CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday announced the first coronavirus-related death in the state.

Pritzker said the patient was a woman in her 60s with an underlying condition, residing in Chicago. She was not a nursing home resident and was diagnosed earlier this month.

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Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said the woman had had close contact with someone else with COVID-19.

“More than this just being our first case, this is someone’s loved one, someone’s child, someone’s parent – a vital part of the community, and COVID-19 has ended that life,” Ezike said.

The Chicago Department of Public Health is working very hard to determine all the people who might have been in contact with the woman, according to Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. The case was part of an ongoing investigation and had been under monitoring for some time.

Meanwhile, Pritzker noted that on Saturday, one of the new cases in Illinois involved a resident of a private long-term care facility in DuPage County.

The Illinois Department of Corrections infectious control team came to the facility while taking every precaution, and tested its entire population. As of Tuesday, those tests have revealed 22 new positive cases – 18 residents and four staff members.

All residents are in isolation either in the facility or in a hospital, and all staff are being monitored at home, officials said.

“Our hearts go out to the residents and staff of the long-term care facility who were diagnosed just in the last day,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin. “We are praying for all of those who are ill.”

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Cronin emphasized that everyone must double down and intensify their efforts to adhere to public health guidelines.

Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage County Department of Public Health, said each of the case often comes with an average of 90 people who might have come into contact with them, “so it’s a large number of individuals that we’ll be reaching out to.”

The situation at the DuPage County facility reinforces the need to reduce possible exposure, Ezike said.

The facility is confirmed to be the Chateau Nursing and Rehab Center in Willowbrook.

As of Tuesday, officials had identified 160 case of COVID-19 in 15 counties, Ezike said.

Tuesday marked both the first day of school closures in Illinois, and also the first day of statewide bar and restaurant closures. Pritzker reminded Illinoisans that takeout and delivery remain options, and that essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks will remain open.

But per Pritzker’s order forbidding crowds of more than 50 people, event venues, fitness centers and health clubs, bowling alleys, private clubs, theaters, and faith-based events are not permitted.


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