TO FILE TAXES. ALL TAXPAYERS AND BUSINESSES WILL HAVE THE EXTRA TIME TO FILE AND MAKE PAYMENTS WITHOUT FEAR OF INTEREST OR PENALTIES.

EARLIER TODAY, NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO MANDATED THAT 100% OF ALL NON-ESSENTIAL WORKERS STAY HOME IN THE STATE. OVER 7,000 PEOPLE HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS IN NEW YORK. CALIFORNIA IS ALSO UNDERGOING A STATE-WIDE LOCKDOWN.

THERE ARE OVER 10,000 CASES REPORTED IN THE UNITED STATES, AND OVER 422 IN ILLINOIS.

CHICAGO BUSINESSMAN WILLIE WILSON SAID THAT HE WILL DONATE 10,000 MEDICAL MASKS TO FIRST RESPONDERS IN THE CITY. THE MILLIONAIRE, A FORMER MAYORAL CANDIDATE, ALSO ANNOUNCED THAT HE PLANS TO PROVIDE THE CHICAGO POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS WITH ONE THOUSAND MORE ADVANCED N-95 MASKS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/20/2020 11:50am:

NEW YORK’S GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS ENACTED A LOCKDOWN FOR THE STATE, INCLUDING A 100% WORKFORCE REDUCTION, EXCLUDING ESSENTIAL SERVICES, GROCERY STORE, PHARMACIES, CITY SERVICES. A SIMILAR SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER WAS GIVEN IN CALIFORNIA AS WELL.

THE PRESCHOOLER WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 IN SUBURBAN BARTLETT HAD BEEN TO THE HOSPITAL ER 3 TIMES IN THE PAST MONTH, BUT HAD NOT BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19 UNTIL RECENTLY. THE CHILD ATTENDED THE INDEPENDENCE LEARNING CENTER IN BARTLETT, FOR KIDS 3-5 YEARS OLD. THE CHILD HAS NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED, BUT IS ISOLATED WITH HIS FAMILY, AND THE FAMILIES AND STAFF OF THE CHILD’S SCHOOL HAVE BEEN INFORMED.

CARNIVAL CORPORATION ANNOUNCED IT WOULD BE USING CRUISE SHIPS FROM FOUR OF ITS BRANDS TO SERVE AS TEMPORARY HOSPITALS IN THE MIDST OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE MIAMI BASED LARGEST CRUISE LINE SUGGESTED IT’S SHIPS COULD BE USED MAINLY TO TREAT NON-CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS, IN ORDER TO FREE UP BEDS IN LAND-BASED HOSPITALS FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS. THE COMPANY SAID IT COULD PROVIDE UP TO 1,000 HOSPITAL ROOMS AND WOULD BE ABLE TO QUICKLY PROVIDE THE NECESSARY MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING INTENSIVE CARE UNITS.

UPDATE 3/20/2020 10:50am:

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS EXPECTED TO RESTRICT TRAVEL BETWEEN THE US AND MEXICO, SIMILAR TO THOSE IN PLACE WITH CANADA. THIS INVOLVES ALL NON ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC, VEHICLES INVOLVED IN TRADE ARE STILL ALLOWED TO CROSS THE BORDER.

TREASURY SECRETARY STEVE MNUCHIN SAYS THE GOVERNMENT IS EXTENDING THE DEADLINE AMERICANS HAVE TO FILE THEIR TAX RETURNS TO JULY 15TH. IT HAD BEEN ANNOUNCED EARLIER THIS WEEK THAT AMERICANS HAD UNTIL THAT DATE TO PAY, BUT STILL EXPECTED THEM TO FILE BY APRIL 15TH.

PARENTS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO ENTERTAIN AND EDUCATE THEIR KIDS WHILE THEY ARE STUCK AT HOME CAN NOW TUNE IN TO THE BROOKFIELD ZOO’S FACEBOOK PAGE. ANIMAL EXPERTS AT THE ZOO HOPE TO KEEP PEOPLE ENGAGED BY “BRINGING THE ZOO TO YOU.” SPECIALISTS ARE DOING ANIMAL CHATS ON THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THOSE WHO ARE HOME WITH ALL THE SCHOOLS IN THE STATE CLOSED. THE VIDEOS WILL FEATURE ONE OR MORE OF THE ZOO’S CHARISMATIC CREATURES, SHARING PLENTY OF FACTS, AS WELL AS ANSWER QUESTIONS.

UPCOMING LIVE CHATS INCLUDE MEXICAN WOLVES, DWARF NIGERIAN GOATS, CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS, AND A TAMANDUA. VIDEOS WILL BE POSTED WEEKDAYS AT 11:00 A.M. WHILE THE ZOO IS CLOSED.

UPDATE 3/20/2020 9:50am:

GLOBALLY, THE DEATH TOLL FROM THE COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IS SURPASSING TEN-THOUSAND. NEARLY A QUARTER OF A MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS IN 163 COUNTRIES AND REGIONS. IN THE US, THERE ARE NOW 13,680 CASES AND 200 DEATHS. ILLINOIS HAS 422 CASES, 4 DEATHS.

IT’S BEEN A MIXED MORNING ON WALL STREET. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE OPENED MORE THAN 150 POINTS HIGHER AT THE OPENING BELL, THEN FELL BY 200 POINTS BEFORE TURNING SLIGHTLY POSITIVE AGAIN. THE S&P 500 IS A COUPLE POINTS LOWER WHILE THE NASDAQ IS TRADING SLIGHTLY HIGHER.

GOLDMAN SACHS IS PREDICTING MORE THAN 2 MILLION AMERICANS WILL FILE FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS THIS WEEK. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTED 281,000 WORKERS FILED INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS LAST WEEK, A 33% JUMP OVER THE WEEK BEFORE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/20/2020 8:50am:

EARLIER THIS WEEK, BRITISH SCIENTISTS SHARED A STUDY WITH THE WHITE HOUSE THAT CALLED THE CORONAVIRUS THE MOST SERIOUS RESPIRATORY THREAT SINCE THE 1918 FLU PANDEMIC. THE STUDY SAID ONLY BY ENACTING DRASTIC, SEVERE RESTRICTIONS COULD THE U.S. SHRINK ITS DEATH TOLL, AND THAT THE RESTRICTIONS WOULD HAVE TO REMAIN IN PLACE UNTIL A WORKING VACCINE IS DEVELOPED, WHICH COULD TAKE UP TO 18 MONTHS.

GLOBALLY, THE DEATH TOLL FROM THE COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IS SURPASSING 10,000. NEARLY A QUARTER OF A MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS IN 163 COUNTRIES AND REGIONS. IN THE US, THERE ARE NOW 13,680 CASES AND 200 DEATHS. ILLINOIS HAS 422 CASES, 4 DEATHS.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ORDERED ANYONE WHO IS SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESS, INCLUDING SORE THROAT AND ACHES OR FATIGUE – TO STAY HOME OR FACE CONSEQUENCES. CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WOULD REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL AT LEAST APRIL 21.

OVER 40 MILLION RESIDENTS IN CALIFORNIA WERE TOLD BY THE GOVERNOR TO STAY AT HOME. ESSENTIAL THINGS, LIKE GROCERY SHOPPING AND PHARMACY RUNS ARE STILL ALLOWED, BUT GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM SAYS THERE’S NO NEED TO TAKE ADDITIONAL RISKS. HE’S ALSO CAUTIONING THAT ROUGHLY 25 MILLION CALIFORNIANS COULD BE IMPACTED BY CORONAVIRUS. IN NEW YORK CITY, MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO IS SAYING THE GOLDEN STATE SHOULD SERVE AS A LESSON FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. HE SAID THIS MORNING THAT WE ARE QUICKLY RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS AND A NATIONWIDE SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER IS WARRANTED.

GAMESTOP IS KEEPING ITS STORES OPEN, EVEN AS LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS ORDER NONESSENTIAL BUSINESSES TO SHUT DOWN TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. GAMESTOP SAYS IT’S EXEMPT FROM THOSE ORDERS BECAUSE IT PROVIDES NECESSARY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. IN A MEMO SENT TO EMPLOYEES ON THURSDAY, GAMESTOP SAID IT CARRIES PRODUCTS THAT “ENABLE AND ENHANCE OUR CUSTOMERS’ EXPERIENCE IN WORKING FROM HOME.” THE COMPANY PROVIDED A LIST OF WHAT IT CONSIDERS ESSENTIAL PRODUCTS INCLUDING WEBCAMS, MICROPHONES, MICE, KEYBOARDS, MONITORS, CHARGERS, AUDIO EQUIPMENT, AND MORE.

NEED TP? SOME RESTAURANTS ARE OFFERING IT WITH TAKE OUT ORDERS OR DELIVERY LIKE THE BEACON TAP IN DES PLAINES. OR ZARONIS, A PIZZA JOINT IN OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN STARTED LISTING FOUR-PACKS OF TOILET PAPER UNDER THE ‘SIDES’ SECTION OF ITS ONLINE MENU, AND CUSTOMERS CAN ADD ONE (ONE!) PACKAGE TO ANY ORDER. MEQUON PIZZA COMPANY IN MEQUON, WISCONSIN IS SENDING A FREE ROLL OF “COTTONELLE TWO-PLY” WITH EVERY ORDER TOO.

UPDATE 3/20/2020 7:15am:

YESTERDAY, ITALY PASSED CHINA FOR THE NUMBERS OF DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19. OVER 3,400 PEOPLE IN ITALY HAVE DIED, THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS UNDER LOCKDOWN, BUT THOSE RESTRICTIONS CAME LATER THAN STRICT GOVERNMENTAL LOCKDOWNS ENFORCED IN CHINA, WHICH HAS SHOWN TO CONTROL THE OUTBREAK AND PREVENT FURTHER SPREADING.

IN THE US, THERE ARE NOW 13,680 CASES AND 200 DEATHS. ILLINOIS HAS 422 CASES, 4 DEATHS.

HEALTH EXPERTS ARE CALLING FOR SEVERE RESTRICTIONS TO REDUCE THE CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL IN THE U.S. A REPORT IN THE WASHINGTON POST SAYS THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO PUTS THE U.S. ON A TRAJECTORY FOR OVER A MILLION DEATHS FROM CORONAVIRUS, BUT THAT THE DEATH TOLL COULD BE REDUCED TO THE THOUSANDS IF AMERICANS EMBRACE DRASTIC RESTRICTIONS AND CLOSURES.

SEVERAL AUTOMAKERS ARE SAYING THEY ARE CONSIDERING WAYS PRODUCE MUCH-NEEDED VENTILATORS TO HELP FIGHT THE PANDEMIC. FORD AND GENERAL MOTORS HAVE BEEN IN DISCUSSION WITH THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PIVOTING PRODUCTION AT PLANTS TO MANUFACTURE CRITICAL MEDICAL EQUIPMENT.

THE FOLKS AT GREY’S ANATOMY ARE DOING WHAT THEY CAN TO HELP REAL-LIFE DOCTORS AND NURSES. THE HIT ABC SHOW, ALONG WITH ITS SPINOFF STATION 19, DONATED ALL OF ITS MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO EMERGENCY SERVICES PROVIDERS. THAT INCLUDES HUNDREDS OF GLOVES, GOWNS AND THE NOW-COVETED N95 FACE MASKS.

BLOOD CENTERS ARE NOW OPEN AND IN NEED OF DONATIONS. DURING YESTERDAY’S UPDATE ON THE COVID-19 EPIDEMIC, OFFICIALS MADE AN OPEN CALL FOR THOSE THAT ARE HEALTHY AND WELL TO PLEASE DONATE BLOOD.

ONE ORLAND PARK WOMAN HAS ALREADY STEPPED UP AND ORGANIZED A COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVE SCHEDULED FOR TODAY. MARIE FUESEL IS A LEUKEMIA SURVIVOR AND BLOOD DONATION ADVOCATE. SHE CANNOT DONATE HERSELF BUT SHE SAYS GETTING THINGS ORGANIZED IS THE LEAST SHE CAN DO.

