Tuesday, November 17, 2020 6:31 PM EST
By JOHN O'CONNOR and SOPHIA TAREEN, AP
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced new COVID-19 restrictions that will cap crowds in retail stores and temporarily close museums and casinos. The first-term Democrat said Tuesday that he hopes the limits will help curb soaring coronavirus cases in the state. Starting Friday, retail stores must lower capacity to 25% from the current 50%. Grocery stores will be excluded. Pritzker says hospitals are starting to see a real strain and will soon be overwhelmed if the current infection rate continues. The new restrictions came as Illinois reported 12,601 new cases and 97 deaths. Overall, Illinois has reported nearly 600,000 cases with 10,875 deaths.