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95 More People Die From Coronavirus In Illinois, Pushing State’s Death Toll Past 6,000

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is preparing for potential surges of coronavirus this fall and summer.

A person walks with a mask on in the Boystown neighborhood on Friday, May 29, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Another 95 people died from coronavirus in Illinois in the last day, officials announced Tuesday.

Illinois has now seen 6,018 people die from COVID-19, and another 797 people tested positive for it in the last day, according to state data.

In all, there have been 129,212 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Illinois and there have been more than 1 million tests done.

Despite the uptick in deaths during the last day, the state and city have seen declines in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus and being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19, officials have said.

Still, Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned Tuesday the virus is still active in Chicago and people should take safety precautions.

Lightfoot said the city is preparing for potential surges of coronavirus this summer and fall, especially because tens of thousands of people have gathered for recent protests over the police killing of George Floyd, among other gatherings.

Officials have said it will still be several weeks before they see what effect, if any, those protests and gatherings have had on the battle against COVID-19 here.

But the city announced Tuesday it has canceled all major summer festivals, including Lollapalooza, the Taste of Chicago and the Air and Water Show, due to the pandemic.

“I think the explanation is rooted in our public health circumstances. We’re still very much in COVID-19. It hasn’t disappeared,” Lightfoot said during a press conference. “It’s very much our present and it’s going to be our future until there is a viable vaccine, and we have no idea when that’s gonna happen.”

Lightfoot said hosting a festival like Lollapalooza, which brings 100,000 people to Grant Park daily, would be akin to “light[ing] ourselves on fire” because it would lead to coronavirus spreading.

“Given what we know about how this disease spreads — which is close, intimate contact extended over 10 minutes — realistically we are not gonna be in a position to have those kinds of large gatherings for some time,” Lightfoot said.

The city is also facing a “sobering” $700 million budget shortfall due to the pandemic, Lightfoot said.

The pandemic and efforts to fight it — like the stay at home order, which shut down many businesses — are to blame for the hole in the city’s budget, as is a sharp dropoff in spending and tax revenue, Lightfoot said.

And the mayor warned the gap could get even wider if the city sees more waves of COVID-19.

“It’s not just the businesses themselves being closed; it’s the workers having little or no income to spend on themselves or take care of their needs and further support other businesses,” Lightfoot said during a press conference. “All of our revenue streams have taken a hit, not just [amusement, hotel, parking and restaurant taxes].

“What we have seen seen is a complete change in consumer behavior as a result of COVID-19, the stay at home order and other things … . People aren’t driving and they’re just not consuming goods and services in the same way.”

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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