Illinois records first death from the coronavirus outbreak

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday the first coronavirus death in Illinois as voters went to the polls and on the first day the state’s kindergarten through high school students were kept out of classes.

Posted: Mar 17, 2020 4:21 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday the first coronavirus death in Illinois as voters went to the polls and on the first day the state’s kindergarten through high school students were kept out of classes.

Pritzker said announcing the death of an Illinois resident due to the coronavirus outbreak was something he has been dreading since the crisis began. He said the victim was a Chicago woman in her 60s who had an underlying health condition and had extended contact with another infected person. The governor added the woman was not a nursing home patient.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 160 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. Among them are 18 residents of a nursing home outside Chicago and four members of the facility’s staff. All of those infected have been isolated, officials said. The location of the facility wasn’t disclosed.

Coronavirus infections across the country reached approximately 5,200, and the death toll climbed to at least 97, with more than half of the dead from Washington state. Worldwide, more than 7,300 have died.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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