Headlines for Saturday, June 27th

Illinois’ minimum wage is set to increase by one dollar an hour to $10 per hour beginning this Wednesday, July 1st.  Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation passed by the General Assembly providing a path to a $15 minimum wage by the year 2025.  The state’s minimum wage is scheduled to go up by one dollar an hour each year on January 1st after this year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025.  Michael Kleinik, director of the Illinois Department of Labor, said, “While IDOL fully expects employers to abide by the new minimum wage, it is important for workers to inspect their checks to make sure they reflect the increase”.  Workers who are under 18 and work less than 650 hours in a year earn a minimum wage of $8 per hour.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 857 new cases of the coronavirus in the state Friday, and 39 additional deaths.  The IDPH is reporting a total of 140,291 cases, including 6847 deaths, in 101 Illinois counties.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 30,425 specimens for a total of 1,490,952.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 19th through 25th is 3 percent.

The Jefferson County Health Department has received reports of nine cases of Hepatitis A in the past three weeks.  According to the state Department of Health, that meets the definition of an outbreak.  Hepatitis A is an acute illness with a discrete onset of any sign of symptom consistent with acute viral hepatitis.  Infection is typically symptomatic and includes fever, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, joint pain and jaundice.  The health department says the best way to prevent infection is by vaccination.

Illinois has entered Phase 4 of its Restore Illinois plan as of Friday, and swimming facilities licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health can open at a maximum of 50% of capacity.  The Illinois Department of Public Health says there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through water in pools and water playgrounds, but still stressed the need for social distancing, particularly while waiting in line or sitting around the pool.

Area river stages this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 5.59 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the river is at 7.23 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the river is at 3.71 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.33 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 5.52 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  Rain chances are in the forecast the next few days, mainly in the late afternoon and early evening hours.