Evanston reported 10 new COVID-19 cases today for a total of 338 and the state reported 2,563 more cases for a total of 52,918.

The City of Chicago reported 1,078 additional cases for a total of 21.491.

Evanston’s death toll from the pandemic remained unchanged at 10. Chicago reported 43 more deaths today for a total of 894. Across the state there were 140 new deaths for a total of 2,355.

The state reported the results of 13,200 more COVID-19 tests today, for a total of 269,867 tests performed during the pandemic so far. It marks the seventh straight day that the test total has topped the 10,000 mark. Positive results were returned in 19.4% of the tests conducted — sustantially higher than the rate of under 16% seen the past few days.

Overall the results failed to provide any indication that the Illinois is close to reaching the 14 days of declining new cases that has been set by the White House as a marker that restrictions on activities by residents could start to be eased.

Despite that a third court challenge was filed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order today. Pastor Steve Cassell of The Beloved Church in the village of Lena in northwestern Illinois, claims in his federal court suit that the governor’s ban on in-person church services demonstrates “an illegal and discriminatory hostility to religious practice, churches and people of faith.”

At his news conference this afternoon Pritzker said “nobody’s going to go in an break up a gathering of church-goers, but there are consequences and the state has the ablity to enforce its order.”

“Parishoners should ask their faith leader to not hold services — or do it online” to protect the health of the congregation, Pritzker added.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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