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The Latest: Illinois has no plans to shut down interstates
ST. LOUIS ( - Below is the latest on the impact of the coronavirus in Missouri and the Metro East:
5:30 a.m.
Coronavirus cases in the US topped 14,000. That's more than a 40% increase in 36 hours.
Locally, St. Louis City is up to five cases while there are 10 in St. Louis County. 
Officials expect Illinois will surpass 500 cases as more tests return Friday. On Thursday, the state reported 422 positive cases and three more deaths.
The Illinois News National Guard is debunking rumors. They say there are been no conversation about guardsmen being used to enforce quarantine, or shutting down Chicago as well as the interstates. 
Governor JB Pritzker reassured people not to panic. 
"Essential services will not close," Pritzker said. "Interstates, highways and bridges will stay open. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, these sources of fundamental supplies will continue to operate. There is no need to run out and hoard food, gas or medicine."
The increase in the number of positive tests is tied to an increase in testing by state and private labs. The governor said more than 1,000 tests were given statewide Wednesday and hopes to increase that to 2,000 tests per day.
In the Metro East, St. Clair and Clinton Counties have three positive cases while Madison County has one.
In Missouri, St. Charles and St. Louis Counties will hold special meetings Friday. Reporters will not be allowed into St. Louis County Council chambers but can watch remotely. 
COVID-19 Map 3/18/2020
John Hopkins University
8:35 p.m.
St. Louis city officials announced Thursday night the city has three new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. 
The new cases mean the city now has five total positive tests and St. Louis County has 10.  
Officials released no details about the age of the patients or whether they had contracted the virus through travel or community contact. 
“It’s crucial residents in the City of St. Louis continue to socially distance themselves from others, and stay home if they are ill,” said Dr. Fredrick Echols, director of health for the City of St. Louis.  
7:10 p.m.
St. Louis University (SLU) officials said a second student tested positive for COVID-19 after studying abroad. In a statement, officials said the student lives in a different state and hasn't been on campus since their trip abroad. St. Louis City announced its first coronavirus case on Monday and it was also SLU student. Read more on the story here.
7:00 p.m.
Missouri officials said as of 7 p.m. Wednesday, 28 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state. A total of 395 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus so far.
6:00 p.m.
St. Louis health care providers announced the postponement of all elective procedures beginning Monday. 
The decision was made by BJC HealthCare and its partners at Washington University School of Medicine, Mercy, SSM Health and its partners at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and St. Luke’s Hospital.
“This measure is intended to ensure that only urgent or time-sensitive procedures are provided, to protect our caregivers and the communities we serve, and to conserve the resources needed for the COVID-19 health crisis," the health systems said in a joint statement. “Our regional health systems have been working together, and will continue to do so, to consistently and transparently address issues our communities are encountering during this epidemic.”
Elective care is classified as care that can be delayed for eight weeks or more without risk to patients or families, and without compromising standards of care.
5:30 p.m.
In an afternoon press release, St. Louis County officials announced their cases doubled from five Wednesday to 10 Thursday. 
The new cases involve a patient in their 30s, two in their 50s, one in their 60s and one in their 80s. 
There is no information as to whether the cases were contracted via travel or through community members. 
38 tests have returned negative results.
4:40 p.m.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson said the state received thousands of new Personal Protective Equipment from the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The units will be given to healthcare providers and first responders.
4:15 p.m.
St. Charles Community College officials said classes will remain online-only for the remainder of the Spring semester starting March 23.
2:45 p.m.
Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday the State of Illinois Press  has three new deaths due to COVID-19. For More Info Press Release Distribution Service .
One was a patient in their 60s, another was a patient in their 80s, and the third was a resident from Florida who was visiting the state. 
As of Thursday, Illinois has seen 422 cases. Read more here. 
2:40 p.m.
West County Mall will close its doors at 5 p.m. Thursday, the mall announced. The closure is indefinite and is meant to comply with St. Louis County Executive Sam Page's order regarding limiting gatherings to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The mall says some exterior stores may stay open as well as some exterior-facing restaurants for to go, delivery or curbside service.
1:55 p.m.
GM says the Wentzville plant will temporarily shut down after the second shift on Monday. Read more here. 
1:45 p.m.
St. Charles and Franklin Counties are limiting public events to 10 people out of COVID-19 concerns. St. Louis City and St. Louis County have already made similar moves.
11:00 a.m.
Two teachers and a parent at Temple Israel in Creve Coeur have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a letter the school sent to families.
The temple says both teachers and the parent are recovering and parent's children have not shown any symptoms. Read more here.
8:00 a.m. 
With the potential for severe weather Thursday, Mercy said that could disrupt drive-thru testing at their site in Chesterfield.
Mercy said they will contact patients whose appointments are affected and work to reschedule it. 
Remember before you can get a drive-thru test, you need to call Mercy's COVID-19 Clinical Support Line at 314-251-0500. The testing site is located at Mercy Virtual Care Center at 15740 S Outer Forty Road in Chesterfield.
5:30 a.m.
The St. Louis area saw a spike in coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. 
In Illinois, cases rose Wednesday from 161 to 288. In Missouri, case went from 15 to 24. Missouri also reported its first death. 
The first positive case of COVID-19 was reported in St. Charles County.
The federal government has warned that the number of cases will dramatically spike soon. In a press conference Wednesday, the coronavirus task force said there is a backlog of tests from five to seven days that will run in the next 24 hours. 
Both doctors and government leaders point out that the jump in the number of cases is due to an increase in testing.
On Thursday, drive-thru testing will be available in the Metro East. A site will open at the former Siteman Cancer Center in Swansea. Before going to the drive-thru testing you need prior authorization from a doctor and the health department. The drive-thru testing site will be open from noon to 6 p.m., seven days a week. 
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