CHICAGO (CBS) -- In Illinois 13 more Illinoisans have died from COVID-19, and 465 more have been diagnosed, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike announced Saturday. That brings the total number of deaths in Illinois to 47 and the total number of diagnosed cases to 3,491.
An infant and a state employee at the Department of Human Services were among the fatalities announced Saturday.
"There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant. A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us."
The age of cases ranges from younger than one to 99 years.
Despite the numbers officials said the majority of the cases are in recovery, but the state is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to plan and develop a field hospital in McCormick Place to care for those with the virus.
The entire state remains under a stay-at-home order through April 7. The order has been in place for a week, and Pritzker again urged residents to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.
"It's the others -- the people who aren't obeying the stay-at-home order -- who are putting everyone in danger," he said.
Pritzker and Ezike both acknowledged that many people who have likely contracted the virus and recovered are believed to be immune to the virus.
"Those who have contracted it and recover -- if it is true that you essentially develop that antibodies that make you immune -- that means that there are cadres of people who have recovered who can't get it again. We can test for that in the aftermath, and I think we're going to find that there are many people who are immune," Pritzker said.
As the need for personal protective equipment grows, McDonald's, which is based in Chicago, donated an additional 400,000 N95 masks for Illinois workers, Pritzker announced. For all PPE donations, email PPE.email@example.com.
The governor said he is working to cut Medicaid red tape and costs for patients who need treatment for COVID-19. The state is asking to suspend the annual renewal process and fast track the enrollment process by eliminating some review procedures and suspension of copayments and other fees. The state is also guaranteeing covered cost for COVID-19 treatment for uninsured patients as well as out-of-pocket costs for insured patients, he said.
He also said to expect new best practices at grocery stores on social distancing including shield guards, prohibiting reusable bags and in some cases cashless purchases to speed checkout.
The governor says the state is not waiting for the worst but preparing for the worst.
Friday the governor announced an $80 million expansion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in Illinois, and said the state has been able to waive the physical presence requirement so that people can apply for or adjust their food stamp benefits online, at dhs.illinois.gov.
The governor also said SNAP certifications that had been set to expire in March, April, or May, have been extended by six months.
The state also now is offering stipends to help licensed child care providers operate during the pandemic, given the added burden of schools statewide being closed. Licensed home child care providers can get $750 stipends, centers with one or two classrooms open can receive $2,000, and centers with three or more classrooms open can get $3,000.
Applications will be available Monday through local Child Care Resource & Referral agencies. For more information, visit emergencycare.inccrra.org/.
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