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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

The coronavirus outbreak could have caused Illinois hospitals to run out of beds in about a week if the current stay-at-home order were not in place, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday at his daily news briefing, citing state projections.

Illinois officials also announced four more deaths related to the new coronavirus and 250 new cases, bringing the state’s death toll to 16 and the total number of cases since the start of the outbreak in the state to 1,535.

Pritzker’s comments and the announcement of more new cases in Illinois came the same day President Donald Trump said on Fox News that he’d like to see the country get back to normal by Easter, while contradicting the warnings of public health officials on the direction of the crisis.

Meanwhile, the White House and Senate leaders of both parties struck an agreement just after midnight Wednesday on a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses and a strained health care system.

As the virus continues to spread, the Tribune is keeping a running list of Chicago-area closings and cancellations, tracking cases across the state and asking experts to answer your questions about COVID-19.

Here are the latest updates Wednesday on the coronavirus in the Chicago area and Illinois:

7 a.m. Some Olympic hopefuls with Chicago ties might not be able to wait a year to fulfill their dreams
The Tokyo Olympics have been delayed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Latest Illinois News but another year of training and hoping isn’t an option for all Olympic hopefuls.

Some can’t put the rest of their lives on hold for another year, some don’t know if they can sustain the physical demands, others could lose sponsorships.

“There are a lot of athletes facing tough decisions right now. That’s the hard truth,” said Tyrone Smith, a long jumper raised in North Chicago. Read more here. —Stacy St. Clair

6:35 a.m. Chicago says it has received nearly 200 complaints this month about price gouging tied to coronavirus
Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection has received nearly 200 complaints of price gouging so far this month, most of them about toilet paper, tissues and hand sanitizer, officials said Wednesday.

The announcement comes after state officials said they have received 700 such coronavirus-related complaints. Press Release Distribution News Such reports have become common across the country since the coronavirus outbreak. The department urged anyone with complaints about price gouging or other consumer fraud to call 311.

It also released some “tips to keep scammers at bay.”

• Report businesses and third-party sellers of face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, toilet paper and other essential goods that are being charged for a high mark-up.

• Remember that at this time, there are no FDA-authorized home test kits for COVID-19. Similarly, there are currently no vaccinations or treatments for COVID-19.

• Be suspicious of unfamiliar businesses or online sellers who claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household and health and medical supplies. Products may be counterfeit.

BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno Escareno will join Chicago Health Commissioner Allison Arwady on her “Ask Dr. Arwady” podcast at 11 a.m. Wednesday. People can submit their questions by tweeting with the hashtag #AskDrArwady or by commenting on the livestream. —Chicago Tribune staff

6:30 a.m. CPS board to vote on $75 million for coronavirus response in body’s first remote meeting
The Chicago Board of Education was scheduled to meet Wednesday to vote on $75 million for the Chicago Public Schools’ emergency coronavirus response. The board meeting, scheduled for 4 p.m., will be the board’s first with members and the public attending remotely. The $75 million will go for areas such as extra pay for emergency personnel, meals programs, remote learning, and additional products and maintenance for facilities.

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