EXTRA PRECAUTIONS, LIKE SPACING BEDS 6 FT. APART, EXTRA WIPING DOWN BETWEEN APPOINTMENTS, TEMPERATURE CHECKS FOR STAFF, VOLUNTEERS AND DONORS ARE ALL PUT IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE DONATING IS SAFE. TODAY’S BLOOD DRIVE IS AT THE ORLAND TOWNSHIP ACTIVITY CENTER FROM 9 A.M.UNTIL 2 P.M.

UPDATE 3/20/2020 6:15am:

CASES OF CORONAVIRUS INFECTION HAVE REACHED 422 IN ILLINOIS, GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY. THE NUMBER OF DEATHS IN THE STATE HAS REACHED FOUR.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ORDERED ANYONE WHO IS SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESS, INCLUDING SORE THROAT AND ACHES OR FATIGUE – TO STAY HOME OR FACE CONSEQUENCES. IN HER ADDRESS, SHE ANNOUNCED THAT CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WOULD REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL AT LEAST APRIL 21st.

A SUBURBAN CHILD IS BELIEVED TO BE THE YOUNGEST PERSON TO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS. SCHOOL DISTRICT U-46 WAS NOTIFIED BY THE COOK COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT THAT A STUDENT WHO ATTENDS THE INDEPENDENCE CENTER FOR EARLY LEARNING IN BARTLETT HAS CONTRACTED COVID-19. THE CENTER IS AN EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN AGES THREE TO FIVE-YEARS OLD. THE STUDENT HAS BEEN ISOLATED TO PREVENT THE SPREADING OF THE VIRUS.

CALIFORNIA’S GOVERNOR ORDERED A STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. THAT APPLIES TO THE STATE’S NEARLY 40 MILLION RESIDENTS.

THE FIRST COVID-19 CASE IN THE NFL IS NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON. HE GOT A POSITIVE TEST RESULT YESTERDAY AFTER STARTING TO FEEL SICK MONDAY. HE IS SELF ISOLATING AT HOME AND HAS MINOR SYMPTOMS. HE’S A LOCAL GUY WHO WENT TO NAPERVILLE CENTRAL AND EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY. HE WENT PUBLIC SO OTHER PEOPLE WOULD TAKE HEALTH WARNINGS SERIOUSLY.

TO HELP EASE YOUR CABIN FEVER, HALLMARK CHANNEL IS BRINGING BACK ITS MARATHON OF CHRISTMAS MOVIES THIS WEEKEND. STARTING AT 11AM TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY AT 6 P.M. THE NETWORK WILL AIR 27 OF ITS “COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS” FILMS.

UPDATE 3/19/2020 6:40pm:

CASES OF CORONAVIRUS INFECTION HAVE REACHED 422 IN ILLINOIS, GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED TODAY. THE NUMBER OF DEATHS IN THE STATE HAS REACHED FOUR.

CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT ORDERED ANYONE WHO IS SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESS, INCLUDING SORE THROAT AND ACHES OR FATIGUE – TO STAY HOME OR FACE CONSEQUENCES. IN HER ADDRESS, SHE ANNOUNCED THAT CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WOULD REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL AT LEAST APRIL 21.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAS ISSUED A WARNING AGAINST TRAVELING ABROAD FOR ALL U.S. CITIZENS, AND AMERICANS WHO ARE ABROAD ARE URGED TO ARRANGE FOR IMMEDIATE RETURN, UNLESS THEY PLAN TO REMAIN ABROAD FOR A LONG PERIOD.

THE LATEST EDITION OF PLAYBOY MAGAZINE WILL BE THE LAST FOR THE LONGTIME MAGAZINE. PLAYBOY CEO BEN KOHN SAID THAT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS DISRUPTING BOTH PRODUCTION AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN TO THE POINT THAT THE PRINT VERSION CAN NO LONGER SURVIVE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 5:30pm:

IN AN ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC, MAYOR LIGHTFOOT REITERATED AN ORDER ISSUED TODAY TO STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK, OR IF YOU ARE HAVING ANY SYMPTOMS OF THE COVID-19 VIRUS: FATIGUE, SORE THROAT, OR ANY RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. SHE SAID THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES FOR ANYONE WHO VIOLATES THIS ORDER.

LIGHTFOOT ALSO ANNOUNCED THAT CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL AT LEAST TUESDAY APRIL 21.

SHE ALSO ANNOUNCED RELAXED COLLECTION EFFORTS ON CITY DEBT TO HELP RESIDENTS GET THROUGH THE PANDEMIC – ON TICKETING, TOWING, BOOTING, IMPOUNDING AND MORE – UNTIL AT LEAST APRIL 30.

OTHERWISE, A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PACKAGE IS HEADING TO THE SENATE FOR A VOTE. THE MEASURE WOULD PROVIDE DIRECT PAYMENTS TO AMERICANS COPING WITH THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT OF COVID-19. THOSE WHO EARNED $75,000 OR LESS IN 2018 WOULD GET $1,200, WHILE COUPLES WHO FILED TAXES JOINTLY WOULD GET DOUBLE THAT. EACH CHILD PER HOUSEHOLD WOULD NET AN ADDITIONAL $500. ANYONE WHO EARNED MORE THAN $99,000 ANNUALLY WOULDN’T RECEIVE A PAYMENT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 3:50pm:

134 NEW CASES OF THE COVID-19 VIRUS IN ILLINOIS ARE CONFIRMED, BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF INFECTED TO 422. GOVERNOR PRITZKER TODAY ANNOUNCED THREE MORE DEATHS IN THE STATE DUE TO THE VIRUS, BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER TO FOUR. MAYOR LIGHTFOOT WILL ADDRESS THE PUBLIC TODAY AT 5 PM.

SEVERAL AUTOMAKERS ARE SAYING THEY ARE CONSIDERING WAYS PRODUCE MUCH-NEEDED VENTILATORS TO HELP FIGHT THE PANDEMIC. FORD AND GENERAL MOTORS HAVE BEEN IN DISCUSSION WITH THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PIVOTING PRODUCTION AT PLANTS TO MANUFACTURE CRITICAL MEDICAL EQUIPMENT.

IN WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST VOLATILE WEEK FOR THE STOCK MARKET SINCE THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS, THERE WERE SOME SLIGHT GAINS TODAY. THE DOW JONES GAINED 188 POINTS, THE S & P WENT UP 11 POINTS AND THE NASDAQ GAINED 161 POINTS BY CLOSING.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 2:50pm:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER ANNOUNCED THREE MORE DEATHS IN ILLINOIS DUE TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS IN AN ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC TODAY. 422 CASES ARE NOW CONFIRMED ACROSS ILLINOIS.

THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO ANNOUNCED THAT THERE WILL BE NO PUBLIC CELEBRATIONS FOR HOLY WEEK OR EASTER MASS IN AN EFFORT TO CURB CONTAGION. SEVERAL CHICAGO-AREA BANK BRANCHES ARE SHORTENING HOURS, AND OTHERS ARE TEMPORARILY SHUTTING DOWN. MAYOR LIGHTFOOT WILL GIVE A PUBLIC ADDRESS TODAY AT 5 PM.

INDIANA GOVERNOR ERIC HOLCOMB ORDERED ALL SCHOOLS CLOSED UNTIL MAY 1, AND STATE TESTING HAS ALSO BEEN CANCELED.

NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT IS SKYROCKETING AS THE PANDEMIC IMPACTS BUSINESSES OF ALL SIZES. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTS THAT 281,000 AMERICANS FILED CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME, UP 70,000 FROM THE WEEK BEFORE.

IN A NEW REPORT BY THE CDC, MORE YOUNGER ADULTS ARE BEING HOSPITALIZED WITH VIRUS INFECTIONS. ONE IN FIVE HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS IN THE U.S. ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 44.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 1:50pm:

CASES OF COVID-19 IN THE U.S. ARE NOW OVER 10,000. PRESIDENT TRUMP IS MEETING WITH FEMA, AND NATIONAL GUARD OFFICIALS EXPECT MORE THAN 4,000 MEMBERS TO BE PUT ON ACTIVE DUTY AS CASES KEEP CLIMBING.

A CHICAGO POLICE DETECTIVE WHO WORKS ON THE WEST SIDE HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. THREE HIGHLAND PARK PARAMEDICS ARE BEING QUARANTINED FOR TWO WEEKS AFTER TREATING SOMEONE EARLIER THIS WEEK WHO TESTED POSITIVE.

METRA AND THE SOUTH SHORE LINE ANNOUNCED THEY WILL CUT WEEKDAY SERVICE IN HALF STARTING ON MONDAY. RIDERSHIP HAS DROPPED – OVER 50% ON METRA AND OVER 80% ON THE SOUTH SHORE LINE – AS SCHOOLS CLOSED AND RIDERS WORK FROM HOME. THE CTA HAS REPORTED 60% LESS RIDERS, BUT HAS NOT YET ANNOUNCED ANY SERVICE ADJUSTMENTS.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT HAS ISSUED AN ORDER THAT ANY RESIDENT OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19 OR SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF THE VIRUS MAY NOT LEAVE HOME, GO TO WORK OR BE IN ANY GROUP SETTINGS. SHE WILL PUBLICLY ADDRESS THE CITY TODAY AT 5 PM.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 12:45pm:

THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT TODAY REPORTED A CONFIRMED CASE OF CORONAVIRUS ON THE FORCE, AND OFFICIALS ARE WORKING TO IDENTIFY THE INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE IN CONTACT WITH THAT DEPARTMENT MEMBER, WHO WILL REMAIN AT HOME UNTIL FULLY RECOVERED. A SECOND MEMBER OF THE CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS TESTED POSITIVE AND IS HOSPITALIZED. MAYOR LIGHTFOOT WILL MAKE A PUBLIC ADDRESS REGARDING THE CITY’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 TODAY AT 5 PM.

CHINA IS REPORTING NO NEW CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE OUTBREAK, ACCORDING TO A REPORT FROM CHINA’S NATIONAL HEALTH COMMISSION. IT’S THE FIRST TIME SINCE DECEMBER THAT THERE HAVE BEEN NO NEW CASES TO REPORT IN CHINA.

ONE OF THE NATION’S BIGGEST GROCERY CHAINS IS HIRING. KROGER WANTS TO ADD OVER 10,000 WORKERS TO ITS CHAIN OF STORES, WHICH INCLUDE RALPH’S, FRY’S, FOOD-4-LESS AND MORE. KROGER IS LOOKING TO FILL POSITIONS IN STORES, MANUFACTURING PLANTS, AND DISTRIBUTION CENTERS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 11:45am:

STOCKS ARE REBOUNDING ON WALL STREET AND ERASING EARLIER LOSSES. AFTER A SLOW START THAT SAW THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE FALL MORE THAN 700 POINTS, THE DOW WAS UP NEARLY 200 POINTS, BUT HAS SINCE FALLEN BACK TO THE BREAK EVEN POINT.

THERE ARE 128 CASES OF COVID-19, BRINGING ILLINOIS’ TOTAL TO 288.

IF YOU HAVE SUDDENLY FOUND YOURSELF CONFINED TO YOUR HOME DURING THE COVID-19 SHUTDOWNS, GOOGLE LAUNCHED AN INGENIOUS NEW SERVICE THAT ALLOWS ART LOVERS TO GET THEIR CULTURE FIX FROM THE COMFORT OF THEIR OWN HOME.

GOOGLE ARTS AND CULTURE HAS PARTNERED WITH MORE THAN 2,500 MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES AROUND THE WORLD TO OFFER VIRTUAL TOURS AND ONLINE DISPLAYS OF THEIR COLLECTIONS TO INTERNET SURFERS. THE “TOURS” ALLOW USERS TO WANDER THROUGH THE INTERIORS OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS MUSEUMS SIMILARLY TO THE GOOGLE STREET VIEW FEATURE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 10:45am:

MARKETS ARE REBOUNDING ON WALL STREET. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE HAS BEEN DOWN MORE THAN 700 POINTS AT TIMES IN EARLY TRADING, BUT TRADED ABOUT 150 POINTS HIGHER. THE NASDAQ IS UP NEARLY 3% AND THE S&P 500 IS TRADING MORE THAN 1% HIGHER.

