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Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

COVID-19 cases increase in Metro East

State public health officials say the Metro East is seeing an increase in COVID-19 activity.

Region 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s new COVID-19 management plan released last week includes Madison, St. Clair, Bond and other counties near St. Louis. The region has a 7.1 percent positivity rate.

If a region exceeds 8 percent positivity, the state says it will increase restrictions in that region.

Pritzker plans to address ethics issues in November

Don’t expect the governor to call a special session to address ethics reforms in the wake of a utility giant admitting to bribery over a number of years in a case that implicated House Speaker Michael Madigan.

While Republicans have called for Madigan to step down immediately and for there to be a special session to pick a new speaker and pass ethics reforms,

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said lawmakers should address the issues during the scheduled fall session after the November election.

School districts release plans for fall semester

School districts across the state are formulating plans to return to school for in-person teaching amid COVID-19.

Some are offering up a blended schedule with online instruction and limited in-person teaching.

Teachers’ unions are split on whether to go with a blended option, or have learning only online.

State officials report 6 additional COVID-19 deaths 

There were six additional deaths Illinois public health officials say are related to COVID-19 in the latest daily report.

That’s lower than the state’s high of 191 back on May 13. There have been 7,301 deaths overall since it was first tracked in March.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate is 3 percent. Of 35,000 hospital beds, 1,410 were occupied by a COVID-19 patient. That’s down from more than 5,000 back on April 28.

Pritzker touts grant program to employ 2,400 young people

A $9.3 million state program is being used to help support dozens of projects across the state to employ 2,400 young people in need of work.

That’s something Gov. J.B. Pritzker discussed in Peoria on Monday could help stem the violence.

There were more than a dozen people shot and injured in Peoria over the weekend.

Lottery claim centers reopen for appointment-only

Did you win the lottery but haven’t been able to collect your winnings because of the pandemic?

The Illinois Lottery announced it will reopen most of its claim centers, but by appointment only.

There’s also mail-in claim options. Information can be found at IllinoisLottery.com/winning.

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