GOP leaders argue that there is scant evidence that bars and restaurants — which will be closed to indoor service in eight of the state’s 11 regions by the end of the week — are a significant source of COVID-19 spread.

63 deaths statewide include Ford County man in 90s ... Seven-day positivity rates hold in Champaign County (0.5%), Region 6 (7.3%), on UI campus (0.2%). State rate jumps from 5.6% to 6.1% ... Rise in Rantoul cases linked to 69-case outbreak at Lincoln's Challenge Academy ... In Champaign County, hospitalizations unchanged (7), active cases down five (301), recovered up 51 (5,523), close contacts in quarantine up 35 (1,082).

New positive tests in Rantoul schools: students at Pleasant Acres & Northview; employee at Eastlawn; teacher at Broadmeadow ... 7-day rates hold in Champaign County (0.5%), on UI campus (0.2%) ... State rate now at 5.3% after 4,245-case Sunday ... Vermilion adds 15 cases; 9 county residents hospitalized ... String of record new case totals ends at 3 days in Douglas.

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Despite a temporary rule that extends the expiration dates for Firearm Owners Identification cards and concealed carry permits, many Illinois gun owners are still finding it difficult to buy weapons and ammunition.

During a hearing, Assistant AG Darren Kinkead argued that all of the cases should be dismissed because the state’s Emergency Management Act gives the governor broad authority to act proactively in order to prevent the spread of a disease.

Many people also slowed down on buying lottery tickets, according to a new report which said tax revenues generated through legalized gambling fell 13.4%, or about $200 million, compared to the previous fiscal year.

This week's lineup: Allison Semmes on Ollie Watts Davis; Carol Marin on Joe Wenzel; Michael Kelly on Heywood ‘Woody’ Sanders; Roxanne Decyk on Emily Watts; Carol Ross Barney on Jack Baker; Grace Hou-Ovnik on Louis Liebovich; Amber McReynolds on Brian Gaines; Scott Atlas on Gilbert Haight; Susan Avery on Marvin Geller; and Arielle Gross Samuels on Paul Braun.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday in Champaign County, 3,008 early votes had been cast in person, with another 25,000 vote-by-mail ballots set to hit local mailboxes early next week, County Clerk Aaron Ammons tells The News-Gazette.

In a two-and-a-half-page letter, Madigan called the committee “a political stunt” being orchestrated by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and said the ongoing federal criminal investigation “is more important than Mr. Durkin’s political theatrics.”

That makes seven straight days that the UI's daily rate has been 0.5% or lower. ... Five Champaign County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19, up from one a day earlier. None of the five cases involve someone from campus, CU Public Health's Awais Vaid tells our Ben Zigterman. ... C-U's emergency orders banning indoor dining near campus were both be allowed to expire at 5 p.m.

The Democratic chairman and ranking Republican on a special legislative committee say they are awaiting further guidance from federal prosecutors about how far they can go in questioning witnesses and calling for documents.