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Afternoon Edition: March 2, 2020

Today’s update is a 4-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

Health officials announced March 2, 2020, that the third and fourth cases of coronavirus in Illinois are a couple in their 70s. 
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Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 4-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

We’ve got a beautiful week ahead. This afternoon’s high will be near 45 degrees and the low tonight will be around 30 degrees. The rest of the week will be that good or better, with sunny skies and highs in the upper 40s or 50s every day, according to today’s forecast.

Top story

Illinois confirms 4th case of coronavirus

(If you’re among the 1 in 10 people who suffer from health anxiety and the deluge of coronavirus news has you on edge, consider scrolling past this next section.)

State health officials have confirmed a fourth person — a woman in her 70s — has tested positive for coronavirus in Illinois. She’s the spouse of the 70-year-old man who was the third reported case in the state.

He is currently hospitalized in isolation at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, while she is quarantined at home, in compliance with health officials. Both are reported to be in good condition, officials said.

Will fear of infection at a crowded polling place deter some Chicagoans from voting? Election officials hope not: they’re urging voters worried about contracting coronavirus to vote by mail. Early voting opened in all 50 wards this morning, around the same time news broke about the fourth case in Arlington Heights.

Here’s where things stand nationally: The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed 43 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. since the disease broke out in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

Health officials are advising the public to “remain vigilant about keeping germs from spreading, by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands with warm soap and water, and staying home when sick,” though they said people don’t need to alter their daily routines.

Before the Arlington Heights news broke, a Chicago couple who contracted coronavirus in January were the first and only two Illinois residents to test positive for the disease. They have since made a full recovery.

Read the full story here, and follow all our coverage of coronavirus in Illinois here.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, shown during a re-enactment of her swearing-in ceremony with then-Vice President Joe Biden, has endorsed Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination in advance of several crucial March primary votes.
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More news you need

  1. Sen. Tammy Duckworth announced her endorsement of Joe Biden following his landslide win in South Carolina, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar is doing the same after dropping out of the race today. Find out why Duckworth backing the former vice president.
  2. Federal prosecutors want a judge to send two convicted Chicago police officers to prison for 10 years for cloaking robberies and burglaries with “the veneer of lawfulness” and wreaking “institutional havoc” on Cook County’s justice system. What to expect at their sentencing is next week.
  3. A Wall Street credit rating agency said approval of Illinois’ graduated income tax referendum on the November ballot will be “critical” to the state’s credit outlook. Read why Fitch Ratings says the stakes are so high.
  4. Opening statements in the trial of a four-time felon charged with murdering decorated Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer are expected to begin tomorrow. Take a look back at what happened ahead of the trial.
  5. Cannabis firms seeking local approval to open recreational pot shops at seven different locations will have a special meeting Friday with the Zoning Board of Appeals — though only three will be allowed to sell weed. Tom Schuba explains why we’re on the brink of a “weed war.”
  6. Early voting and registration started today at polling places in each of Chicago’s 50 wards. Here’s everything you need to know about the local, state and national races on the ballot.

A bright one

Italian beef sandwiches are a staple of Chicago cuisine, though fans who observe Lent have to make do without on Fridays until Easter. Luckily, another 312 classic — the pepper and egg sandwich —has been tiding Chicagoans over for generations.

Italian-American Catholics in particular love “pepper ’n eggs,” which are usually made with green peppers cooked until they’re soft, scrambled eggs, crispy Italian or French bread and — depending who makes it — cheese, onions, garlic and black pepper.

The Fabulous Freddies Italian Eatery’s version of the classic pepper and eggs sandwich consists of sweet peppers and eggs with plenty of butter.
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So where can you find your favorite sandwich until Easter? Not every restaurant that sells Italian beef does pepper and eggs. To save you some trouble, we rounded up the spots that serve up the annual staple.

Check out our map of pepper & egg sandwich spots across Chicago.

From the press box

The Bulls welcome Luka Doncic and the Mavericks to town tonight (7 p.m. CT, NBCSC) to see whether Doncic can top the 38-point triple-double he recorded last time the teams met. It’ll be the second game back for Wendell Carter Jr., who said Sunday he’s hoping to play more power forward next season.

There have also been rumors tying the Bears to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, so Jason Lieser broke down whether the three-time Pro Bowler could be the right fit to challenge Mitch Trubisky for playing time.

Your daily question ☕

Have you been stocking up on food and other basic necessities because of the coronavirus outbreak? Email us and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you what your favorite fish fry is. Reporter Stephanie Zimmermann shared with us her chosen spot:

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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