Illinois COVID-19 Updates: Tom Dart Tests Positive, State Reports More Than 7,800 New Cases – NBC Chicago

Note: Any news conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot or other officials will be streamed in the video player above.

Here are the latest coronavirus headlines from around the state of Illinois.

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart Tests Positive for COVID-19

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart has tested positive for coronavirus and is quarantining at his home, officials announced Saturday.

According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Dart was tested for the virus on Tuesday and received his positive test results on Friday.

The sheriff was last in the office on Nov. 19. He began to feel symptoms of the virus on Friday and immediately self-quarantined.

Illinois Officials Report 7,873 New COVID-19 Cases, 108 Additional Deaths

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,873 confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus on Saturday, along with 108 additional deaths attributed to the virus.

According to the latest figures released by the department, the state has now reported 712,936 total cases of the virus since the pandemic began, along with 12,137 fatalities.

The state performed an additional 79,055 tests over the last 24 hours, giving the state a total of 10,368,278 tests performed during the pandemic.

Deck the Halls? Not at the Illinois Capitol Due to COVID-19

The coronavirus has extinguished some traditional holiday cheer at the Illinois Capitol.

There will be no Christmas tree nor any holiday displays inside or outside the building, The State Journal-Register reported.

The Capitol for months has been closed to all but employees and others with permission. Tours were suspended months ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lights on the Capitol dome won’t be used for the second consecutive year. Engineers have recommended that an observation deck, which is typically used to anchor the lights, should be fortified.

Saturday’s Ohio State-Illinois Game Postponed Due to Positive COVID-19 Tests

The University of Illinois’ home football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes has been postponed after a series of positive COVID-19 test results within the Ohio State program.

The school made the official announcement Friday night, cancelling the Saturday morning game between the two schools that was set to be played at Champaign’s Memorial Stadium.

The announcement came after a second round of coronavirus testing of the Ohio State roster on Friday. The school said that it had seen an increased number of positive COVID-19 tests earlier Friday, with head coach Ryan Day among those who tested positive for the illness.

Chicagoland Christmas Trees Selling Fast Amid Pandemic Restrictions

The coronavirus pandemic has made Christmas tree hunting a bit different this year, but that hasn’t stopped families from making sure to get their trees in time for the holiday season.

Some Christmas tree farms in Illinois are requiring reservations, due to the pandemic, and as of Friday afternoon, many times were already sold out for the weekend.

The early and high demand for trees comes during an ongoing Christmas tree shortage across the country. According to experts, this shortage has its roots (pun intended) in the 2008 global recession, which led to a slowdown in planting seedlings.

It can take a tree 7 to 20 years to reach the desired height, so business owners can’t flood the market overnight, no matter how high the demand is.

Farmers are now raising their prices on Christmas trees, which could be passed down to the consumer.

Illinois COVID Metrics: A Region-by-Region Look at the State’s Latest Coronavirus Data

All 11 of Illinois’ healthcare regions are currently operating under Tier 3 coronavirus mitigation rules, but some regions are trending in the right direction to have those rules eased in the coming weeks.

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Illinois COVID-19 Updates: Tom Dart Tests Positive, State Reports More Than 7,800 New Cases – NBC Chicago

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