At his daily press conference on Thursday, Gov. JB Pritzker gave citizens an update on the development of alternative care facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Gov. Pritzker, the facilities are essentially field medical stations designed to alleviate the crush of COVID-19 patients coming into hospitals around the state.
Gov. Pritzker announced on Mar. 23 that work was formally launched on three facilities in Cook and the collar counties; McCormick Place in Chicago, the former Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin and the Metro South Health Center in Blue Island.
Once work is complete, McCormick Place will reach a total of 3,000 beds. The facilities in Elgin and Blue Island will together be able to host a total of 500 patients.
A fourth location, Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park, will be able to host 230 patients.
Construction at all four sites will be completed on a rolling basis throughout the month of April.
Gov. Pritkzer says plans are being finalized to stand up a facility in central Illinois in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Gov. Pritzker launched a new statewide effort to reinforce the state’s core message, backed by scientists and public health experts: stay at home and stay safe.
"All in Illinois" is supported by a series of public service announcements featuring famous Illinois natives.
The PSA celebrity videos can be viewed by visiting allin.illinois.gov.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 715 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 7,695.
Dr. Ezike also announced 16 deaths, bringing the state's total COVID-19 deaths to 157.
Cases have been reported in 61 counties in Illinois; Logan, Macoupin, Mercer, Moultrie and Piatt counties are now reporting positive COVID-19 tests.
The age of cases ranges from younger than one to over 100 years.