UNDER A BILL THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS PITCHING TO CONGRESS, AMERICANS COULD GET A CHECK IN THE MAIL SOMETIME SOON. THE BILL IS PART OF AN ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE TO EASE THE FINANCIAL PAIN OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE WASHINGTON POST REPORTS THE PLAN WOULD PROVIDE TWO PAYMENTS OF A THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH TO MANY AMERICANS.

ONE PATIENT AND 2 ER DOCTORS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AT RUSH OAK PARK HOSPITAL. THOSE CASES PROMPTED THE CITY OF OAK PARK TO ORDER RESIDENTS TO SHELTER IN PLACE, CLOSE ALL NON ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES, AND ONLY DO NECESSARY TASKS LIKE GROCERY SHOPPING, WALKING THEIR DOG, GOING TO OR FROM WORK, OR GETTING GAS. THE ORDER STARTS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT AND RUNS THROUGH APRIL 3RD.

THERE ARE 128 CASES OF COVID-19, BRINGING ILLINOIS’ TOTAL TO 288.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 9:45am:

46 PEOPLE IN A WEST SUBURBAN WILLOWBROOK NURSING HOME ARE INFECTED WITH COVID-19. 33 OF THE CASES ARE RESIDENTS OF THE CHATEAU NURSING HOME AND 13 OTHERS ARE STAFF MEMBERS. OTHER ILL, BUT NOT SERIOUSLY SICK PATIENTS ARE BEING ISOLATED IN A SEPARATE PART OF THE FACILITY. WILLOWBROOK’S MAYOR IS ASKING ANYONE THAT MAY HAVE VISITED OR BEEN INSIDE THE CHATEAU NURSING HOME OVER THE LAST 30 DAYS TO ISOLATE AT HOME.

THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSING ITS ICONIC TRADING FLOOR BEGINNING MONDAY.

WITH PLENTY OF STORES CLOSING DOWN AMID THE COVID19 PANDEMIC, MANY OTHERS ARE DESIGNATING HOURS JUST FOR SENIORS. THE CORONAVIRUS HAS CAUSED WALMART TO SHORTEN HOURS IN ITS FIVE-THOUSAND US STORES, BUT ON TUESDAYS BETWEEN MARCH 24TH AND APRIL 28TH, IT WILL ALSO OFFER A SPECIAL HOUR-LONG STOREWIDE EVENT FOR SHOPPERS OVER 60. TARGET, WHOLE FOODS, SAFEWAY AND A HOST OF OTHER BIG CHAINS ARE OFFERING SIMILAR HOURS, SO THIS MOST VULNERABLE PART OF THE POPULATION CAN HAVE A CHANCE TO SHOP SAFELY IN PEACE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 8:50am:

TWO DOWNTOWN HOTELS IN CHICAGO HAVE SHUT DOWN DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. THE PARK HYATT ON NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE AND THE PENINSULA HOTEL HAVE BOTH SUSPENDED SERVICES.

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS SIGNED A MULTI-BILLION-DOLLAR CORONAVIRUS AID PACKAGE. THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS MAKING THE NATION’S UNEMPLOYMENT LINES A LOT LONGER. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT REPORTS 281,000 AMERICANS FILED FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK, 70,000 MORE THAN THE WEEK BEFORE.

TWITTER IS BANNING POSTS WITH MISLEADING INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS. THE NEW POLICY INCLUDES A BAN ON DENIALS OF EXPERT GUIDANCE AND ENCOURAGING FAKE TREATMENTS. IT REQUIRES PEOPLE TO REMOVE CONTENT THAT ENCOURAGES ACTING AGAINST RECOMMENDATIONS FROM PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITIES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 7:20am:

THE US GOVERNMENT IS NOW PREPARING FOR 18 MONTHS OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, INCLUDING MULTIPLE WAVES OF ILLNESSES. THE OMINOUS ANNOUNCEMENT COMES AFTER CASES IN THE US SPIKED 40% IN JUST 24 HOURS. ABOUT 9,000 AMERICANS HAVE NOW TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS, AND AT LEAST 149 HAVE DIED.

NEW YORK IS BEING HIT THE HARDEST, WHERE THE NUMBER OF CASES CONTINUES TO GROW. THERE’S NEARLY THREE-THOUSAND CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE STATE INCLUDING 21 DEATHS. NEW YORK CITY HAS MORE THAN 1,800 CASES. THERE’S MORE THAN 500 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN WESTCHESTER, AND SOME 430 CASES ON LONG ISLAND.

DOZENS OF CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY LOCATIONS ARE CLOSING THIS WEEKEND, THE BROOKFIELD ZOO ANNOUNCED IT’S ALSO CLOSING NOW DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS.

THE COUNTRY HOUSE RESTAURANT IN SOUTH SUBURBAN ALSIP HAS DECIDED TO HELP OTHERS IN THESE TRYING TIMES. THEY ARE SERVING FREE MEALS TO SENIORS AND NOW FAMILIES TOO, WHO NEED A MEAL, IN THE SURROUNDING AREA. THEY’RE EVEN DELIVERING THEM TO THEIR HOMES IF THEY CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE. NOW THEY’RE GOING TO DO THE SAME WITH GILHOOLEY’S IN CHICAGO AND SERVE THE COMMUNITY THERE AS WELL. THE COUNTRY HOUSE RESTAURANT AND KITCHEN HAS A FACEBOOK PAGE AS WELL, THERE IS A GO FUND ME PAGE WHERE DONATIONS ARE POURING IN TO KEEP THEM OPEN.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/19/2020 6:20am:

A SPIKE OF 128 NEW COVID-19 CASES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS, BRINGING THE STATE TOTAL UP TO 288. WISCONSIN HAS 100 CASES AND EXPECTS MORE, AND INDIANA HAS 30 CASES.

TWO EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIANS AT RUSH OAK PARK HOSPITAL TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THEY HAVE BEEN QUARANTINED AT HOME AND THE VIRUS WAS “LIKELY COMMUNITY ACQUIRED,” ACCORDING TO THE HOSPITAL. OAK PARK’S PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR AND MAYOR HAVE DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY AND A SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER BEGINS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT. OAK PARK RESIDENTS ARE ASKED TO REMAIN HOME OUTSIDE OF VISITS TO GROCERY STORES, GAS STATIONS AND PHARMACIES, AND WHEN YOU DO GO OUT, EVEN TO WALK YOUR DOG, YOU ARE URGED TO STAY 6 FEET AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

A STUDENT FROM COLUMBIA COLLEGE HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, SCHOOL OFFICIALS ARE REACHING OUT TO ANYONE WHO MAY HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH THAT STUDENT.

THERE COULD BE A SHORTAGE OF VENTILATORS SOON. SO OVER 300 ENGINEERS GOT TOGETHER ON FACEBOOK AND STARTED SOMETHING CALLED THE “OPEN SOURCE VENTILATOR” PROJECT. THE GOAL WAS TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING PEOPLE COULD BUILD OUT OF READILY AVAILABLE MATERIALS AND 3-D PRINTED PARTS. NOW A WEEK LATER, THEY’VE ALREADY GOT A PROTOTYPE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 6:40pm:

A NEW STUDY PUBLISHED IN THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE SHOWS THAT THE CORONAVIRUS CAN SURVIVE IN THE AIR FOR HOURS, AND ON SURFACES FOR DAYS. IF THE VIRUS IS ON PLASTIC OR STEEL, IT CAN SURVIVE UP TO THREE DAYS. ON CARDBOARD AND COPPER SURFACES YIELD A SHORTER LIFESPAN.

INFECTIONS HAVE REACHED OVER 200,000 TODAY WORLDWIDE. MORE THAN 8,000 PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM THE VIRUS.

THE U.S. AND CANADA AGREED TO CLOSE THE BORDERS TO ALL NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL.

STOCKS ON WALL STREET TOOK A MAJOR PLUNGE TODAY, THE FOURTH TIME TRADING WAS HALTED IN TWO WEEKS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 5:30pm:

THERE ARE NOW OVER 7,900 CONFIRMED CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE U.S., WITH 288 CASES IN ILLINOIS, ALMOST DOUBLE THE NUMBER REPORTED YESTERDAY. NEW YORK STATE CONTINUES TO BE THE HARDEST-HIT, WITH CASES JUMPING BY NEARLY 1,000 IN ONE DAY.

MIDWAY AIRPORT IS OPERATING UNDER REDUCED CONDITIONS AFTER THREE TECHNICIANS IN THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER TESTED POSTIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS YESTERDAY. NEARLY 390 FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN CANCELED SO FAR. OFFICIALS ARE ASKING TRAVELERS TO CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINE REGARDING STATUS BEFORE COMING TO THE AIRPORT.

IF YOU’RE A SPORTS FAN AT A LOSS FOR WHAT TO WATCH, BOTH THE NFL AND THE NBA ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL GIVE FREE ACCESS TO THEIR STREAMING SERVICES. THEY WILL BE AIRING REPLAYS OF GAMES, CLASSIC GAMES, AND OTHER CONTENT FOR FANS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 3:50pm:

CASES HAVE NEARLY DOUBLED ACROSS ILLINOIS. 128 NEW CASES WERE REPORTED TODAY, BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER TO 288. TWO NEW COUNTIES, MADISON AND KENDALL, HAVE CONFIRMED CASES.

THE SENATE HAS APPROVED A CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL THAT WAS RECENTLY GREENLIT BY THE HOUSE. THE BILL INCLUDES FREE TESTING, INCREASED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND FOOD ASSISTANCE, AND MORE.

THE STOCK MARKET TOOK ANOTHER HIT TODAY BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS FEARS. THE DOW FELL MORE THAN 1,300 POINTS TO CLOSE BELOW 20,000, THE WORST DUMP IN THREE YEARS.

THE LARGEST MALL OPERATOR IN THE U.S., SIMON PROPERTY GROUP, WILL BE CLOSING OVER 200 MALLS AND RETAIL PROPERTIES TONIGHT, JOINING MACY’S, NORDSTROM, AND OTHER RETAILERS IN CLOSING TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 2:50pm:

THE SENATE IS EXPECTED TO PASS A CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL THAT WAS RECENTLY APPROVED BY THE HOUSE. THE BILL INCLUDES FREE TESTING, FOOD ASSISTANCE, UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, AND PAID SICK LEAVE.

DEFENSE SECRETARY MARK ESPER SAID TO REPORTERS AT THE WHITE HOUSE TODAY THAT FIVE MILLION RESPIRATOR MASKS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT WILL BE PROVIDED TO COMBAT THE COVID-19 VIRUS. NAVAL HOSPITAL SHIPS ARE PREPARED TO DEPLOY AND PROVIDE SERVICES AS NEEDED.

GOVERNOR PRITZKER HAS DEPLOYED AN ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD UNIT WITH MEDICAL EXPERTISE THROUGHOUT THE STATE AS CASES IN ILLINOIS HAVE RISEN TO AT LEAST 160.

OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT AN UPTICK IN MILLENIALS CONTRACTING THE VIRUS. RESEARCHERS BELIEVE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE DON’T THINK THEY ARE AT RISK SO THEY CONTINUE TO BECOME EXPOSED. ALL AGE GROUPS ARE URGED TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AS A MATTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 1:50pm:

FORD, FIAT CHRYSLER, AND GENERAL MOTORS WILL STOP PRODUCTION IN THE U.S. TO PROTECT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS, AND FORD CONFIRMED PRODUCTION WILL HALT AT ITS NORTH AMERICAN PLANTS AFTER SHIFTS TOMORROW NIGHT THROUGH MARCH 30. FORD’S MICHIGAN ASSEMBLY PLANT CLOSED TODAY AFTER AN EMPLOYEE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS.

THE DOW CONTINUES TO SPIRAL, DOWN MORE THAN 2,300 POINTS THIS AFTERNOON. TRADING ON WALL STREET WAS STOPPED FOR THE FOURTH TIME IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS EARLIER TODAY.

THE RED CROSS IS FACING WHAT THEY’RE CALLING A SEVERE BLOOD SHORTAGE, AFTER NORMALLY SCHEDULED BLOOD DRIVES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WERE CANCELED. HEALTHY DONORS ARE URGED TO DONATE BLOOD, PLATELETS, OR PLASMA.

