A Lansing COVID-19 timeline

compiled by Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 11, 2020) – The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak have been felt by everyone, especially the way time has passed under what are—for many citizens—entirely different living and working circumstances. The usual markers of life, like weekends, birthdays, and regular meetings—at work or otherwise—have been disrupted. Our rhythms of daily life help us process the passage of time and the coronavirus has entirely changed that.

In an effort to help tidy and organize the ever-changing situations we’ve all found ourselves in, The Lansing Journal has assembled a coronavirus timeline going back to the first Illinois case in January, with particular attention given to the virus’s impact on Lansing.

January 24

Illinois health officials report the first case of coronavirus in Illinois and the second in the United States: a woman who returned from Wuhan, China, where she was caring for her sick father.

January 30

The CDC announces first person-to-person spread of coronavirus in the United States as husband of woman who returned from Wuhan becomes infected.

The World Health Organization declares coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency.

February 11

The World Health Organization (WHO) gives the novel coronavirus a name: COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The name was selected because it “did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and [it] is also pronounceable and related to the disease,” according to the WHO.

February 28

The first COVID-19 death occurs in the U.S. outside of Seattle, WA.

March 5

The fifth Illinois case of coronavirus is confirmed after a man returns from Italy.

March 9

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issues a disaster proclamation as a result of COVID-19, thus declaring a state of emergency in Illinois.

March 10

IL Case Count: 19

Illinois’ case number increases to 19, with the first cases outside of Cook County confirmed.

March 11

IL Case Count: 25

The World Health Organization declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

The NBA suspends its season, the first major sport to do so.

March 13

IL Case Count: 46

Governor Pritzker announces statewide school closures from March 17–30. School districts in Lansing begin preparing for e-learning.

President Trump declares the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency.

March 14

IL Case Count: 64

First positive cases of COVID-19 in central and southern Illinois announced.

First coronavirus case in a long-term care facility in Illinois announced in DuPage County.

March 15

IL Case Count: 93

The Patti Leach Youth Center announces it will close in tandem with the school closings mandated by the Governor.

Governor Pritzker orders that all restaurants and bars close their dining rooms. Lansing eateries respond by expanding their take-out and delivery options. The Lansing Journal begins compiling a directory of Lansing restaurants to make it easier for residents to dine local and keep local restaurants in business:

March 17

IL Case Count: 160

The first Illinois COVID-19 death is announced—a Chicago resident in her 60s.

Polling places in Lansing work to ensure equipment is sanitized for voters. Even so, several locations report low voter turnout.

Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam delivers video address to Lansing residents and announces that the Lansing Municipal Center is closed and all non-essential Village services are suspended through the end of March.

The Lansing Village Board of Trustees holds its regularly scheduled meeting while practicing social distancing.

March 18

IL Case Count: 288

The Lansing Public Library building closes until further notice, but staff continue to make online resources available.

Governor Pritzker announces coronavirus.illinois.gov as a way to provide updated news, prevention and preparation practices, and FAQ information to the public.

March 19

IL Case Count: 422

Mayor Eidam’s Senior Easter Breakfast, originally scheduled for April 9, is postponed to a later date.

The Lansing Police Department announces court hearings scheduled for March 19 will be rescheduled for Friday, May 8, and hearings originally scheduled for April 2 will be held on May 2.

March 20

IL Case Count: 585

Governor Pritzker announces stay-at-home order to go into effect at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.

The IRS moves the tax filing deadline to July 15.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office announces that all driver services facilities will be closed through April 7. Expiration dates on driver’s license, state IDs, and other documents will be pushed back to thirty days after the Governor’s disaster proclamation has ended.

March 21

IL Case Count: 753

The stay-at-home order goes into effect in Illinois. Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, and evictions are halted.

March 22

IL Case Count: 1,046

Many Lansing churches use a variety of technological options to bring Sunday services to their communities virtually.

The Lansing Journal begins compiling a directory of Lansing churches with links to their online locations:

March 23

IL Case Count: 1,283

The Village of Lansing announces the Municipal Center will be closed through April 7.

March 24

IL Case Count: 1,535

Mayor Eidam releases updated COVID-19 video message to keep Lansing residents informed.

March 25

IL Case Count: 1,865

One Trick Pony Brewery in Lansing starts offering same-day home delivery for “to-go” beer orders.

March 26

IL Case Count: 2,538

The United States becomes the country with the most COVID-19 cases in the world with over 86,000 positive cases confirmed.

March 28

IL Case Count: 3,491

The Illinois Department of Public Health announces the death of an infant who tested positive for COVID-19.

March 29

IL Case Count: 4,596

School District 158 posts on Facebook that it is completing its laptop donation campaign to supply 50 refurbished laptops to students in district schools to aid with remote learning.

March 30

IL Case Count: 5,056

Governor Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announce plans to convert McCormick Place in Chicago into an alternate care facility for those with mild COVID-19 symptoms. Five days later the first phase of the conversion is complete.

The Good Friday Prayer Walk—a Lansing tradition that typically attracts hundreds of participants—is officially canceled. Several days later, Pastor John Holyer of Trinity Lutheran Church offers a virtual prayer walk via YouTube.

March 31

IL Case Count: 5,994

Governor Pritzker announces stay-at-home order and K-12 on-site learning suspension will extend through April 30.

Mayor Eidam and Lansing Village Clerk Vivian Payne release video message with COVID-19 updates and encourage residents to participate in the April 1 “Shine a Light on Lansing” event.

District 215 Superintendent Teresa Lance releases statement on remote learning and priorities moving forward.

The Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce announces the Good Neighbor Day Parade—originally scheduled for May 2—will be postponed.

Theatre at the Center postpones Talley’s Folly until 2021.

April 1

IL Case Count: 6,980

Many Lansing residents participate in “Shine a Light on Lansing” event, featuring candlelight dinners inside their homes and take-out food, as well as other sorts of light displayed in and around their homes. The display is meant to show support for medical professionals and first responders as well as local businesses.

April 3

IL Case Count: 8,904

Village government announces the municipal center will be closed through April 30.

School District 215 Superintendent Lance releases COVID-19-related updates, including a revised class schedule for remote learning to take effect on April 13.

April 7

IL Case Count: 13,594

The Lansing Village Board of Trustees holds its regularly scheduled meeting while practicing social distancing and live streaming the meeting. Mayor Eidam issues a statement about how Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order impacts municipal government.

April 11

IL Case Count: 19,180

The United States becomes the country with the most COVID-19-caused deaths in the world with over 19,500 fatalities.


All of the Illinois daily case counts since March 10th can be viewed on the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

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