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Illinois to shut down any gathering over 1,000 on COVID-19 concerns

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CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday mandated all events with more than 1,ooo people be postponed or cancelled to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that 32 people in Illinois have tested positive for coronavirus. The newspaper also reported that that governor is asking for events with more than 250 people also be cancelled or postponed.

Pritzker made the announcement at a joint press conference with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. The Sun-Times reported the mandate includes everything from large churches, to concerts and conferences.

Lightfoot told the press conference that Chicago’s schools would stay open for now as other cities and states close their schools. Neighboring state Kentucky will be closing their schools for two weeks.

“We would never put our children in danger, and I say that as a mayor, but also as a mother,” Lightfoot said. “At this time, however, CPS will begin scaling back large-scale events, issuing guidance to all school personnel in advance of spring break, instituting a mandatory policy on short-term closures for any schools with confirmed cases and ensuring parents and loved ones are frequently updated.”

She also said that a deal had been made with Comcast, the city’s largest Internet provider, to provide low-income households with 60 days of free Internet.

Pritzker said that the Thompson Center, the biggest concentration of state offices outside of Springfield, would be closed to the public as of Monday. However, the Sun-Times reported, state employees would still be working in their offices. The CTA will also keep operating.

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