AT MIDWAY AIRPORT, THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER REMAINS CLOSED AFTER THREE EMPLOYEES TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS. OVER 325 FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN CANCELED SO FAR.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE CITY OF CHICAGO WILL STOP COLLECTING ON CERTAIN TICKET VIOLATIONS DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS. BOOTING FOR DEFAULTS ON CITY DEBTS WILL BE SUSPENDED THROUGH AT LEAST APRIL 30th, AND TICKETING AND TOWING WILL BE REDUCED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 12:50pm:

ON WALL STREET, TRADING HALTED ONCE AGAIN THIS WEEK AFTER THE S & P LOST SEVEN PERCENT OF ITS VALUE TODAY IN A MARKET MADE EXTREMELY VOLATILE DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE DOW IS DOWN MORE THAN 1,600 POINTS.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE U.S. ARE NOW PAST 7,000, IN ALL 50 STATES AND D.C. THE HARDEST-HIT IS NEW YORK STATE, WITH OVER 2,300 CASES REPORTED. A HOSPITAL SHIP IS BEING SENT TO DOCK IN NEW YORK CITY, WITH ONE THOUSAND ROOMS AND OPERATING SPACE TO ACCOMMODATE THE VAST NUMBER OF PATIENTS. NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO SAYS THERE IS A NEED FOR VENTILATORS, WHICH IS ALSO A NATIONAL NEED.

THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT HAS PROPOSED A STIMULUS PACKAGE OF AT LEAST 250 BILLION DOLLARS IN PAYMENTS MADE DIRECTLY TO AMERICANS, STARTING APRIL 6th. THE PROPOSED PAYMENTS WOULD BE TIERED BASED ON INCOME LEVEL AND FAMILY SIZE.

THE U.S.-CANADIAN BORDER WILL CLOSE TO ALL NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL, PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU ANNOUNCED TODAY. CROSSING THE BORDER WILL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR TOURISM OR RECREATION UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 11:50am:

GLOBAL TOTALS ARE OVER 200,000, WITH MORE THAN 8,000 DEATHS. THERE ARE 160 CASES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, 22 OF THOSE ARE NEW CASES AT A NURSING HOME IN WILLOWBROOK, WHERE THEY ARE TESTING ANOTHER 200 RESIDENTS.

SUBURBAN BUFFALO GROVE IS UNDER A STATE OF EMERGENCY. THE VILLAGE PRESIDENT ISSUED THE EXECUTIVE ORDER YESTERDAY AFTER A VILLAGE EMPLOYEE MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO CORONAVIRUS. THE VILLAGE IS TAKING MEASURES TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. THIS INCLUDES THE CLOSURE OF ALL HEALTH AND FITNESS CENTERS, MOVIE THEATERS, BOWLING ALLEYS, RECREATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 10:50am:

THE DOW IS DOWN 1,358 POINTS.

A FACULTY MEMBER AT DEPAUL UNIVERSITY AND A STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE DEPAUL EMPLOYEE WAS LAST IN THE BUILDING ON SUNDAY, MARCH 15 WITH A NON-DEPAUL INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS ALSO BEEN CONFIRMED TO HAVE THE VIRUS.

U OF C OFFICIALS SAID A STUDENT AT THE BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS. THE STUDENT LIVES OFF CAMPUS AND IS RECEIVING TREATMENT. THE UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE ARE WORKING WITH LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITIES TO QUICKLY IDENTIFY AND CONTACT PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE HAD CLOSE CONTACT WITH THE INDIVIDUAL.

MORE HOSPITALS, INCLUDING CHRIST MEDICAL CENTER AND ADVOCATE LUTHERAN GENERAL, ARE SETTING UP DRIVE UP TESTING SITES TO PREPARE FOR COVID-19 TESTING. CHRIST MEDICAL CENTER IN OAK LAWN IS EXPECTED TO HAVE THE DRIVE UP SITE UP AND RUNNING BY THE END OF THE WEEK. A SIMILAR SET UP IS ALREADY IN PLACE AT ADVOCATE LUTHERAN GENERAL IN PARK RIDGE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 9:50am:

THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL WAS DOWN MORE THAN 1,300 POINTS AT THE OPENING BELL AS THE IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK ON THE ECONOMY TROUBLES INVESTORS.

THE SENATE WILL VOTE ON THE HOUSE-APPROVED CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE TODAY.

US AND CANADA HAVE CLOSED THEIR BORDERS TO EACH OTHER FOR ANY NON ESSENTIAL TRAVEL.

THERE ARE 160 CASES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, 22 OF THOSE ARE AT A NURSING HOME IN WILLOWBROOK. THE DUPAGE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IS REACHING OUT TO THOSE WHO HAD CONTACT WITH THOSE SENIOR, AND ARE TESTING ANOTHER 200 RESIDENTS AS WELL.

UPDATE 3/18/2020 8:50am:

THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD HAS BEEN DEPLOYED TO ASSIST WITH THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. THEY’RE AVAILABLE TO ASSIST WITH LOGISTICAL SUPPORT AND MEDICAL STAFFING. THERE ARE 160 CASES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, 22 OF THOSE ARE AT A NURSING HOME IN WILLOWBROOK. THE DUPAGE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IS REACHING OUT TO THOSE WHO HAD CONTACT WITH THOSE SENIOR, AND ARE TESTING ANOTHER 200 RESIDENTS AS WELL.

GLOBALLY, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY REPORTS THERE ARE NOW 200,000 CASES OF COVID-19, AND MORE THAN 8,000 DEATHS. IN THE U.S. THERE ARE OVER 5,700 CASES, AND 105 DEATHS, THE FIRST DEATH HERE IN ILLINOIS, WAS A RETIRED NURSE FROM THE SOUTHSIDE, 61 YEAR OLD PATRICIA FRIESON, WHO ALSO SUFFERED FROM BAD ASTHMA.

MIDWAY AIRPORT HAS CANCELED 261 FLIGHTS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, DUE TO A CLOSURE OF THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER. 3 EMPLOYEES IN THE TOWER TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AND OTHER STAFF ARE NOW BEING TESTED.

THE US SURGEON GENERAL DR. JEROME ADAMS CALLED ON HEALTHY AMERICANS TO DONATE BLOOD. THE AMERICAN RED CROSS ANNOUNCED IT IS FACING A “SEVERE BLOOD SHORTAGE” DUE TO AN “UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER OF BLOOD DRIVE CANCELLATIONS” IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. THE AMERICAN RED CROSS SAYS “IF YOU ARE HEALTHY AND FEELING WELL, PLEASE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO DONATE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WE UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE MAY BE HESITANT TO COME OUT, BUT WANT TO REASSURE THE PUBLIC THAT BLOOD DONATION IS A SAFE PROCESS, AND THAT WE HAVE PUT ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS IN PLACE AT OUR BLOOD DRIVES TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF SAFETY OF OUR DONORS AND STAFF.” TO FIND A DRIVE NEAR YOU, GOTO REDCROSSBLOOD.ORG.

UPDATE 3/18/2020 7:20am:

MIDWAY AIRPORT HAS CANCELED 261 FLIGHTS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, DUE TO A CLOSURE OF THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER. 3 EMPLOYEES IN THE TOWER TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AND OTHER STAFF ARE NOW BRING TESTED. CALL AHEAD, OR CHECK ONLINE BEFORE YOU HEAD TO MIDWAY.

THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA SAID SCHOOLS THERE ARE LIKELY GOING TO BE CLOSED FOR THE REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR AND TO MAKE LONG TERM PLANS FOR KIDS AT HOME. IN NEW YORK CITY, EDUCATORS ARE TRAINING TO TEACH KIDS ONLINE FROM INSIDE THEIR HOMES, BUT TEACHERS SAY KEEPING THEIR ATTENTION IN THE CLASSROOM IS HARD ENOUGH, LET ALONE FROM SOMEONE’S KITCHEN.

METRA RIDERS CAN COUNT ON TRAINS OPERATING BUSINESS AS USUAL THE REST OF THIS WORK WEEK, BUT NEXT WEEK MAY BE A DIFFERENT STORY. THE RAIL AGENCY IS CONSIDERING LIMITING SCHEDULES AS A RESULT OF THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS. BOTH METRA AND AMTRAK HAVE SEEN A DECREASE IN RIDERS, AS CONDUCTORS REPORT EMPTIER TRAINS AND MORE SUBURBAN RIDERS OPT TO WORK FROM HOME.

THE ROLLING STONES ARE THE LATEST ACT TO POSTPONE THEIR TOUR PLANS AS A RESULT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE 2020 NORTH AMERICAN LEG OF THEIR NO FILTER TOUR, WHICH WAS SCHEDULED TO START MAY 8 IN SAN DIEGO AND CONCLUDE IN ATLANTA ON JULY 9, HAS BEEN DELAYED INDEFINITELY.
SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/18/2020 6:20am:

ILLINOIS SAW ANOTHER SPIKE IN COVID-19 CASES, THE STATE NOW HAS 160 CASES, NEARLY 2 DOZEN ARE AT A NURSING HOME IN WILLOWBROOK. ABOUT 200 OF THOSE HIGH RISK NURSING HOME RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN TESTED, 22 POSITIVE CASES HAVE BEEN ISOLATED. THE FIRST CASE WAS DISCOVERED OVER THE WEEKEND. VISITORS HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED.

MIDWAY AIRPORT’S AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY CLOSED AFTER 3 EMPLOYEES TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE AIRPORT REMAINS OPEN, OPERATIONS ARE AT A REDUCED RATE UNTIL THE SITUATION IS RESOLVED, THE CONTROL TOWER HAS BEEN CLEANED, AND MULTIPLE BACKUP SYSTEMS ARE IN PLACE UNTIL THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER CAN RETURN TO FULL OPERATIONS.

FIAT CHRYSLER, FORD, AND GENERAL MOTORS WILL PARTIALLY SHUT DOWN THEIR FACTORIES AND PUT NEW MEASURES IN PLACE TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM CORONAVIRUS. THE UAW HAD BEEN URGING THE DETROIT THREE TO COMPLETELY SHUTTER PLANTS FOR TWO WEEKS. THE UNION SAYS IN A STATEMENT THE CHANGES WILL “INCREASE ADHERENCE TO CDC RECOMMENDATIONS ON SOCIAL DISTANCING IN THE WORKPLACE.”

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 6:40pm:

THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER AT MIDWAY AIRPORT HAS BEEN CLOSED AFTER SEVERAL EMPLOYEES TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE AIRPORT HAS MOVED TO BACKUP PROCEDURES, RESULTING IN MANY CANCELATIONS ON BOTH ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES.

VOTING IN THE ILLINOIS PRIMARY IS OPEN UNTIL 7PM TONIGHT, AND 40 SUBURBAN POLLING PLACES IN COOK COUNTY WILL REMAIN OPEN AN HOUR LATER UNTIL 8PM TO ACCOMMODATE VOTERS AFTER CORONAVIRUS FEARS CAUSED LOCATION CHANGES AND LATE OPENINGS.

THE EUROPEAN UNION ANNOUNCED A 30-DAY BAN ON NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL INTO THE 27-COUNTRY BLOC. EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE TO PROVIDE FOR THE PASSAGE OF FOOD AND MEDICINE.

THE VIRUS HAS NOW SPREAD TO ALL 50 STATES IN THE US, WITH ILLINOIS REPORTING 160 CASES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 5:30pm:

THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER AT MIDWAY AIRPORT HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN AFTER SEVERAL WORKERS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. THE AIRPORT REMAINS OPEN, WITH A SPECIAL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IN EFFECT.

KEVIN DURANT AND THREE OTHER BROOKLYN NETS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. ALL FOUR PLAYERS ARE IN ISOLATION AND UNDER DOCTOR’S CARE.

THE OKLAHOMA SENATE IS SHUTTING DOWN DUE TO A POSITIVE CORONAVIRUS TEST. STATE SENATORS AND STAFF ARE BEING QUARANTINED IN THEIR OFFICES UNTIL THEY CAN BE TESTED.

