Health officials report 4,014 new COVID-19 cases; Pritzker announces $25M fast-track grants

Coronavirus

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Over 4,000 more COVID-19 cases have been reported since Monday, Illinois public health officials said Tuesday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said there was a 4,014-person increase in confirmed cases statewide.

Currently, the IDPH is reporting a total of 83,021 cases total, including 3,601 deaths, in 98 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 29,266 specimens for a total of 471,691. 

The increase in positive tests reflects the number of people being tested. Last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker noted that Illinois ranks second among the ten most populous states in the number of tests completed per capita.

On Tuesday, the governor also announced an initiative to accelerate work on planned public infrastructure projects around the state, the Fast-Track Public Infrastructure Grants. Pritzker, along with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), said the state is expediting $25 million of existing Rebuild Illinois funding to local public infrastructure projects that are ready to begin work this summer, as many local governments face lost revenues, impacting their ability to finance these projects.

“I’m proud to announce we are moving forward with $25 million in DCEO grants to help local governments jumpstart public infrastructure projects for the summer construction season,” Pritzker said. “This will keep key public infrastructure projects in the pipeline, and support the return of skilled labor to job sites for the busy summer season. Starting today, local governments with shovel ready projects – including school districts, townships, and other entities – can apply for this funding.”

This program leverages funding from Rebuild Illinois, the state’s multi-year capital plan, for allocation to shovel-ready projects for the summer construction season. Grants range in size between $500,000 and $5 million. Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis, with projects submitted in underserved areas to be given priority.

“We recognize the unique challenge and burdens that COVID-19 is placing on us all, and we are taking steps to provide relief to businesses and communities,” DCEO Director Erin Guthrie said. “Through the Fast Track Public Infrastructure Grants Program, the administration will provide a much-needed boost for workers across the state as well as the critical infrastructure projects our state depends on.” 

Eligible grantees are local governments and other public entities with significant public infrastructure projects that could commence work within 90 days of receiving award notice. Projects eligible for grant funding must be public assets, must be permanent in nature and must not have recurring project expenses. 

To apply for the Fast-Track grants, click here.

This story will be updated.

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