The count of COVID-19 cases jumped by eight today in Evanston to 49, while the total number of confirmed cases across Illinois rose by 330 to 1,865.

Skokie reported a sharp increase,13 more cases, to a total of 41. Chicago reported 133 new cases for a total of 915.

The count of novel coronavirus related deaths in Evanston and Skokie remained at one each and at five in Chicago, while the total in Illinois rose by three to 19.

The latest deaths included a Kane County man in his 90s, a Cook County man in his 60s, and a Will County woman in her 50s.

The percentage of residents with confirmed case in Evanston remains at nearly twice the rate reported in Chicago and four times the statewide figure. But with today’s new cases, Skokie’s share of residents with confirmed COVID-19 cases, at 0.064%, nearly matches the rate in Evanston.

At a news conference this afternoon, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that Illinois will delay this year’s tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, matching a delay announced earlier by the federal government. The decision is designed to ease the burden on taxpayers whose incomes are being reduced by the pandemic.

Pritzker said state tax refunds would continue be processed promptly for those who choose to file their returns ahead of the new deadline.

The governor also announced several programs to provide assistance to small businesses, and he reported that major mortgage lenders nationwide have agreed to offer some amount of forebearance to homeowners who fall behind on their mortgage loans.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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