Illinois | WGLT


Headlines from around the state, curated by the GLT newsroom. If you want more state news, listen to Illinois Public Radio's The 21st on Mondays-Thursdays at 11 a.m., and Statewide at 11 a.m. Fridays.

These are updates between March 16 and March 22. For the latest updates, go to this post. You can send tips, questions or announcements to You can send tips, questions or announcements to

This post is for updates on what’s closed and canceled in Springfield and central Illinois. 

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Mar 16, 2020

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Lisa Badger, a member of the Springfield Park District Board, confirmed she tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in a statement released to NPR Illinois.

Ward 6 Ald. Kristin DiCenso and Ward 8 Ald. Erin Conley say they’ve had contact with her in the last week and are now self-quarantining. They were both informed Saturday night by the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.

Illinois' U.S. Senator, Dick Durbin, said the Senate will vote soon on the latest deal to address a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19.

Local bars and restaurants are scrambling to draw up plans after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced he was ordering a statewide closure.

Pritzker said all bars and restaurants will close at end of business Monday until March 30 in an effort to contain the coronavirus.

Restaurants will be able to continue serving people via drive-thrus or curbside pickup.

Following the confirmation of more COVID-19 cases in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker is ordering bars and restaurants closed to customers.

At the end of business Monday March 16, all establishments will be prohibited from having customers inside through March 30th.  

The 11th Judicial Circuit is immediately postponing hearings on most cases until further notice.

Chief Judge Mark Fellheimer ordered all cases postponed, with the exception of criminal felonies, juvenile abuse or neglect cases, juvenile delinquency, petitions to rescind summary petitions, and emergency orders.

People involved in all other types of cases are being asked not to appear in court. People will be notified of new court dates moving forward.

The 11th Judicial Circuit also includes McLean, Ford, Livingston, and Logan counties.

Governor J.B. Pritzker says the work of Illinois government will continue during the COVID-19 outbreak.  But changes are coming for many state employees.  

Testing for the novel coronavirus is still restricted in Sangamon County on Sunday, despite the first two confirmed cases being announced Saturday evening.

The two private hospitals in Springfield — Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. John’s — have contracted with private companies to get test kits for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

But they have not begun using the tests, as the Illinois Department of Public Health still determines who should be tested, according to a St. John’s spokesperson.

A Germantown Hills church attended by a Woodford County man who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday is closed until further notice.

A Woodford County man in his 70s is the first positive COVID-19 case in Central Illinois.

Updated 9:50 p.m. Saturday, March 14

On Saturday evening, Sangamon County health officials announced there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus disease in Springfield.

A Central Illinois patient has tested positive for COVID-19 at a UnityPoint clinic.

Starting Monday, Pekin City Hall and all other Pekin city facilities will close to the public in an effort to maintain "social distancing" and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The Par-A-Dice and Illinois' nine other casinos will shut off the gaming machines for 14 days in an effort to contain the coronavirus.

The local and statewide response to the COVID-19 outbreak just ratcheted up another notch.

Illinois takes drastic steps to slow the spread of coronavirus disease, including banning sporting events and other large gatherings. Meanwhile, politicians are deciding how to campaign amid a global pandemic with just days to go before Illinois’ primary election.

The Peoria Public Library will close its doors to patrons March 16-30 in an effort to stymie the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is closing all schools in Illinois — public and private — for two weeks. It’s the latest way the state is trying to prevent local spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday that all schools in Illinois will be closed from Tuesday, March 17, through Monday, March 30, due to the coronavirus.

Tazewell County election authorities are taking extra steps to ensure all voters can cast a ballot, despite challenges posed by the coronavirus.

Work on the Taft Homes redevelopment project is proceeding according to schedule. 

The Peoria Civic Center is postponing all ticketed events until May 1. 

Bishop Daniel Jenky said all educational programs at Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Peoria are suspended next week to allow for cleaning and disinfecting in all buildings in the wake of COVID-19 concerns. 

Preparing for the transportation needs of the future—whether through autonomous vehicles, electric power or ride-sharing—is going to require coordination. 

Each of Peoria County's 18 school districts will make their own decisions about how to handle coronavirus concerns. 

Annie Turnbo Malone is considered Peoria's first black female millionaire. Born in 1869, Malone would go on to start a hair-care product empire...and found the nation's first African-American cosmetology college.

Sangamon County health officials are limiting the number of participants at large public gatherings, hours after the St. Patrick's Day parade was canceled.

Beginning Saturday and for the next 30 days, all indoor events will be limited to 250 people and outdoor events will be limited to 500. The order will be reassessed in early April as the coronavirus situation develops, health officials said.

Dr. Brian Miller, president of the Sangamon County Board of Health, said at a news conference Thursday afternoon the measures are precautionary and meant to protect residents.