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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: 2,273 new known COVID-19 cases and 35 additional deaths reported Wednesday

Illinois public health officials reported Wednesday they had logged 2,273 newly diagnosed cases and 35 additional confirmed deaths of people with COVID-19, raising the statewide tally to 293,274 known cases and 8,672 deaths.

The news comes a day after Illinois officials announced that a resurgence in coronavirus rates in a northwest Illinois region that includes Rockford and Northern Illinois University will result in a return to tighter restrictions aimed at curbing the disease’s spread.

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

Illinois public health officials reported Wednesday they had logged 2,273 newly diagnosed cases and 35 additional confirmed deaths of people with COVID-19, raising the statewide tally to 293,274 known cases and 8,672 deaths.

11 a.m.: Wisconsin hospitals filling with COVID-19 patients as virus surges: ‘We’re going to be in a dire situation in two, three, four weeks’

COVID-19 patients are filling Wisconsin hospitals, forcing doctors to transfer patients to other facilities and build waiting lists as the disease surges across the state.

State health officials have been warning that COVID-19 patients could overwhelm hospitals since the pandemic began in March. Now it appears that fear has become reality.

The number of people hospitalized in Wisconsin stood at 646 on Tuesday, a new record, with 205 patients in intensive care units, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Case spikes in northern and northeastern Wisconsin are driving much of the hospitalizations, the newspaper reported.

Officials at ThedaCare in the Fox Valley said they’ve exceeded capacity in the COVID-19 unit at their Appleton medical center and have started sending patients to Neenah and hospitals in Berlin, Shawano and Waupaca.

“If it’s growing the way that it has for the past week or so, we’re going to be in a dire situation in two, three, four weeks,” said Michael Hooker, vice president and chief medical officer for acute care at ThedaCare. “Yes, we saw this coming, but didn’t expect it to be quite so rapid.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and City Budget Director Susie Park were scheduled to hold a final online town hall Wednesday regarding Chicago’s 2021 budget.

Since late August, the city has held a series of online town halls and gathered more than 38,000 survey responses about residents' budget concerns and spending priorities, according to a news release from the mayor’s office. Wednesday evening’s town hall will be livestreamed on Facebook from 6-7 p.m.

Lightfoot is to detail more of her plans for the 2021 budget when she gives her annual budget address in mid-October.

Almost 200 players and spectators were potentially exposed recently to COVID-19 during adult volleyball games at a Gages Lake restaurant and bar, with 14 testing positive for the virus as the result of an investigation by the Lake County Health Department.

The health department began its investigation on Sept. 23 after investigators and contact tracers identified people who watched or played volleyball with symptoms of the coronavirus pandemic at Jesse Oaks Food & Drink, according to a department press release.

Dr. Sana Ahmed, the health department’s medical epidemiologist and an infectious disease physician, said Tuesday investigators and contact tracers contacted Jesse Oaks when they learned about the outbreak so they could identify as many people as possible who were exposed.

“This could potentially be a large outbreak,” said Ahmed, who estimated nearly 200 people were at risk of getting the virus. “We reached out to the establishment because we were concerned more people were exposed. We identified 14 who became infected.”

Ahmed said the preliminary investigation showed some confirmed cases were among spectators as well as athletes.

5 a.m.: ‘This is the future of our sport’: Athletes Unlimited, a venture that treats pro sports like a fantasy league, ends first softball season in Rosemont with plans to return

An intriguing professional sports experiment ended in Rosemont on Monday night when Team Osterman, a softball squad named after its captain, Olympic gold medalist Cat Osterman, won its final game.

But victory wasn’t really the point. Points were the point.

The six-week league was launched by Athletes Unlimited, a fledgling outfit that treats professional sports like a fantasy league. Players receive points not just for winning games but for performing well individually.

Hit a single, get 10 points. Stretch it into a double, get 20. Knock it over the fence and receive a cool 40 points.

Pitchers, meanwhile, get 4 points for every out but have 10 points taken away for every earned run. Winning an inning yields 10 points for every member of the team. Winning the game brings 50. Earning one of three Most Valuable Player spots voted on by players and fans after each game is worth up to 60 points.

The season was set to start in August, right after National Pro Fastpitch and the 2020 Olympics concluded. But when both were shut down by COVID-19, Athletes Unlimited suddenly became the only place to play.

That drew a surge of big-name athletes, including Osterman, who had been planning to retire after the Olympics. But it also meant the league had to create its own version of a bubble — Athletes Unlimited calls it a “shield” — to keep players safe from the virus.

5 a.m.: Carbondale Driver Service facility closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

The Carbondale Driver Services facility has been temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

A news release from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office Monday said the facility will be closed until Oct. 9 and its employees are under quarantine after an order from the Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department. Attempts to reach representatives from the health department were not successful Tuesday.

The release said there is not a direct impact on customers and that the facility is scheduled to be cleaned while closed. The release also reminded drivers that the Secretary of State’s Office has extended all expiration dates to Feb. 1, 2021, for driver’s licenses and ID cards. The release encouraged drivers to do basic things, like renewing a license or car registration, online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

For those needing in-person assistance, the release directed them to nearby facilities in Marion at 1905 Rendleman St.; in Anna at 101A Transcraft Drive; and in Benton at 812 N. Main St.

—The Southern, via Tribune Content Agency

Here are five stories from Tuesday related to COVID-19:

Football news:

Ian Wright: it's a Pity Ozil isn't playing, but Arteta's tenacity is admired
Josep Bartomeu: it was Important to start a new era for Barca with Messi. The Interests of the club are above all
Spider-man is a Barcelona fan. Tom Holland photographed in a Catalan t-shirt
Neymar made the world team of 5 players. There is no goalkeeper in it
Zidane on Barca's reaction after Classico: Real Madrid are focused on their goals. I don't mind talking
Pep on winning the Champions League: I will try. I have already answered this question 250 times
Klopp on 2:7 from Villa: the Players reacted as I expected. They struggled and won two games