Coronavirus Blog 3/16/20: YMCA Closes, County Board Meeting Postponed | WGLT

Coronavirus Blog 3/16/20: YMCA Closes, County Board Meeting Postponed

Mar 16, 2020

The coronavirus story is developing quickly in Illinois. Here are updates from WGLT's newsroom and our partners at Illinois Public Radio, NPR, and The Associated Press.

You can also see (or add to) our list of cancellations, closures, and rescheduled events. Find all of our coverage at WGLT.org/Coronavirus.

CASE COUNT JUMPS TO 105 STATEWIDE
6:15 p.m. Monday, March 16

There are now 105 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois. The state Department of Public Health says it’s been found in 15 counties, including for the first time Peoria and Will. But experts have said official case counts in America are likely understating the breadth of infections, since testing has been so limited.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state's public health director, said Illinoisans should behave as though everyone they encounter has tested positive for coronavirus disease.

“People should assume that this novel coronavirus is in their community, and take steps to protect themselves and reduce the spread,” Ezike said Monday.

Read the full story at NPRIllinois.org.

— Brian Mackey | NPR Illinois

TOWN OF NORMAL RESTRICTS PUBLIC ACCESS
5:45 p.m. Monday, March 16

Certain Town of Normal offices and facilities will be closed to the public starting Tuesday.

The following town offices and facilities will be closed to the public until further notice:

  • Normal City Hall - 11 Uptown Circle (first floor will remain open for Amtrak and bus patrons)
  • Engineering, Inspections, Facilities Management – 1 Uptown Circle
  • Parks and Recreation – 100 E. Phoenix
  • Community Activity Center – 1110 Douglas (after polls close)
  • Normal Fire Department – 606 S. Main (emergency access only)
  • Water Department – 107 E. Mulberry
  • Public Works – 1301 Warriner
  • Children’s Discovery Museum – 101 E. Beaufort
  • Normal Theater – 209 W. North
  • Normal Public Library – 206 W. College

All Parks and Recreation programs, events, rentals and facilities are closed to the public through March 30. Ironwood Golf Course will remain open to individual play.

Town facilities used for voting will be open for Tuesday's election. Precinct locations are Ironwood Clubhouse, Community Activity Center and Fairview Aquatic Center.

— Ryan Denham | WGLT

HEARTLAND BOARD MEETING CANCELED
4:10 p.m. Monday, March 16

The Heartland Community College Board of Trustes has canceled its monthly meeting scheduled for March 17. The board will instead hold a special meeting on March 31 at 5 p.m. 

ILLINOIS HOUSE POSTPONES SPRING SESSION
3:40 p.m. Monday, March 16

The Illinois House has announced it has postponed its spring legislative session until the COVID-19 threat abates. A memo to members from Jessica Basham, chief of staff to the House speaker, said the session schedule is under daily review and "should be considered 'in flux' because of the "potentially deadly illness caused by the coronavirus." 

- Associated Press

YMCA CLOSES
2:00 p.m. Monday, March 16

The Bloomington-Normal YMCA has announced it will close at 5 p.m. March 16 and will remain closed through March 29. 

The YMCA plans to transition its focus to serving as an emergency child-care program for children K-through-5, but won't exceed 50 children, the maxiumum number of people the CDC says should gather in one location. 

Executive Director B.J. Wilken said the service is aimed to help medical professionals. 

"We want to make sure medical profesionals in our community don't have to worry that their children are in a safe place as they care for a growing number of our loved ones during this difficult time," Wilken said. 
 

HEARTLAND CANCELS BASEBALL, SOFTBALL SEASONS
1:50 p.m. Monday, March 16

Heartland Community College has announced it has canceled the remainder of its basbeall and softball seasons this spring. The National Junior College Athletic Association has suspended play for the rest of the season. Heartland's Fitness and Recreation Center will remain closed until futher notice. Heartland said student-athletes will not be charged a year of participation. 

- Eric Stock | WGLT

McLEAN COUNTY BOARD MEETING POSTPONED
1 p.m. Monday, March 16

McLean County government has postponed this month’s County Board meeting to March 31 at 6 p.m. The county’s legal counsel is exploring the possibility of convening the meeting electronically.

- Eric Stock | WGLT 

COURT TO RESCHEDULE MOST CASES 
11 a.m. Monday, March 16

McLean County court is contacting litigants to reschedule traffic, small claims and divorce cases as the Eleventh Judicial Circuit will only hear the most serious criminal cases.

The emergency order remains in effect through April 10.

- Ryan Denham | WGLT

KROGER SHIFTS HOURS
11 a.m. Monday, March 16

Kroger stores will be adjusting their hours to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily to give greater attention to cleaning and restocking shelves.

- Eric Stock | WGLT