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Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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Champaign County Health District: COVID-19 information

State map: COVID-19 cases by county

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On Saturday, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District said the number of confirmed Champaign County cases was up to 15 from 11 on Friday.

Nine of those were women; six were men, ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s. A third were people in their 50s.

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FIRST INFANT DEATH

At his daily briefing, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the death of an infant due to COVID-19 — a first in Illinois.

The infant, less than 1 year old, was from Chicago. 

“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 Illinois Department of Health reported 465 new cases today, including 13 new deaths occurring in the following counties: Cook,  McHenry, Kane, Lake  and Will.

Carroll, Fayette, and Macon counties are now reporting cases, bringing thte state's total to 3,491 cases, including 47 deaths, in 43 counties in Illinois.

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COLLEGE STUDENT FROM DeWITT COUNTY TESTS POSITIVE

A University of Missouri student living in Columbia, Mo., whose permanent home is in DeWitt County, has tested positive for coronavirus.

"He is self-isolated at his apartment on campus ... but has not been home,” said David Remmert of the DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department.

Remmert said even though the young man is in Missouri, his county is alerted about the case because his permanent residence is in DeWitt.

"We find about it through a health alert system ... These cases are entered into an automated electronic system. We receive notice regardless of where they are tested,” Remmert said, adding the student was tested at a drive-through in Columbia on March 24, and learned the next day he was positive. That information just arrived in Clinton on Saturday.

"I would love to be the last county to report. I still think we have a responsibility to get the information out even though I can’t completely claim him,” he said. As of Friday, 40 counties were reporting cases. The Illinois Department of Public Health had reported 3,026 cases statewide and 34 deaths.

Remmert said even though the young man is not currently in DeWitt County, citizens should assume there are cases all around them.

"In the overwhelming majority, people have very little symptoms or none at all. That’s why everybody needs to practice those precautionary measures. People who are asymptomatic can go out and spread it,” he said.

Remmert said he had not personally spoken with the young man but had talked to someone who has.

“Kudos to him for isolating. He doesn’t feel that bad. Headache, sore throat were his initial symptoms and he didn’t really feel all that bad,” he said.

"We believe it’s here. A lot of people probably have it but won’t be tested because they are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms.”***

MORNING BRIEFING:

— After six cases the previous two days, Champaign County reported just one Friday — a woman in her 50s. But officials said the virus is now ”infecting people who are not sure how or where they were infected.”

— The coronavirus is taking a toll on crime: No one was charged Friday with a new crime in Champaign County, a weekday rarity. And no one was booked into the jail for almost 21 hours between Thursday and Friday. 

— With the April 7 end date of Illinois’ school shutdown starting to feel less likely, Gov. J.B. Pritzker suspended testing requirements and gave the state superintendent authority to address the minimum number of school days.

— A resolution that one professor/sponsor admitted was a “radical proposal” — calling on UI administrators to end the semester early — was shelved Friday after getting limited support from academic senators. 

— Statewide, the death toll rose by eight, to 34, and the confirmed case count grew to 3,026. Among the 488 new cases were 12 registered nurses at the UI Hospital in Chicago, according to the Illinois Nurses Association.

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