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Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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

Pritzker says mask requirement could stretch into next year

Gov. J.B. Pritzker doesn’t expect Illinoisans will be freed from COVID-19 restrictions including mask mandates until sometime next year.

The governor on Monday visited two counties that have seen an uptick of COVID-19 positive cases.

He urged local governments to step up enforcement of his mitigation orders, such as restaurant and bar capacity limits and mask mandates.

He said he doesn’t anticipate such regulations to be lifted for another six to seven months.

Pritzker replaces 2 state officials responsible for COVID-19 response in nursing homes

State officials who oversaw Illinois’ COVID-19 response in nursing homes have been replaced, according to a report from Chicago Public Radio.

The governor has said the state only returned seniors to nursing homes from hospitals if they recovered from COVID-19.

More than half the deaths public officials attribute to COVID-19 in Illinois have occurred in nursing homes.

Illinois’ mail-in ballot applications being sent to all recent voters this week

If you voted in recent elections, expect mail-in ballot applications if you haven’t already gotten one.

Local election officials in all 108 Illinois elections jurisdictions are required to send out mail-in ballot applications by Saturday.

If voters want a mail-in ballot, they must return the applications. Ballots will then be sent out starting Sept. 24.

Public health officials report 3.8 percent COVID-19 positivity rate

Illinois’ seven-day statewide COVID-19 positivity rate is at 3.8 percent after more than 30,500 tests produced around 1,200 positive cases in the latest daily report. There were 18 additional deaths.

The state’s recovery rate, which is from people who tested positive more than six weeks ago and have not died, is 95 percent.

There have been more than 2.5 million tests performed statewide.

Northwestern seeks volunteers for vaccine testing

Northwestern University is looking for 5,000 volunteers in the Chicago area to possibly take part in COVID-19 clinical trials to prevent infection from the virus.

Those being sought are at least 18 years old and working in a job with a high risk of exposure to the virus, including health care workers, grocery store and retail workers and public transportation employees.

Details can be found by calling 312-694-0414.

Red Cross reminds people in Illinois to prepare for storms, floods

The American Red Cross is reminding Illinoisans to prepare for storms and floods.

Among those is an emergency kit with food and water, first aid and other essential items.

The nonprofit group is also looking for volunteers as the summer season could bring wildfires and hurricanes in other communities across the country.

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