WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Trump announced Sunday an extension to the national social distancing guidelines for another month to April 30. Previously, the president had hoped to see the country return to normal by Easter, though guidance from health advisors and state legislators urged against this.
Earlier in the day before the president’s announcement, Doctor Anthony Fauci predicted that the nation could see “millions of cases,” and up to 200,000 deaths in the worst-case scenario. Hospitals across the country are running into shortages of supplies and it is expected to see hospitals running out of beds and treatment space within the coming weeks.
In Chicago, the city is preparing for the worst and has enlisted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to aid in setting up a 3,000-bed emergency hospital in the McCormick Place to help COVID-19 patients of varying severity. In the Dunning neighborhood, the Illinois National Guard has set up a testing facility to screen first responders and healthcare workers for the virus, and the Chicago Tribune reported that the facility is reaching its testing limit each day within a few hours of opening.
This weekend, 31 more deaths and over 1,500 new cases were reported in the state and the upward curve currently shows no signs of slowing despite the state’s strict stay-at-home order. The order, which continues until April 7, is expected to be pushed further into the month to April 18 as numbers rise and the pandemic continues to develop. There is currently no predicted date when the outbreak will be under control.