Coronavirus Blog 3/18/20: 128 New Cases Reported; Court Limits More Hearings | WGLT

Coronavirus Blog 3/18/20: 128 New Cases Reported; Court Limits More Hearings

Mar 18, 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.

COURT EXPANDS EXECUTIVE ORDER TO LIMIT COURT HEARINGS
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18

The 11th Judicial Circuit has announced it has reduced the number of cases which which require defendants or litigants to attend in person.

Until April 10, the only mandatory court hearings and proceedings will be for bond hearings and arraingments for people who are in custody, criminal trials in which the defendant is in custody or demands a speedy trial, summary suspension hearings, orders of protection petitions, detention hearings for juveniles who are detained, shelter care and other essential hearings for minors who may have been abused or neglected, and mental health hearings for involuntary commitment or treatment. 

Judges may still which to hold hearings by phone or video conference. 

-- Eric Stock | WGLT

128 NEW CASES REPORTED IN ILLINOIS
3:05 p.m. Wednesday, March 18

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 128 new cases of coronavirus disease across Illinois.  Two additional counties are now reporting cases: Kendall and Madison counties.

An additional 20 individuals at the long-term care facility in DuPage County experiencing an outbreak have tested positive, bringing the total to 42 (30 residents and 12 staff).

Currently, IDPH is reporting 288 cases in 17 counties in Illinois. Cases have occurred in ages 9 to 91.

-- Ryan Denham | WGLT 

HEARTLAND GOES ONLINE FOR REST OF SPRING TERM
3 p.m. Wednesday, March 18

Heartland Community College will transition to online instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 term.

Until further notice, on-campus facilities will not be available. Heartland faculty and staff will be working remotely to promote social distancing. Additional resources have been provided to Heartland employees for remote work arrangements.

Students who have barriers of access to online instruction and services should contact Dean of Students Kimberley Kelley via the Heartland Help Line.

The college is exploring options related to commencement, pinning ceremonies, and other end-of-year activities.

-- Ryan Denham | WGLT 

HY-VEE TO RESERVE 1 HOUR EACH DAY FOR HIGH-RISK SHOPPERS
2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18

Hy-Vee, which has a store in Bloomington, said in response to customer requests it will be reserving one hour of shopping time prior to its new opening time each day for customers considered “high-risk.”

The reserved hour will be from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., seven days a week, and is designed for these customers:

  • Ages 60 and older
  • Expectant mothers
  • Anyone with an underlying health condition(s) that makes him/her more susceptible to serious illness

Pharmacies in most Hy-Vee locations will also be extending their hours so they can serve this group of customers from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. These locations include pharmacies inside our grocery stores, Mainstreet locations, Dollar Fresh stores and Hy-Vee Drugstores.

-- Ryan Denham | WGLT

LOCAL GROUPS LAUNCH ‘BN PREPARED’
11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 18

The McLean County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council for the Bloomington-Normal Area, and the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau unveiled a new website, BNPrepared.org, to serve as a portal addressing the concerns of employers, employees, families, and visitors of McLean County.

BNPrepared.org will be regularly updated with current and accurate information available to all in McLean County and the surrounding area.

-- Ryan Denham | WGLT

JIMMY JOHN’S UPTOWN LOCATION CLOSES
9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 18

The Jimmy John’s location in Uptown Normal has closed temporarily due in part to declining foot traffic.

Several destinations in or around Uptown have closed or partially closed in recent days, including Illinois State University, the Children’s Discovery Museum, and the Normal Theater.

Owner Marc Largent said other Bloomington-Normal Jimmy John’s locations remain open for delivery and drive-through service. The Uptown location did not have a drive-through. Largent said the other Jimmy John’s on the west side of campus will expand its delivery area because of the Uptown closure.

-- Ryan Denham | WGLT