1,209 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Illinois; shuttered Springfield hospital to provide more beds


CHICAGO (WMBD) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday said there are now 8,904 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Illinois.

Friday’s numbers are after a 1,209 case increase since Thursday. Fifty-three more people have died from the virus, bringing the total to 210. In total, 48,048 people have been tested and cases have now reached 64 counties in Illinois.

Additionally, the governor said the previously-closed Vibra Hospital of Springfield will be converted to an alternate care facility to expand hospital beds available during the coronavirus outbreak. This is the first field hospital announced for central Illinois.

Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Illinois National Guard, and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, also announced the completion of the first phase of work to transform the McCormick Place Campus into a new Alternate Care Facility (ACF) for COVID-19 patients. The facility is constructed to serve COVID-19 patients who do not require intensive care, to expand existing capacity in Chicago’s healthcare system.

“Monumental, round-the-clock dedication got this done before we need it – preparing for saving lives in the event things become as bad as some have predicted,” Pritzker said. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois National Guard, FEMA and all of our hardworking union trades-people. In one week’s time, the heroes who came together to make this possible built us a facility larger than the largest hospital in Illinois.”

McCormick Place will be the state’s largest alternate care facility and one of the largest ACF’s in the nation.

Watch the full press conference here.

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