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Friday: CUPHD

Two local counties reported multiple new COVID-19 cases Friday — and Champaign County wasn’t one of them.

Champaign added just one case to a total that now stands at 902 while also seeing its active case number drop from 114 to 110.

The low number led to a steep decline in the county’s seven-day positivity rate: 1.0 percent (70 cases, 7,153 tests) — down half a percent from a day earlier.

Of the county’s 902 confirmed cases, 780 are considered recovered. Remaining the same: the number of hospitalized residents (four) and fatalities (12).

Here’s the rundown of ZIP codes with active cases, followed by their total number of cases, according to CUPHD data:

  • 61853/Mahomet: 23 active (down four from Thursday), 54 total
  • 61821/Champaign: 18 active (unchanged from Thursday), 158 total
  • 61866/Rantoul: 14 active (unchanged from Thursday), 195 total
  • 61822/Champaign: 13 active (unchanged from Thursday), 74 total
  • 61874/Savoy: 7 active (unchanged from Thursday), 38 total
  • 61820/Champaign: 6 active (unchanged from Thursday), 135 total
  • 61843/Fisher: 6 active (unchanged from Thursday), 8 total
  • 61802/Urbana: 6 active (unchanged from Thursday), 131 total
  • 61873/St. Joseph: 5 active (unchanged from Thursday), 12 total
  • 61801/Urbana: 5 active (unchanged from Thursday), 60 total
  • 61872/Sadorus: 2 active (unchanged from Thursday), 2 total (
  • 61849/Homer: 1 active (unchanged from Thursday), 3 total
  • 61864/Philo: 1 active (unchanged from Thursday), 1 total
  • 61871/Royal: 1 active (first case reported), 1 total
  • 61875/Seymour: 1 active (unchanged from Thursday), 4 total
  • 61878/Thomasboro: 1 active (unchanged from Thursday), 3 total

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VERMILION COUNTY: 25 isolating at home

People in their 30s and 50s became the 18th and 19th Vermilion County residents this week to test positive for COVID-19, public health Administrator Doug Toole said.

Since the start of the pandemic, Vermilion has 73 confirmed cases. How that breaks down as of Friday:

  • Released from Isolation: 44
  • Isolated at home: 25
  • Hospitalized: 2
  • Deceased: 2

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FORD COUNTY: 2 cases linked to congregate living facilities

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ford County rose by three Friday, to 37.

They involve a woman in her 50s, a man in his 40s and a man in his 90s. Two of the three are “associated with congregate living facilities," the county’s public health department announced Friday without identifying the facility.

A breakdown of Ford’s 37 cases:

  • Released from isolation: 27
  • Isolated: 9
  • Hospitalized: 0
  • Deceased: 1

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STATE: Deaths toll surpasses 7,000

The statewide seven-day positivity rate remained 2.6 percent after Friday’s 868 new cases and 34,318 tests were factored in.

The new cases included the first one in tiny Scott County, which had been the lone county of Illinois’ 102 without a confirmed case.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 18 coronavirus-related fatalities, bringing the state total to 7,005.

The newly reported deaths included Illinoisans from six counties:

  • Cass County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s, 1 female 100-plus.
  • Cook County: 1 female 40s, 1 female 50s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 male 80s, 2 females 90s, 1 male 90s.
  • DuPage County: 1 male 70s.
  • Grundy County: 1 female 80s.
  • Kane County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s.
  • Kendall County: 1 male 70s.

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SPRINGFIELD: Reach of downstate judge’s Thursday ruling unclear

Rebecca Anzel of our Springfield-based partner Capitol News Illinois reports:

An order Thursday by a downstate judge nullifying each of the COVID-19-related executive orders issued by Gov. J.B. Pritkzer the past three months is quickly causing friction between the state and a Republican lawmaker.

Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney also expanded his ruling beyond Xenia Republican Rep. Darren Bailey, who filed a lawsuit at the end of April alleging the governor overstepped his authority. That case, as filed, would lift public health-related restrictions for only the representative.

But as they exited the courthouse Thursday, Bailey and his attorney, Thomas DeVore, touted the order as freeing the people of Illinois right before the Independence Day weekend.

“This is a good day for accountability,” Bailey told reporters.

DeVore said business occupancy limitations, social gathering restrictions and other elements of Pritzker’s orders were immediately void.

But the governor’s office interpreted the ruling differently — Pritzker’s orders are still valid, a spokesperson said in an email, which means provisions in the state’s reopening plan are still enforceable.

McHaney’s ruling in Bailey’s case is only one decision among multiple related lawsuits filed across the state, the spokesperson pointed out. But, DeVore responded, In many of those cases judges in state and federal courts ruled only on the question of whether to temporarily suspend enforcement of restrictions.

The state’s two Illinois constitutional law professors told Capitol News Illinois on Friday that both sides are right, and wrong.

“Based on what’s been seen,” University of Illinois professor Scott Szala said, McHaney’s decision Thursday “certainly leaves the law uncertain.” As indicated by a statement from Pritzker’s administration, the attorney general’s office will likely appeal the order on Monday.

The judge wrote he “declares any executive orders in effect after April 8, 2020, relating to COVID-19, and finding their authority under the emergency powers of ... the (Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act) are void.”

But, Ann Lousin, professor at the John Marshall Law School, said McHaney has authority in only his judicial district, not the entire state. At the very least, his ruling applies to residents in Clay County.

This issue of competing court orders in response to lawsuits challenging the legality of Pritzker’s response to COVID-19 will need to be addressed by the Illinois Supreme Court, she added.

Szala agreed that the state’s highest court “is going to have to sort this out.”

On Friday, Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike urged Illinoisans to follow safety guidelines.

“The virus is not taking the holiday weekend off, and neither can we,” the governor said in a news release.

According to his office, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and Illinois Gaming Board alerted local officials and business owners to follow health recommendations. The State Police also has worked with local police departments to outline “fines and suspension or revocation of licenses” if residents or businesses violate regulations, especially in the case of “the small minority of business owners who have chosen to put themselves and others at risk.”