(NOTE: Daily press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the player above. Check back for updates.)
Illinois reported the lowest number of coronavirus deaths in a single day since March 30 on Monday, health officials say.
That development came at the same time as more cancellations – including the Bud Billiken Parade – and the Chicago Bears offered season ticket holders a refund for this year.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (June 30):
Illinois Reports 738 New Coronavirus Cases, 14 Additional Deaths
Health officials in Illinois confirmed 738 new cases of coronavirus, along with 14 additional deaths Monday afternoon.
According to data available from the Illinois Department of Public Health, that number of deaths is the lowest in a single day since March 30, when seven total fatalities were reported. It marks the second day in a row of low death totals, as 15 additional fatalities were reported on Sunday.
Of those deaths, 12 were reported in Cook County, including a woman in her 30s and two men in their 40s, along with one death each in DuPage and Perry counties.
How Illinois Compares With Other States
At least a dozen states have reported more coronavirus cases than Illinois in the last seven days, including Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and Georgia, according to data from public health officials compiled by NBC 5 Investigates.
In recent days, Texas has passed Illinois in terms of overall cases since the pandemic began, and Florida could potentially pass Illinois within the next one-to-two days.
California, New York and New Jersey have also reported more total cases than Illinois, which currently ranks fifth nationwide in that category.
Bud Billiken Parade Cancelled
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade, a traditional African American back-to-school event for about 90 years, organizers announced Monday.
Tens of thousands of spectators yearly attend the parade, in which similar numbers march through Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood to Washington Park, where picnicking and a music festival takes place.
Bud Billiken is a fictional character that is considered a guardian of children was created in 1923. The parade was originally organized in 1929 by the Chicago Defender newspaper.
Chicago Defender Charities CEO Myiti Sengstacke-Rice says although the parade won’t take place Aug. 8, as planned, the charity will continue its support of scholarships for graduating high school students.
Chicago Bears Offer Refunds to Season Ticket Holders
In a letter sent to season ticket holders on Monday, the Chicago Bears are offering refunds for games on the 2020 schedule amid uncertainty over whether fans will be allowed into Soldier Field during the coming NFL season.
In the letter, the Bears said that all season ticket holders will be offered refunds for their tickets, while keeping the ability to renew their tickets for the 2021 season.
“Our hope is to build a model that provides the opportunity to see the Bears play this fall to as many season ticket holders as possible,” the team said in the letter. “We will communicate your options as soon as a plan is finalized.”
Some of the biggest stars in Chicago sports joined together to share a powerful message on the coronavirus crisis.
Currently, Illinois has banned gatherings of larger than 50 people, but sporting events can take place with up to 20 percent of capacity. Several teams, including the Chicago Dogs, are looking to play games with reduced capacity, while the Cubs and White Sox are discussing options with city officials at this time.
The Bears’ home opener is set for Sept. 20, when they will welcome the New York Giants to Soldier Field. The Bears also have home games against the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans this season, along with their usual home games against the Packers, Lions and Vikings.
Pandemic Led to Spike in Chicago Violence, City’s Top Cop Says
Chicago’s top cop said Monday that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a recent increase in violence across the city in at least three different ways.
Supt. David Brown made the connection during a news conference to discuss the weekend of shootings that left 16 people dead, including two young children, and another 50 wounded.
“There’s an impact of COVID,” Brown said, when asked why violence has spiked in recent weeks as compared to previous years, first noting that Chicago officers had died of COVID-19.
“And the shockwaves throughout this department, throughout the country, were significant as it relates to, ‘What is COVID? Will I take this back to my family?'” he said. “And so there was a dropoff in police interactions with people, number one.”
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown addresses the violent weekend in Chicago that left two children dead. Kye Martin reports as police want the community’s help to stop the devastating trend.
“Number two, because of COVID, our jail populations were affected because of the congregating in the jails. And so our jails decided to release more people so that they wouldn’t be subject to the close quarters of a crowded jail,” he continued, referring to the Cook County Jail’s release of vulnerable detainees held on low-level, non-violent charges that began in March. “So more people were released either on bond, bail, electronic monitoring. So more people were released and less people were being held in the jail.”
Brown said the third element of the pandemic that led to a spike in violence was the court system grinding to a halt.
“Three, our court systems are based on having juries and because of COVID we couldn’t convene a jury,” Brown said. “And so the criminal justice system shut down. Except for Chicago cops. We kept working, we kept arresting people and we kept recovering guns. But everything else came to a stop – and these murdering evil bastards have taken advantage of these situations. That’s why.”
Orland Park to Hold Modified Fourth of July Fireworks, Concert Despite Concerns
Fourth of July fireworks will still go on at Centennial Park in Orland Park, despite concerns from residents – but there will be modifications, according to Mayor Keith Pekau.
People will be asked to remain apart, and concert attendees must listen from a distance thanks to speakers set up around the park. Only village residents with village stickers on their vehicles will be allowed into the parking lots to watch the fireworks, the mayor said.
Despite concerns over the further spread of coronavirus, the Orland Park village board voted to move forward with a modified fireworks and concert plan. NBC 5’s Lisa Chavarria reports.
Pekau said Centennial Park provides the ability to social distance. But not everyone agrees. Dan Calandriello, a village trustee, voted against the plan.
“I’m a patriot, I love the Fourth of July, and my family has been going together since I was a little kid,” said Calandriello. “It was a tough vote, but it’s science. It’s what we have to do to keep people safe.”
Some residents who visited the park on Monday ahead of the celebration, had strong feelings about the decision, with one saying it’s “not possible” because “people don’t listen.”
CDC Adds 3 New Symptoms to Coronavirus List
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly added three new symptoms of coronavirus to its list.
Congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea are now considered symptoms of COVID-19, according to the nation’s top health agency.
The CDC’s list was last updated in April to add loss of taste or smell. The agency also included chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. An earlier list of symptoms was limited to fever, coughing and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
Though the CDC says its list does not include all possible symptoms and will continue to be updated as more information related to coronavirus is discovered, the full list of key symptoms currently includes:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting