Watch: Illinois Governor praises work on alternate care site; more locations coming to handle expected cases

Coronavirus

CHICAGO – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker held his daily COVID-19 briefing from McCormick place in Chicago. The convention center has been converted into an alternative care facility to ease the overcrowding in hospitals. 

Pritzker announced 1,209 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total in the state to 8,904 cases. There were also 53 additional deaths, bringing that number to 210. 

The site has 500 beds and will open today. Governor Pritzker praised the crews that transformed the empty convention center into a working hospital in less than a week. There are plans to expand the hospital to 3,000 beds by the end of the month. The facility will be larger than any other hospital in the state.

There is work underway to open three more alternative care facilities in the Chicago area and one in the Springfield area. Governor Pritzker says cities like New York, Boston, Detroit and New Orleans are already seeing hospitals overwhelmed by cases. 

Pritzker says he doesn’t want to get to a place where people don’t have the best place available to recover. He says on March 24, there were 26,000 non-ICU beds available in the state. Officials have added more beds and equipment, but now there are less than 11,500 beds available. 

Here is a breakdown from the state health department of the latest deaths. 

– Christian County: 1 female 80s
– Cook County: 1 male 30s, 1 female 50s, 4 male 50s, 4 females 60s, 6 males 60s, 1 unknown 60s, 2 females 70s, 6 males 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 4 females 90s, 1 female 100s
– DuPage County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 70s
– Kane County: 1 female 90s
– Kankakee County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 80s
– Lake County: 1 male 40s, 2 female 60s, 4 male 60s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
– Will County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s

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