THE CORONAVIRUS HAS NOW SPREAD TO ALL 50 STATES, WITH THE FIRST CASE REPORTED IN WEST VIRGINIA TODAY. CASES OF THE VIRUS ARE NOW AT 160 IN ILLINOIS, WITH THE FIRST DEATH IN ILLINOIS REPORTED EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON.

VOTING IN THE ILLINOIS PRIMARIES IS OPEN UNTIL 7PM. TURNOUT ACROSS THE STATE HAS BEEN LOW DUE TO CORONAVIRUS FEARS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 3:50pm:

THE DOW JONES WENT UP BY 1,049 POINTS BY CLOSING TODAY. THE S & P AND THE NASDAQ WERE ALSO UP, AFTER PLANS FOR A CORONAVIRUS-RELATED STIMULUS PACKAGE WAS ANNOUNCED BY THE WHITE HOUSE. WALL STREET STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO – THE DOW FELL BY ALMOST 3,000 POINTS ON MONDAY.

160 TOTAL CASES OF COVID-19 ARE REPORTED IN ILLINOIS, INCLUDING 55 NEW CASES, AN ALMOST 50 PERCENT JUMP FROM YESTERDAY. THE FIRST DEATH HAS BEEN REPORTED DUE TO THE VIRUS IN ILLINOIS – A CHICAGO WOMAN IN HER 60’S.

VOTER TURNOUT IS REPORTEDLY LIGHT AT THE PRIMARY POLLS IN ILLINOIS, ARIZONA, AND FLORIDA TODAY. A NUMBER OF POLL WORKERS DID NOT REPORT, AND MANY POLLING PLACES WERE MOVED AT THE LAST MINUTE TO MINIMIZE HEALTH RISK, ESPECIALLY IF THEY WERE SCHEDULED TO BE HELD IN NURSING HOMES.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 2:50pm:

THE FIRST DEATH IN ILLINOIS HAS BEEN REPORTED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE PATIENT WAS A CHICAGO WOMAN IN HER 60S WITH OTHER MEDICAL ISSUES. SHE WAS DIAGNOSED EARLIER THIS MONTH.

22 INDIVIDUALS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS AT A NURSING HOME IN DUPAGE COUNTY.

VOTING CONTINUES IN THE ILLINOIS PRIMARIES TODAY. IN COOK COUNTY THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL REPORTS OF POLLING PLACES WITHOUT WORKERS OR EQUIPMENT. OVER 850 ELECTION JUDGES OPTED NOT TO SHOW UP DUE TO CORONAVIRUS FEARS. IN A PUBLIC BRIEFING THIS AFTERNOON, GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID THAT HE HAD NO LEGAL AUTHORITY TO DELAY THE PRIMARY. THE GOVERNOR ALSO STATED THAT THERE WILL BE SWIFT ACTION TAKEN AGAINST ANY PRICE-GOUGING BY VENDORS IN THE STATE ON FOOD OR ANY OTHER PRODUCTS IN THE DAYS AHEAD AS BUSINESSES SHUT THEIR DOORS.

CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY WORKERS ARE SAYING THEIR HEALTH IS IN DANGER DUE TO CITY OFFICIALS’ DECISION TO KEEP ALL 80 LIBRARIES OPEN FOR NOW.

THE WORLD’S LARGEST STARBUCKS, LOCATED IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO, WILL CLOSE INDEFINITELY TODAY TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

MACY’S STORES WILL CLOSE AT THE END OF THE BUSINESS DAY THROUGH MARCH 31 NATIONWIDE.

THE CDC HAS ASKED FUNERAL DIRECTORS TO LIMIT PEOPLE AT SERVICES, AND TO LIVE STREAM SERVICES FOR LARGER GROUPS. THEY SUGGEST A LIMIT OF 50 PEOPLE AT FUNERALS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 1:50pm:

THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCED THAT AN 850-BILLION DOLLAR STIMULUS PACKAGE IS BEING PLANNED, AND THE ADMINISTRATION SAYS THEY ARE HOPING TO GET MONEY INTO AMERICANS’ BANK ACCOUNTS IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. WITH MANY AMERICANS OUT OF WORK DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS, THE GOAL IS TO FLOOD THE ECONOMY WITH FUNDS, ACCORDING TO TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN.

MACY’S STORES WILL CLOSE AT END OF BUSINESS TODAY THROUGH MARCH 31st TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. MACY’S, BLOOMINGDALE’S, AND MARKET BY MACY’S ARE JUST SOME OF THE STORES AFFECTED.

THE VOTING POLLS ARE OPEN IN ILLINOIS, AS WELL AS IN FLORIDA AND ARIZONA TODAY IN THE RACE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. HUNDREDS OF ELECTION JUDGES PULLED OUT OF THE PROCESS ACROSS ILLINOIS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS FEARS. OHIO WAS ALSO SCHEDULED TO VOTE IN THE PRIMARY, BUT STATE OFFICIALS POSTPONED VOTING AS A PRECAUTION AGAINST SPREADING THE VIRUS.

TOM AND RITA HANKS ARE OUT OF THE HOSPITAL IN AUSTRALIA AFTER BEING ADMITTED WITH THE COVID-19 VIRUS LAST WEEK. THEIR SON CHET POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA THAT HIS PARENTS ARE NOW SELF-QUARANTINING. HANKS WAS IN AUSTRALIA WORKING ON A MOVIE ABOUT ELVIS PRESLEY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 12:50pm:

IN A BRIEFING TODAY, PRESIDENT TRUMP CONFIRMED THE CREATION OF AN ECONOMIC STIMULUS PROPOSAL TO STEADY THE MARKET, WHICH HAS BEEN VOLATILE IN REACTION TO THE CORONAVIRUS.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE IS CREATING A SPECIAL FUND TO KEEP CREDIT LIQUID IN THE U.S. ECONOMY, SAYING THEY WILL BUY SHORT-TERM LOANS BUSINESSES NEED TO KEEP PAYING BILLS AS THE VIRUS OUTBREAK CAUSES A HALT IN DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS WITHIN MANY INDUSTRIES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.

FORD WILL CLOSE THEIR EUROPEAN FACTORIES TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE PANDEMIC. PLANTS IN ROMANIA AND GERMANY WILL SHUT DOWN STARTING THURSDAY.

IT’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN CHICAGOLAND, THE FIRST SINCE PROHIBITION TO HAVE BARS, TAVERNS, AND RESTAURANTS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC TO FLATTEN THE CURVE OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

BUT POLLS ARE OPEN IN THE STATE’S PRIMARY TODAY UNTIL 7PM. SOME POLLING PLACES SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE IN NURSING HOMES WERE RELOCATED DUE TO THE VIRUS AND SOME POLLING PLACES HAVE REPORTED AN EXTREMELY LOW TURNOUT TODAY. CHICAGO BROKE A WORLD WAR II ERA RECORD FOR VOTING BY MAIL THIS YEAR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 11:50am:

THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IS UP MORE THAN 900 POINTS AFTER THE FED ANNOUNCED IT WAS GOING TO PUMP A LOT OF MONEY INTO THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM. THE MARKETS WERE UP AND DOWN BEFORE THE ANNOUNCEMENT. WALL STREET IS TRYING TO REBOUND AFTER ITS BIGGEST POINT LOSS IN HISTORY, WITH THE DOW LOSING NEARLY 3,000 POINTS YESTERDAY.

IN INDIANA, THE 2ND DEATH HAS BEEN REPORTED, AS A RESULT OF COVID-19 IN INDIANA, IN ADDITION TO 30 CONFIRMED CASES ACROSS 15 COUNTIES.

TURNS OUT CHICAGO ELECTION OFFICIALS WANTED POLLS CLOSED TODAY, DUE TO COVID-19 BUT ILLINOIS GOVERNOR PRITZGER SAID NO.

THE FRENCH OPEN TENNIS TOURNAMENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL SEPTEMBER.

UBER HAS SUSPENDED IT’S CARPOOL OPTION IN THE US AND CANADA UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

AMC THEATRES IS CLOSING ALL ITS THEATERS FOR SIX TO 12 WEEKS BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 9:50am:

THE COVID-19 DEATH TOLL IN THE U.S. IS CONTINUING TO CLIMB. NUMBERS COMPILED BY EPIDEMIOLOGISTS AT JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICAL SCHOOL SHOW AT LEAST 90 DEATHS WITH MORE THAN 4,500 PEOPLE DIAGNOSED. THE GLOBAL DEATH TOLL IS JUST OVER 7,300 WITH 185,000 PEOPLE INFECTED WITH THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS.

ABOUT 7 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA HAVE BEEN TOLD TO SHELTER IN PLACE FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS.

THE NEXT WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING HAPPENS AT 10:30.

PHARMACEUTICAL GIANT PFIZER IS SIGNING A DEAL WITH GERMANY’S BIONTECH TO CO-DEVELOP A POTENTIAL VACCINE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. THE COMPANIES ANNOUNCED THEIR PARTNERSHIP TODAY AND VOWED TO BEGIN THE COLLABORATION IMMEDIATELY.

AMC THEATRES IS CLOSING ALL ITS THEATERS FOR SIX TO 12 WEEKS BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE CHAIN ANNOUNCED THE DECISION MONDAY AS GOVERNORS OF A DOZEN STATES ORDERED THEATERS TO CLOSE AND THE CDC ISSUED GUIDELINES LIMITING PUBLIC GATHERINGS TO TEN PEOPLE.

MOVIES ON THE BIG SCREEN WILL BE IN HOMES THIS WEEKEND AS THE CORONAVIRUS DISRUPTS THEATERS. UNIVERSAL PICTURES IS MAKING CURRENT FILMS LIKE “THE INVISIBLE MAN” AND “THE HUNT” AVAILABLE ON DEMAND. THEY CAN BE RENTED STARTING FRIDAY FOR $20.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 8:50am:

COVID-19 HAS KILLED AT LEAST 90 OF THE OVER 4,600 PEOPLE DIAGNOSED IN THE U.S. GLOBALLY, THE DEATH TOLL IS JUST OVER 7,100, WITH THE MOST AGGRESSIVE OUTBREAKS STILL SPREADING IN EUROPE AND IRAN.

DEMOCRATIC VOTERS IN ARIZONA, FLORIDA, AND HERE IN ILLINOIS WILL CAST PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY BALLOTS TODAY. OHIO WAS ON THE PRIMARY CALENDAR TOO BUT STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS CALLED IT OFF DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS.

RESEARCHERS SAY THE BIGGEST THREAT FOR SPREADING COVID-19 COULD BE PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THEY HAVE IT. EPIDEMIC SPECIALISTS CREATED A MATHEMATICAL MODEL BASED ON THE DATA FROM CHINA WHERE THE OUTBREAK STARTED. THEY FOUND THAT NEARLY 80 PERCENT OF CONFIRMED CASES WERE TRANSMITTED BY PEOPLE WHO WEREN’T DIAGNOSED BECAUSE THEY HAD MILD OR NO SYMPTOMS. THE RESEARCHERS BELIEVE THAT HELPS EXPLAIN WHY THE VIRUS IS SPREADING SO RAPIDLY WORLDWIDE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 7:20am:

THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES IN THE U.S. HAS INCREASED BY ABOUT 1,000 IN JUST 24 HOURS. THERE ARE NOW 4500 CASES, AND 90 DEATHS. ILLINOIS ANNOUNCED 12 NEW CASES, FOR A TOTAL OF 105 CONFIRMED CASES IN THE STATE.

ILLINOIS PRIMARY VOTING IS STILL ON FOR TODAY. GOVERNOR PRITZGER SAYS POLLING LOCATIONS WILL ALLOW FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING FROM OTHER VOTERS. THERE IS, HOWEVER, REPORTS OF A SHORTAGE OF ELECTION JUDGES IN SOME LOCATIONS.

THE S.A.T. EXAM SCHEDULED IN MAY HAS BEEN POSTPONED.

NASCAR RACES AND THE KENTUCKY DERBY BOTH CANCELED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/17/2020 6:20am:

ILLINOIS HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED 12 NEW CASES, BRINGING THE STATE TOTAL TO 105 CONFIRMED CASES, ACROSS 15 COUNTIES, INCLUDING 2 NEW COUNTIES, SOUTH SUBURBAN WILL AND DOWNSTATE PEORIA.

