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


A shelter-in-place order is now in effect in Oak Park, a move that perhaps foreshadows the stringent rules the entire state of Illinois could find itself living under in the coming days to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. J.B. Pritzker confirmed Thursday that his staff was considering a similar order.

Also on Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she will keep Chicago Public Schools closed until April 20, while Pritzker announced three more deaths in Illinois associated with COVID-19. State officials also reported 134 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 422, with at least four deaths.

Even as Chicago’s City Hall was ordered closed effective Friday, Chicago librarians Thursday decried the city’s decision to keep 20 Chicago Public Library branches open when 3/4 of them shut starting this weekend. And the University of Illinois News at Chicago basketball team became one of three teams whose players and coaches were isolating because two officials who officiated games for one of the teams tested positive for coronavirus.

Globally, more than 10,000 people had died from COVID-19 since the outbreak began late last year in China, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University, as California’s governor asked all 40 million residents to stay home to try to slow the spread of the disease. Reports emerged late on Wednesday that several senators sold stock ahead of the new coronavirus tanking financial markets.

There is some good news, however: Japan is planning to reopen schools in April after a month off.

The Tribune is keeping a running list of Chicago-area closings and cancellations and asking experts to answer your questions about COVID-19.

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

7:38 a.m.: UIC is 1 of 3 men’s basketball teams in self-isolation
Men’s basketball players, coaches and staff at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Press Release Distribution Service  Siena College and Wright State are self-isolating as a precaution after two officials who called the school’s games tested positive for the coronavirus.

Siena spokesman Mike Demos said Thursday the school learned earlier in the week that two officials who worked Siena’s game against Manhattan in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament on March 11 in Atlantic City had tested positive for COVID-19.

Demos said New York state and Albany County health department officials advised self-isolation for 14 days from the date of possible exposure. Fans who attended the game are not considered to be at risk, he said.

“A positive test for the official was confirmed on March 18, and we further advised our men’s basketball student-athletes and staff," UIC said in a statement.

6:45 a.m.: Bartlett preschooler tests positive for the coronavirus
A young child in a preschool in Bartlett has tested positive for the coronavirus, the superintendent of District U-46 told parents in a letter.

The child was enrolled at the Independence Center for Early Learning, a preschool for children ages 3 to 5.

“The student has been isolated and is expected to remain in isolation/self quarantine to prevent spreading the virus,” Superintedent. Tony Sanders wrote.

Sanders did not give the age or any other details of the child.

The superintendent also told parents the district was working on plans if the district remains closed beyond March 30. Details of “Phase 2 of our Distance Learning Plan” were to be released Friday, he said.

“However, we will await further guidance from the governor and state health officials on whether schools will remain closed past March 30,” he added. — Chicago Tribune staff

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