After Infant Among 13 New Illinois Coronavirus Deaths, Pritzker Says It's OK To Grieve

WBBM Newsradio Staff
March 28, 2020 - 3:00 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- As cases and deaths continue to rise in Illinois, Gov. Pritzker said it's okay to grieve and empathize with families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19.

This comes after 13 new deaths were reported in the state, including the first Chicago infant who has died from the virus. Health officials say the death is under investigation. 

Pritzker also announced the first state employee from the state's human resources department has also died. 

"It's OK to grieve," Pritzker said. "Grieving helps us empathize with people in our community who are hurting; it lifts them up."

The state saw 465 new cases Saturday, bringing the total to 3,491 positive cases and 47 deaths.

While the future looks grim for Illinois and Chicago, the governor said the priority remains to suppress the spread and increase hospital capacity to meet the rising need. The first of more efforts to come is the news that McCormick Place will be converted into a makeshift hospital to serve up to 3,000 patients.

"We are not waiting for the worst. We are preparing for the worst," he said of the FEMA project.

The governor said Illinois is still looking for PPE equipment, though he applauded the McDonalds Corporation, which is Chicago-based, for donating 400,000 N95 masks to the state for frontline workers.

Have gloves or masks to donate? You can email and a staff member from Pritzker's administration will follow up.

"Each glove or mask will make a difference for our front line workers," he said.