Restaurants Push to Reopen, What to Know About Pandemic Predators – NBC Chicago

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(NOTE: Daily press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the player above. Check back for updates.)

As Illinois continues to reopen, some business owners and local leaders are pushing Gov. J.B. Pritzker to allow restaurants to serve dine-in patrons earlier.

Meanwhile, some scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic to prey on consumers.

And a Chicago street is opening Friday to make space for outdoor dining.

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (June 11):

Restaurants Hope to Bring Back Dine-In Service More Quickly

Some suburbs are urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reopen portions of the economy more quickly, particularly restaurants eager to return to serving customers inside.

Many business owners were joined by Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso in calling on Pritzker to allow restaurants to have dine-in service beginning over Father’s Day weekend.

“I reached out to the governor and sent him a letter today asking him to compromise,” Grasso said. “The metrics certainly don’t suggest waiting a week.”

With coronavirus numbers on track to allow for the next phase of Illinois’ reopening plan to take effect, some suburbs are urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reopen portions of the economy more quickly.

Under the provisions of the state’s reopening plan, hospitalizations for coronavirus-related illnesses cannot increase for a period of 28 days, but many, including Grasso and other area mayors, believe that the timeframe should just be 14 days instead.

The governor says he’s pleased with numbers that suggest the state has successfully flattened the curve in new cases, with the state’s positivity rate steadily declining, but that he is following the advice of health experts in keeping restrictions in place.

“I want our economy to move faster as well, (but) the data doesn’t tell us that now is the time,” he said.

NBC 5 Responds: What to Know About Coronavirus Pandemic Predators

About 66,000 times during the coronavirus crisis, consumers nationwide have taken the time to blow the whistle on a COVID-19 related scam. In about half of those reports to the federal government, the targeted consumers did lose money, around $500.

About 66,000 times during the coronavirus crisis, consumers nationwide have taken the time to blow the whistle on a COVID-19 related scam. In about half of those reports to the federal government, the targeted consumers did lose money, around $500. NBC 5’s Lisa Parker reports.

Lakeview Street to Close Friday for Outdoor Dining

A street in Lakeview will be among the first to close to traffic to make way for more outdoor seating at area restaurants Friday.

“Dine Out on Broadway” is set to begin at noon Friday and continue through the weekend, according to the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce. More than 35 restaurants are expected to participate in the program, which will stretch along Broadway from Belmont to Diversey.

The street is one of six in a pilot program announced by the mayor last month before the city entered phase three of its reopening plan.

More details can be found here.

Pritzker Signs $43B Illinois Budget Reliant on Federal Grant

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law Wednesday an Illinois budget heavily reliant on federal assistance because of revenue lost to COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and social interaction.

But even short of revenue, Democrats who control the General Assembly sent the Democratic governor a $42.9 billion spending plan, 7.5% larger than the current year’s outlay. It takes effect July 1.

The budget relies on billions of dollars that Illinois and other states hope come in the form of federal assistance to state balance sheets battered by COVID-19. It also authorizes borrowing up to $5 billion from a federal COVID-19 relief fund if grant funding isn’t forthcoming.

Overall, Pritzker said state revenue will be $4 billion lower than what experts predicted when the governor proposed a budget in February.

Pritzker and governors across the nation are hoping for additional relief packages from Washington to fill gaps and repay that loan. The state is still spending $3.3 billion it received for COVID-19 expenses in April, although that money is restricted to specific items, such as protective clothing, used to combat the virus.

Despite the temptation to short the state’s woefully underfunded pension programs, the budget fully foots the $8.6 billion bill owed next year. The massive annual payments are part of a pledge by lawmakers to make up over the next several decades the pension accounts’ combined $140 billion deficit.

ComEd Asks Families to Be Safe With Balloons During Graduation Celebrations

With graduation season upon us and traditional parties being swapped for stay-at-home celebrations, ComEd is asking families to be mindful about how they use balloons.

The foil, or Mylar, balloons that are great for showy celebrations are also liable to start fires or power outages if they come into contact with power lines or electrical equipment, ComEd said. Thousands of power outages are reported each year in northern Illinois due to these balloons, with the biggest spikes seen during graduation season.

If celebrating with foil balloons, ComEd encourages residents to keep them inside or attach them to weights if they’re being hung outdoors.

Under no circumstances should one try to remove a balloon from a power line or other piece of electrical equipment if it gets tangled up, ComEd said. If assistance is needed, residents are encouraged to call 1-800-334-7661.

Chicago Infant Died of COVID-19: Autopsy

An autopsy has confirmed that COVID-19 infection contributed in the March death a 9-month-old Chicago boy, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Wednesday.

Joseph Myles died of human coronavirus NL-63 and COVID-19 induced viral pneumonia, the medical examiner’s office said. His family reported that he had a history of cold and cough.

Myles was pronounced dead March 23 at Mercy Hospital after a family member found him unresponsive, the medical examiner’s office said.

Illinois Reports 625 New Cases of Coronavirus, 78 Additional Deaths Wednesday

For the second time in three days, the state of Illinois is reporting its lowest single-day increase in coronavirus cases since late March, as 625 new cases were reported Wednesday, along with 78 additional deaths.

The single-day increase is the lowest since March 30, when 460 people were diagnosed with the illness, according to statistics from the Illinois Department of Public Health. In all, 129,837 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Illinois since the pandemic began.

With the 78 additional fatalities reported Wednesday, the state now stands at 6,095 coronavirus-related deaths.

Chicago Announces Fund to Pay Undocumented Immigrants, Others Left Out of Federal Coronavirus Relief

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday a new fund that will give $1,000 per household to Chicago residents – including undocumented immigrants, college students and more – who were excluded from federal coronavirus relief payments that were distributed earlier this year.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday a new fund that will give $1,000 per household to Chicago residents – including undocumented immigrants, college students and more – who were excluded from federal coronavirus relief payments that were distributed earlier this year.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the federal government in mid-April began making payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans who have a social security number and earned less than $75,000 per year based on their 2019 tax filing. Millions of undocumented immigrants, many who pay taxes using what’s known as a taxpayer identification number, were among those excluded from this relief program.

More than 300,000 Chicago residents, including undocumented individuals, mixed-status families, dependent adults, college students and more, were left out of the federal aid program, Lightfoot said.



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