Illinois reports 296 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more deaths

Governor calls for healthy volunteers to help in a variety of ways

Alex Degman
March 22, 2020 - 5:40 pm
Governor JB Pritzker takes questions at a March 15, 2020 news conference

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CHICAGO (AP/KMOX) -- As Illinoisans stay at home and the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase -- Governor JB Pritzker is clarifying some aspects of his order announced Friday.

As of Sunday, Illinois recorded 296 more positive cases of COVID-19 -- putting the state's total at 1,049. Pritzker, trying to calm some anxiety, says you won't be asked for papers if you're seen outside.

"Nobody's being stopped on the streets unless they're seen to be directly violating the stay at home order, in which case, a police officer or someone else could ask you, 'please go home,' or 'are you in fact going to your job or going somewhere that is essential?"

The state is studying whether pregnant women can pass the virus onto the fetus or to the baby during birth. So far, no babies born to infected mothers have tested positive and the virus wasn't found in sampled of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.

Over the weekend Pritzker asked retired health care workers to consider volunteering if they're healthy. He says he was prompted to share the opportunities available at serve.illinois.gov after hearing about hundreds of people statewide who are looking to help in any way they can.