THE ILLINOIS PRIMARY ELECTION IS ON, AS SCHEDULED, FOR TODAY. GOVERNOR PRITZGER SAYS THE POLLS WILL ALLOW FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING. THERE ARE EARLY REPORTS OF A SHORTAGE OF ELECTION JUDGES IN SOME LOCATIONS.

A BIG CONCERN NATIONWIDE IS WHETHER HOSPITALS ARE PREPARED FOR AN INFLUX OF COVID-19 PATIENTS. RUSH IS POSTPONING ALL NON ESSENTIAL PROCEDURES STARTING TOMORROW, AND THEY HAVE SET UP A SPECIAL TRIAGE CENTER IN THE AMBULANCE BAY IN PREPARATION FOR PATIENTS WITH COVID-19. NORTHWESTERN IS FINALIZING PLANS FOR A SIMILAR SETUP.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 6:40pm:

ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE ANNOUNCED THAT ALL DRIVER SERVICES FACILITIES AND OFFICES STATEWIDE WILL BE CLOSED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS, EFFECTIVE TOMORROW THROUGH MARCH 31. EXPIRATION DATES FOR DRIVER’S LICENSES, ID CARDS, AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS WILL BE EXTENDED BY 30 DAYS THROUGH AN EMERGENCY RULE.

THE FIRST HUMAN TRIAL TEST OF A COVID-19 VACCINE IS UNDERWAY IN THE U.S. THE FIRST PHASE TESTS THE VACCINE ON A GROUP OF 45 MALES AND NON-PREGNANT FEMALES BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18-55 IN THE SEATTLE AREA.

DUE TO SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE HAS PAUSED PRODUCTION UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THE EPISODE THAT WAS SLATED FOR MARCH 28 WILL NOT AIR. A SPOKESPERSON SAID THAT THEY WILL MONITOR THE SITUATION AND MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT FUTURE SHOWS ON AN ONGOING BASIS.

ON THE EVE OF ST. PATRICK’S DAY, ALL BARS AND RESTAURANTS IN ILLINOIS WILL CLOSE TO THE PUBLIC TONIGHT AT 9P.M. THROUGH MARCH 30. DELIVERY, DRIVE-THRU, CARRY OUT AND PICK UP WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM BUSINESSES THAT OFFER IT.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 5:30pm:

THE FIRST CORONAVIRUS DEATH HAS BEEN REPORTED IN INDIANA. THE PATIENT WAS OVER 60 AND HAD OTHER MEDICAL ISSUES. GOVERNOR ERIC HOLCOMB HAS ORDERED RESTAURANTS AND BARS TO CLOSE TO IN-PERSON CUSTOMERS, AND 273 OF INDIANA’S PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE CLOSED TO STUDENTS.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER YESTERDAY ORDERED BARS AND RESTAURANTS TO BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC AS OF TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. UNTIL THE END OF MARCH. TODAY HE ORDERED GATHERINGS OF 50 OR MORE PEOPLE TO BE CANCELED. THAT APPLIES TO GYMS, BOWLING ALLEYS, PRIVATE CLUBS AND THEATERS. IT DOES NOT APPLY TO GROCERY STORES, HOSPITALS, GAS STATIONS, PHARMACIES, OR SHELTERS.

IN A NEWS BRIEFING, PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED NEW GUIDELINES AGAINST GATHERINGS OF 10 OR MORE PEOPLE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 3:50pm:

GOVERNOR PRITZKER HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE THIS AFTERNOON REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS. THERE ARE NOW 105 CONFIRMED CASES IN ILLINOIS ACROSS 15 COUNTIES, INCLUDING NEW CASES IN PEORIA AND WILL COUNTIES.

A STATE HOTLINE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED TO RESIDENTS TO CALL WITH ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19. THE HOTLINE NUMBER IS 1-800-889-3931.

THE STOCK MARKET ENDED ON ANOTHER DOWNTURN DESPITE THE FEDERAL RESERVE CUTTING INTEREST RATES. THE DOW JONES DROPPED NEARLY 13%, LOSING 2,997 POINTS, THE S & P LOST 324 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ FELL 970 POINTS.

AND ELTON JOHN IS THE LATEST ARTIST TO POSTPONE SOME UPCOMING TOUR DATES DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. THE NEXT ROUND OF THE NORTH AMERICAN LEG OF HIS FAREWELL YELLOW BRICK ROAD TOUR, WHICH WAS SET TO KICK OFF NEXT WEEK IN INDIANAPOLIS AND WRAP IN DETROIT ON MAY 2, WILL BE RESCHEDULED. TICKETHOLDERS FOR THOSE DATES WILL BE ALERTED TO THE NEW DATES WHEN THEY ARE ANNOUNCED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 2:40pm:

PRESIDENT TRUMP ADDRESSED THE PRESS TODAY REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS, ANNOUNCING NEW GUIDELINES OVER THE NEXT 15 DAYS FOR EVERY AMERICAN. THESE NEW GUIDELINES URGE EVERYONE TO AVOID GATHERING IN GROUPS OF MORE THAN TEN PEOPLE, WHICH IS MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISEMENT TO GATHER IN GROUPS OF LESS THAN 50. THEY ALSO URGE AGAINST VISITING BARS, RESTAURANTS, AND PUBLIC FOOD COURTS, AND CAUTION AGAINST DISCRETIONARY TRAVELING.

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES ARE SCHEDULED IN FOUR STATES TOMORROW: ILLINOIS, ARIZONA, FLORIDA, AND OHIO. OHIO GOVERNOR MIKE DEWINE IS RECOMMENDING THAT VOTING BE POSTPONED TO JUNE 2ND TO CONFORM WITH CDC GUIDELINES ON SOCIAL DISTANCING. IT WILL BE UP TO A JUDGE TO MAKE THE FINAL RULING.

THE ILLINOIS STATE DENTAL SOCIETY ISSUED A RECOMMENDATION URGING DENTISTS TO ONLY TREAT PATIENTS WHO NEED EMERGENCY PROCEDURES BETWEEN TOMORROW AND MARCH 31 TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

A METRA SPOKESPERSON SAID THAT RIDERSHIP NUMBERS LAST FRIDAY WERE DOWN FIFTY PERCENT ACROSS CHICAGOLAND. NO SERVICE CUTS ARE REPORTED ON METRA OR THE CTA AT THIS TIME.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 1:40pm:

CANADA IS CLOSING BORDERS TO NON-CITIZENS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU SAID THAT “IT IS TIME TO TAKE EVERY PRECAUTION TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE.” SOME EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE, INCLUDING FOR U.S. CITIZENS. TRUDEAU URGED CANADIAN CITIZENS WHO ARE TRAVELING ABROAD TO RETURN HOME.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS DELAYING THE START OF ITS SEASON EVEN FURTHER, SAYING THAT IT WILL NOW BE DELAYED FOR EIGHT WEEKS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH CDC GUIDANCE OVER THE WEEKEND THAT EVENTS WITH 50 OR MORE PEOPLE SHOULD BE POSTPONED OR CANCELLED. A STATEMENT FROM THE LEAGUE SAID “THE CLUBS REMAIN COMMITTED TO PLAYING AS MANY GAMES AS POSSIBLE WHEN THE SEASON BEGINS.”

SEVERAL CHICAGO AREA HOSPITALS ARE NO LONGER ALLOWING MOST VISITORS AS THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES INCREASE. RESTRICTIONS ON VISITORS ARE IN PLACE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICAL CENTER, RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, AND MORE. CARE TEAMS WILL DETERMINE VISITORS FOR THE CRITICALLY ILL.

ACTOR IDRIS ELBA ANNOUNCED THAT HE HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. OTHER CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE INCLUDE TOM AND RITA HANKS.

VOTERS HEAD TO POLLS IN ILLINOIS FOR THE PRIMARY TOMORROW, ALONG WITH FLORIDA, OHIO, AND ARIZONA.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 12:40pm:

STUDENTS SCHEDULED TO TAKE THE S.A.T. EXAM IN MAY WILL NOT BE DOING SO. THE TEST, WHICH WAS SCHEDULED FOR MAY 2ND, HAS BEEN CANCELED BY THE COLLEGE BOARD. MAKEUP EXAMS SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 28TH WILL ALSO NOT HAPPEN. REFUNDS TO STUDENTS REGISTERED FOR THE SAT WILL BE GIVEN. MORE INFO CAN BE FOUND AT THE SAT WEBSITE.

ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN ILLINOIS WILL BE CLOSED STARTING TOMORROW, WHILE MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF INDIANA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. MICHIGAN, OHIO, KENTUCKY AND A SLEW OF OTHER STATES HAVE ALSO CLOSED SCHOOLS.

INDIANA HAS JOINED ILLINOIS IN CLOSING ALL BARS AND RESTAURANTS TO THE PUBLIC AT CLOSE OF BUSINESS TODAY THROUGH THE END OF MARCH. IN BOTH STATES, DELIVERY, PICK-UP AND CARRY-OUT WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM BUSINESSES THAT OFFER IT.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS FEARS, THE DOW FELL BY EIGHT PERCENT DURING MIDDAY TRADING. JUST AFTER OPENING BELL THIS MORNING, BOTH THE DOW AND THE S & P 500 FELL MORE THAN EIGHT PERCENT WHICH CAUSED A PAUSE IN TRADING, AFTER WHICH THE DOW FELL BY MORE THAN 2700 POINTS. THE FEDERAL RESERVE IS OFFERING 500 BILLION DOLLARS IN OVERNIGHT REPURCHASING TO KEEP CASH FLOWING THROUGH THE MARKET.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 11:40am:

THE DOW IS DOWN 1897 POINTS.

INDIANA HAS JOINED ILLINOIS IN CLOSING ALL BARS AND RESTAURANTS AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS TODAY. THOSE THAT OFFER DRIVE THROUGH, DELIVERY, AND TAKE OUT CAN CONTINUE TO OFFER THOSE SERVICES, BUT DINE IN WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL AT LEAST MARCH 30TH.

GOVERNOR PRITZGER ANNOUNCED THE CLOSING OF ALL SCHOOLS IN ILLINOIS, STARTING TOMORROW, IF THEY HAVEN’T CLOSED ALREADY, AND UNTIL MARCH 30TH. AROUND TWO-THIRDS OF SCHOOLS IN INDIANA HAVE CLOSED.

THE CDC RECOMMENDS NO GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE FOR THE NEXT 8 WEEKS, WHICH PUTS US INTO MAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 10:50am:

STOCKS FELL YET AGAIN AFTER THE FED SLASHED INTEREST RATES DOWN TO ZERO, IN AN EFFORT TO CALM CORONAVIRUS FEARS. The DOW IS DOWN 2200 POINTS.

ALL SCHOOLS IN ILLINOIS WILL BE CLOSED TOMORROW, IF THEY HAVEN’T ALREADY.

ALL BARS AND RESTAURANTS IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS WILL BE CLOSED TO EAT IN CUSTOMERS AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS TODAY. THOSE THAT OFFER DRIVE THROUGH, DELIVERY, AND TAKE OUT CAN CONTINUE TO OFFER THOSE SERVICES, BUT DINE IN WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL AT LEAST MARCH 30TH AND POSSIBLY BEYOND THAT DATE.

THE CDC RECOMMENDS NO GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE FOR THE NEXT 8 WEEKS, WHICH PUTS US INTO MAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 9:50am:

THE DOW IS DOWN 1844 POINTS.

AN ILLINOIS PRESS CONFERENCE WILL HAPPEN THIS AFTERNOON, INSTEAD OF LATER THIS MORNING. SCHOOLS IN ILLINOIS WILL CLOSE TOMORROW, IF THEY HAVEN’T ALREADY.

THE GLOBAL DEATH TOLL FROM COVID-19 IS NOW UP TO 6500, THERE ARE MORE THAN 169 THOUSAND CASES WORLD WIDE. IN THE UNITED STATES, 3600 CASES, 66 PEOPLE HAVE DIED.

