CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois now has 25 documented cases of COVID-19, with six more infected patients in the Chicago area, officials said Wednesday.

Gov. JB Prizker said he is taking other steps to limit spread of the coronavirus, including delaying the Illinois General Assembly session until at least March 25.  He also said the state is reviewing guidance about whether to ban gatherings with more than 250 people. No decision has yet been made. He is in discussions with baseball teams about how to handle games and crowds. He also urged voters to request a vote-by-mail ballot by tomorrow’s deadline.  The state is also assessing whether to close large public buildings, such as the Thompson Center, for a time.

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The patients include the first case in Lake County, a man in his 50s.  The other five cases are in Chicago and Cook County, a man in his 80s, two men in their 70s, one woman in her 50s and one man in his 40s, according to Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike said.

All of the patients are in isolation at home or in the hospital. In the Lake County case, health officials are investigating that person’s travel history and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case.

Prizker said the state is also looking at issuing emergency directives in event workers run out of sick leave if they are infected with COVID-19.

The state also will get $14.7 million from the Centers for Disease Control to help manage COVID 19 cases.

Today the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. Health officials are asking the public to be mindful of the “three Cs.”

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  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.


  • Cover cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.


  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.



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