Evanston reported two new COVID-19 cases today and one new death as Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a partnership with other midwest governors to reopen the regional economy.

Statewide 1,140 new cases were reported today for a total of 25,733. And the state reported its highest one-day death count — 124, raising the death toll to 1,073.

Evanston now has a total of 199 COVID-19 cases. Chicago reported 450 new cases today for a toal of 10,642, and it reported 53 additional deaths for a total of 414.

The seven-day rolling averages of new cases shown in red on the charts suggest that both the state and city have achieved a measure of success in stopping once-exponential increase in cases, but appear to be far from banishing the disease.

Pritzker said the governors of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin have agreed to participate in the effort to find a common approach to reopening the regional economy. Notably missing from the midwest group was Iowa, where the governor so far has declined to issue a stay-at-home order.

Pritzker said a key factor in determining a schedule for reopening will be testing capacity. And while he announced the opening of additional testing facilities today, he conceded that Illinois is still short of the 10,000 tests per day goal that he set weeks ago. The state announced results for 5,660 new COVID-19 tests today.

The governor ducked efforts by reporters to pin him down on when he will decide whether to extend the stay-at-home order that is now scheduled to expire on April 30. But he indicated he will make an announcement about that within a week.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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