THE CDC RECOMMENDS NO GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE FOR THE NEXT 8 WEEKS.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 8:50am:

Illinois announced 29 new coronavirus cases, bringing Illinois’ total to 93. 2 of those new cases are at Chicago schools. All Illinois schools are ordered to close by tomorrow.

All Illinois restaurants, bars will close to limit COVID-19 spread. Restaurants and bars will closed to indoor dining, for 2 weeks, there is still take out and drive thru if that service is offered. The closures start today, at close of business through March 30th. California, Ohio, Washington State, and Massachusetts have also closed all bars and restaurants. All major resorts and casinos in Las Vegas are closing, either today or tomorrow for 2 weeks minimum, some aren’t taking any reservations until May 1st.

In case you are wondering why restrictions here in the US seem to be coming quickly, and may seem dramatic to some…The US is using what happened in Europe as a potential lesson…for example, in Italy, where they did not follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization’s and continued to host sports events with fans,…the country is on lockdown now, with almost 25,000 cases of covid-19. Over 1,800 people have died, 368 in the past 24 hours. The majority of the issue, it seems, is high numbers of cases overwhelming the health care system. Reports are there is a lack of medical equipment, as far as what’s needed to combat and treat the volume of cases in the country, relative to what is available.

Guns N’ Roses aren’t afraid of some virus. Guns N’ Roses played on despite the coronavirus pandemic—- Axl Rose & company performed a 22 song set at the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City Friday night.

While several other artists pulled out over concerns that large gatherings and international transit could increase the chances of the disease spreading, Guns N Roses went ahead as planned.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/16/2020 7:20am:

Illinois announced 29 new coronavirus cases, bringing Illinois’ total to 93. 2 of those new cases are at Chicago schools.

All Illinois restaurants, bars to close to limit COVID-19 spread— All restaurants and bars will close for inside dining for more than two weeks to limit the spread of COVID-19. The closures will begin at the end of business Monday, March 16, through March 30. Restaurants will be open for drive-through and pickup services.

All Major resorts on the Las Vegas Strip are now closing in response to the spread of coronavirus. Next opening for reservations is May 1.

The first COVID-19 vaccine begins clinical testing today at Kayser Permanente Washington Health research Institute in Seattle. A government official will be the first to get the experimental vaccine. Public health officials say it takes 12-18 months to determine the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine and get it to market.

The penguins at The Shedd Aquarium got out and were allowed to walk around like spectators since it’s closed to the public. The field trip of the penguins meeting other animals at Shedd was posted on social media. Wellington the penguin seemed most interested in the fishes in Amazon Rising!

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/15/2020 4:20pm:

Illinois is closing all Bars and Restaurants. Illinois is among the states taking drastic measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Governor J.B. Pritzker made the announcement today. The closings begin end of business Monday, March 16th through March 30th. However, drive-thru and curbside pickup will continue. He expressed disappointment that people weren’t taking the virus and its consequences seriously. The move made by Pritzker is similar to one announced earlier by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

This afternoon Pritzker also announced there were 29 new coronavirus cases, bringing Illinois’ total to 93. The number of cases have risen to more than 3,000 in the United States.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/15/2020 11:20am:

There are more than 2,500 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the U.S. and over 50 people have died. In Illinois, there are 67 confirmed cases. The virus is now in every state except West Virginia. There have been deaths in ten states. New York, Louisiana, Colorado, and Virginia all saw their first deaths from the virus today. Worldwide, more than 155-thousand people have been infected in 141 countries and over 5,800 have died.

More Chicago landmarks have decided to close their doors over the COVID-19 outbreak. Navy Pier announced it will close starting Monday through April 3rd. City officials also announced that the iconic Cloud Gate, also known as the “Bean” will be also closed through April 12th. In addition to the “Bean,” the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have closed the Chicago Cultural Center, Clarke House Museum and exhibitions at Expo 72 and the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower.

Passengers traveling through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport were waiting for hours to get through customs Saturday night. The long lines come as most travel from Europe is banned in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker described the lines at O’Hare as “unacceptable.”

The U.S. surgeon general is making sure Americans know where the country is at in the fight against the coronavirus. Speaking at the White House Saturday, Dr. Jerome Adams talked about the outbreak, saying the vast majority of those who get it will be OK. However, he emphasized the most vulnerable need to be protected. Adams talked about the importance of “social distancing” and the role that plays in protecting people, especially older Americans.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 6:40pm:

Governor Pritzger announced today that in effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, all schools statewide in IL will close from next Tuesday March 17 until at least March 30.

President Trump today declared a national emergency, clearing the way for up to 50-billion-dollars in aid to state and local governments. Interest on all student loans was also waived until further notice.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its biggest-ever point gain following the declaration of a national emergency to deal with the coronavirus. All three major indexes surged more than nine-percent today.

A top official at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says it’s unclear how long it will take for the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. to run its course. He said the hope is that it will only be a matter of weeks.

SeaWorld is closing all parks until the end of March. Essential employees will remain on-site to care for the animals.

The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Musee D’Orsay will close starting tomorrow, after French officials banned gatherings of more than 100 people.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 5:30pm:

In a press conference this afternoon, Governor Pritzger announced that starting next Tuesday March 17, schools statewide in IL will close due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pritzger said this was action is important to curb the spread of the virus, and he said measures will be taken to feed children who rely on school meals.

Additionally, Pritzger said officials are working with major food banks and food manufacturers across the state to ramp up the capacity to serve the most vulnerable children.

14 more cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Illinois, bringing the state’s total to 46. The affected people range in age from their 20’s to their 90’s.

Earlier this afternoon, President Trump announced a National Emergency, opening the door for federal relief funding.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 3:50pm:

President Trump declared a national emergency today due to the coronavirus, which authorizes FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts. The declaration will make millions of dollars in aid available to state and local governments.

On that news, stocks posted a rally. The Dow gained more than a thousand points following the Emergency Declaration, finishing just below two thousand for the day.

The presidential primary in Louisiana is being postponed from April 4, making it the first state to do so. Officials say they will reschedule in June or July.

Delta is the first major airline to announce steps to counter a slowdown in travel because of the COVID-19 outbreak, reducing capacity of its flights by 40-percent for the next few months. It is offering immediate voluntary short-term, unpaid leaves and putting a hiring freeze in place.

Disney is suspending the production of live-action films due to the coronavirus. The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Wendy, and The Last Duel starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are among the movies being put on pause.

Add the Chicago Flower and Garden Show to the list of cancellations over the coronavirus. It will not take place at Navy Pier next week in compliance with city officials who urge against large groups. Gatherings of over 1000 are banned in the city of Chicago for 30 days, and gatherings of 250 or more or discouraged.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 2:50pm:

PRESIDENT TRUMP MOMENTS AGO ANNOUNCED A DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, WHICH WILL OPEN THE DOOR FOR FEDERAL AID RELIEF INCLUDING TESTING, VACCINATIONS, AND MORE.

THE DECLARATION MAKES AS MUCH AS $50 BILLION AVAILABLE IN RESOURCES TO ASSIST AMERICANS AFFECTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS.

IN THE PRESS CONFERENCE, TRUMP SAID HE EXPECTS 1.4 MILLION CORONAVIRUS TEST KITS AVAILABLE WITHIN A WEEK, WITH 5 MILLION AVAILABLE NEXT MONTH. THE EMERGENCY DECLARATION GRANTS GREATER AUTHORITY TO HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE SECRETARY ALEX AZAR TO WAIVE RULES CONCERNING HOW HOSPITALS RECEIVE PATIENTS AND HOW LONG THEY CAN STAY.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 1:50pm:

PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL TAKE THE PODIUM AT THE WHITE HOUSE TO HOLD A NEWS CONFERENCE REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS TODAY (FRIDAY, 3/13) AT 2 PM CENTRAL TIME.

THE CHICAGO TEACHER’S UNION ISSUED A DEMAND TO CITY OFFICIALS TODAY THAT SCHOOLS CLOSE IMMEDIATELY TO CONTROL THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS, BUT AT THIS TIME, CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS REMAIN OPEN. CATHOLIC SCHOOLS OPERATED BY THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO IN COOK AND LAKE COUNTIES WILL CLOSE INDEFINITELY AS OF MONDAY. PUBLIC MASSES HAVE ALSO BEEN CANCELLED.

THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY WILL CLOSE FROM TOMORROW THROUGH APRIL 6. THE ADLER PLANETARIUM, THE FIELD MUSEUM, SHEDD AQUARIUM AND THE LINCOLN PARK ZOO HAVE ALSO ANNOUNCED CLOSURES.

THE DRIVER SERVICES FACILITY IN THE THOMPSON CENTER IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO WILL CLOSE AS OF MONDAY TO CURB CORONAVIRUS CONTAGION. ALL OTHER DRIVER SERVICES LOCATIONS ACROSS ILLINOIS WILL REMAIN OPEN, ALTHOUGH SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE URGED RESIDENTS WITHOUT IMMEDIATE NEEDS TO DELAY GOING INTO FACILITIES.

RECORD STORE DAY 2020, THE ANNUAL EVENT WHICH DRIVES FANS INTO RECORD STORES GLOBALLY, HAS MOVED FROM APRIL 18 TO JUNE 20 AS A SAFETY PRECAUTION.

AND CLOSURES CONTINUE TO CASCADE THROUGH THE SPORTS WORLD: THE LONDON MARATHON FOLLOWS THE BOSTON MARATHON IN POSTPONING ITS ANNUAL EVENT UNTIL LATER IN THE YEAR.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 12:40pm:

ALL CATHOLIC SCHOOLS OPERATED BY THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO IN COOK AND LAKE COUNTIES WILL CLOSE STARTING MONDAY. AN ANNOUNCEMENT WILL BE MADE WHEN A RE-OPENING DATE HAS BEEN DETERMINED. AT THIS TIME, CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS AT LARGE REMAIN OPEN, ALTHOUGH MULTIPLE SCHOOLS IN THE CHICAGO AREA HAVE CLOSED OR MOVED TO ONLINE LEARNING IN AN EFFORT TO MINIMIZE CONTAGION, INCLUDING LOCAL UNIVERSITIES.

SHEDD AQUARIUM IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL MARCH 29 DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS, AS IS THE LINCOLN PARK ZOO, WHICH IS CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 10.

DELTA AIRLINES ANNOUNCED THEY WILL CUT CAPACITY 40 PERCENT, AND WILL PARK UP TO 300 AIRCRAFT.

THE BOSTON MARATHON HAS BEEN POSTPONED FROM MID-APRIL TO SEPTEMBER 14TH. THE PGA MASTERS GOLF TOURNAMENT HAS ALSO BEEN POSTPONED TO A DATE STILL TO BE DETERMINED.

NASCAR POSTPONED THIS WEEKEND’S ATLANTA RACES AND NEXT WEEK’S RACES IN MIAMI. THE INDYCAR SERIES HAS ALSO BEEN POSTPONED THROUGH APRIL.

GOVERNOR PRITZGER AND MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ARE ENCOURAGING THE PRACTICE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING… CROWDS OF 1000 PEOPLE OR MORE ARE BANNED, AND CROWDS OF 250 OR MORE ARE DISCOURAGED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 11:45am:

US STOCKS HAVE BOUNCED BACK AFTER YESTERDAY, THEIR WORST DAY SINCE BLACK MONDAY IN 1987. THE DOW IS CURRENTLY UP 464 POINTS.

THE BOSTON MARATHON HAS BEEN POSTPONED, INSTEAD OF APRIL 20, IT HAS BEEN MOVED TO SEPTEMBER 14TH. THE MASTERS GOLF TOURNAMENT HAS ALSO BEEN POSTPONED TO A DATE STILL TO BE DETERMINED.

CPS SCHOOLS ARE STILL OPEN TODAY, AS ARE THE MAJORITY OF THE SCHOOLS IN THE STATE, WITH 6 OTHER US STATES AND SEVERAL LARGE CITIES ANNOUNCING THE CLOSING OF SCHOOLS, THERE IS A CHANCE ILLINOIS AND OTHER STATES MAY CLOSE SCHOOLS NEXT WEEK. THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO ANNOUNCED A CLOSURE OF ALL CATHOLIC SCHOOLS STARTING MONDAY.

HE SHEDD AQUARIUM ANNOUNCED IT’S CLOSING THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH MARCH 29TH, THE LINCOLN PARK ZOO IS CLOSED THROUGH APRIL 10TH, AND THE SHAMROCK SHUFFLE HAS BEEN CANCELED.

ILLINOIS AND CHICAGO OFFICIALS HAVE BANNED GATHERINGS OF 1000 PEOPLE OR MORE, AND STRESS THE NEED FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING, NO SHAKING HANDS, AND STAY AT LEAST 6 FEET AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE. THEY ALSO RECOMMEND THAT GATHERINGS WITH 250 OR MORE BE CANCELED OR POSTPONED.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 9:50am:

THE DOW IS CURRENTLY UP 642 POINTS.

SEVERAL STATES HAVE SHUT DOWN SCHOOLS, INCLUDING MICHIGAN, OHIO, KENTUCKY, NEW MEXICO, OREGON AND MARYLAND, AND LIKELY WASHINGTON STATE AS WELL ACCORDING TO A WARNING FROM THE GOVERNOR. THIS COVERS K THROUGH 12 SCHOOLS. SEVERAL LARGE CITIES CLOSED SCHOOLS TOO, SEATTLE, SAN FRANCISCO, DENVER, ATLANTA, AUSTIN, DALLAS, HOUSTON.

THE CDC, AT THIS TIME, HAS NOT RECOMMENDED THE BLANKET CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS, WORKPLACES AND CHURCHES, BUT ADVISES THOSE ORGANIZATIONS TO TAKE STEPS TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.

PRETTY MUCH EVERY PRO SPORT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED, THE NBA, NHL, PGA, NFL, MLS, NCAA MARCH MADNESS WAS CANCELLED, AND MLB CANCELED SPRING TRAINING AND PUSHED BACK OPENING DAY FOR AT LEAST 2 WEEKS. NASCAR AND INDY WILL KEEP RACING BUT WITHOUT SPECTATORS.

ILLINOIS AND CHICAGO OFFICIALS ARE BANNING GATHERINGS OF 1000 PEOPLE OR MORE, AND RECOMMEND SOCIAL DISTANCING, NO SHAKING HANDS, STAYING AT LEAST 6 FEET AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE. THEY ALSO RECOMMEND THAT GATHERINGS WITH 250 OR MORE BE CANCELED OR POSTPONED

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/13/2020 7:20am:

THE DOW CLOSED DOWN 2352 POINTS YESTERDAY.

AT LEAST 6 STATES HAVE SHUT DOWN SCHOOLS, INCLUDING MICHIGAN, KENTUCKY, OREGON, OHIO, NEW MEXICO AND MARYLAND. THIS COVERS K-12 SCHOOLS.

THE NBA NOW HAS 2 PLAYERS WITH CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19. THE NBA SEASON HAS BEEN SUSPENDED, NCAA’S MARCH MADNESS TOURNAMENT HAS BEEN CANCELED, THE NHL and MLS SUSPENDED THEIR SEASONS, AND FOR NOW MLB CANCELING SPRING TRAINING AND PUSHED BACK OPENING DAY FOR AT LEAST 2 WEEKS. IHSA HAS CANCELED ALL TOURNAMENTS IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

DISNEYLAND AND DISNEYWORLD ARE CLOSED.

CONGRESS IS NEARING A DEAL ON ECONOMIC RELIEF FOR COVID-19 INCLUDING PAID SICK LEAVE AND FREE TESTING FOR THE VIRUS.

THERE ARE GROWING CONCERNS OVER ACCESSIBILITY OF THE TESTS, SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN 11,000 TESTS DONE IN THE US, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS COMING UNDER FIRE FOR A LACK OF TESTS IN SOME PARTS OF THE COUNTRY.

SOME HOSPITALS ARE ACTUALLY OFFERING DRIVE THRU TESTING, NEXT HOUR I’LL HAVE LOCAL LOCATIONS OFFERING THE DRIVE THRU OPTION.

And a nice story — an NBA player, Kevin Love, who plays for the Cavaliers has pledged 100 thousand dollars to arena workers who will lose money without work since the NBA season has been suspended. He is hoping the NBA will join him.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/12/2020 6:40pm:

WITH 32 CONFIRMED CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS, INCLUDING ONE CHILD, GOVERNOR PRITZGER IS URGING RESIDENTS TO STAY HOME IF SICK AND TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING. ALL EVENTS OVER 1000 PEOPLE ARE BANNED FOR 30 DAYS. CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS REMAIN OPEN AT THIS TIME.

OTHERWISE, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ANNOUNCED THAT DISNEYLAND RESORT IN ANAHEIM WILL BE CLOSED AS OF THIS SATURDAY THROUGH THE END OF MARCH.
THE RELEASE OF DISNEY’S MULAN, WHICH WAS SCHEDULED TO HIT THEATERS ON MARCH 27, WILL BE POSTPONED UNTIL LATER THIS YEAR.

IN NEW YORK, BROADWAY IS CLOSED. ALL PRODUCTIONS WILL GO DARK THROUGH APRIL 12.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/12/2020 5:30pm:

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT AND GOVERNOR PRITZGER BRIEFED THE PUBLIC ON THE STATE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THERE ARE NOW 7 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF THE VIRUS IN ILLINOIS, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 32.

IN THE BRIEFING, THEY MANDATED THAT PLANNED COMMUNITY EVENTS OF MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE ARE BANNED IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO FOR 30 DAYS, AT WHICH TIME OFFICIALS WILL REASSESS THE BAN. THEY ALSO URGED ORGANIZERS TO CALL OFF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 250 PEOPLE.

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT SAYS THAT AT THIS TIME, CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN OPEN.
GOVERNOR PRITZGER URGED COMPLIANCE WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING IN AN EFFORT TO MINIMIZE THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.

THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO RELEASED A STATEMENT INFORMING CATHOLICS OVER AGE 60 THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE TO ATTEND MASS, IN AN EFFORT TO MINIMIZE INFECTION TO AT-RISK ELDERLY PEOPLE.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/12/2020 3:50pm:

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, MARCH MADNESS IS CANCELLED. NCAA PRESIDENT MARK EMMERT ANNOUNCED THAT THE NCAA DIVISION 1 MENS AND WOMEN’S TOURNAMENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELED, AS WELL AS ALL REMAINING WINTER AND SPRING NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS. THIS AFTER SEVERAL LEAGUES CANCELLED THEIR TOURNAMENTS, INCLUDING THE BIG TEN, BIG TWELVE, A-C-C AND S-E-C.

AS A RESULT OF THE WAVE OF SHUTDOWNS AND CANCELLATIONS WORLDWIDE DUE TO COVID-19, THE STOCK MARKET TOOK A MAJOR DIVE TODAY, WITH THE DOW SINKING TEN PERCENT IN THE WORST DAY ON WALL STREET SINCE 1987, SINKING FULLY INTO A BEAR MARKET.

NEW YORK CITY HAS BANNED THE GATHERING OF OVER 500 PEOPLE, WILL IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON RESTAURANTS AND BARS AS OF 5PM TOMORROW.

HERE AT THE DRIVE, ON THE ADVICE OF OUR REGION’S PUBLIC OFFICIALS, AND TO PROTECT THE SAFETY OF OUR LOCAL FANS — THE DRIVE WILL NOT BE HOSTING TODAY’S TRAVELING THIRSTY THURSDAY EVENT AT JAMO’S LIVE IN MOKENA, BUT JAMO’S LIVE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

ALSO, THE DRIVE’S ST. PADDY’S DAY PUB CRAWL HAS BEEN POSTPONED, IT WAS SLATED FOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN DOWNTOWN LIBERTYVILLE, IN THE WEEKS AHEAD, THE DRIVE WILL WORK WITH PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS TO DETERMINE A DATE FOR RESCHEDULING THIS YEARS PUB CRAWL…ALL 5 PUB CRAWL BAR LOCATIONS ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS THIS WEEKEND.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/12/2020 2:50pm:

LIVE NATION AND AEG, NORTH AMERICA’S LARGEST CONCERT PROMOTERS, HAVE PAUSED ALL CONCERT TOURS THROUGH MARCH AND ARE ASKING ARTISTS TO COME HOME AS THE CORONAVIRUS SPREADS. IN A JOINT STATEMENT WITH THE LARGEST BOOKING AGENCIES IN THE COUNTRY, THEY SAID:
“At this time, we collectively recommend large scale events through the end of March be postponed. We continue to support that small-scale events follow guidance set by their local government officials.”

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS DELAYING OPENING DAY BY AT LEAST TWO WEEKS AND HAVE CANCELED SPRING TRAINING GAMES. CUBS AND WHITE SOX OPENERS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 26 WILL NOT BE PLAYED UNTIL MID-APRIL AT THE EARLIEST.

THE NFL HAS CANCELLED THIS MONTH’S LEAGUE MEETINGS IN FLORIDA. THE VIKINGS, JETS, AND BUCCANEERS, AMONG OTHERS, ANNOUNCED THAT THEY ARE SUSPENDING TRAVEL FOR ALL COACHES AND SCOUTS.

THE ILLINOIS SENATE HAS CANCELED ALL SESSIONS FROM MARCH 18-20, AND THE ILLINOIS STATE CAPITOL BUILDING IS CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 24 IN RESPONSE TO THE VIRUS. PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL JOE BIDEN HAS CANCELLED A CAMPAIGN EVENT SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW IN CHICAGO.

HERE AT THE DRIVE, ON THE ADVICE OF OUR REGION’S PUBLIC OFFICIALS, AND TO PROTECT THE SAFETY OF OUR LOCAL FANS — THE DRIVE WILL NOT BE HOSTING TODAY’S TRAVELING THIRSTY THURSDAY EVENT AT JAMO’S LIVE IN MOKENA, BUT JAMO’S LIVE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

ALSO, THE DRIVE’S ST. PADDY’S DAY PUB CRAWL HAS BEEN POSTPONED, IT WAS SLATED FOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN DOWNTOWN LIBERTYVILLE, IN THE WEEKS AHEAD, THE DRIVE WILL WORK WITH PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS TO DETERMINE A DATE FOR RESCHEDULING THIS YEARS PUB CRAWL…ALL 5 PUB CRAWL BAR LOCATIONS ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS THIS WEEKEND.

SOURCE: TTWN

UPDATE 3/12/2020 1:40pm:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AND THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE HAVE NOW SUSPENDED OPERATIONS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS, JOINING THE NBA AND MLS. NASCAR HAS ANNOUNCED THAT RACES WILL CONTINUE BUT WITHOUT FANS IN ATTENDANCE.

THE WHITE HOUSE AS WELL AS THE CAPITOL BUILDING IN D.C. ARE NOW CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC, ALL TOURS HAVE BEEN TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE HAS TAKEN THE UNUSUAL STEP OF INJECTING MONEY INTO THE BOND MARKET IN AN EFFORT TO STABILIZE THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM. THIS ACTION COMES IN THE WAKE OF THE DOW TUMBLING MORE THAN 2200 POINTS EARLIER TODAY DUE TO FEARS AROUND COVID-19.

AND THE CHICAGO MERCANTILE MART WILL CLOSE ITS TRADING FLOOR AT THE END OF BUSINESS TOMORROW UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

HERE AT THE DRIVE, ON THE ADVICE OF OUR REGION’S PUBLIC OFFICIALS, AND TO PROTECT THE SAFETY OF OUR LOCAL FANS — THE DRIVE WILL NOT BE HOSTING TODAY’S TRAVELING THIRSTY THURSDAY EVENT AT JAMO’S LIVE IN MOKENA, BUT JAMO’S LIVE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

ALSO, THE DRIVE’S ST. PADDY’S DAY PUB CRAWL HAS BEEN POSTPONED, IT WAS SLATED FOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN DOWNTOWN LIBERTYVILLE, IN THE WEEKS AHEAD, THE DRIVE WILL WORK WITH PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS TO DETERMINE A DATE FOR RESCHEDULING THIS YEARS PUB CRAWL…ALL 5 PUB CRAWL BAR LOCATIONS ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS THIS WEEKEND.

SOURCE: TTWN