FILE – This June 21, 2006, file photo shows The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Officials said Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 that preliminary test results show the possible presence of Legionella bacteria in the Illinois Capitol Complex’s hot water system. Experts at the Illinois Department of Public Health say the complex is safe for state employees to work, and they’re not aware of any reports of Legionnaires’ disease related to the water system. More testing is underway and results are expected in about 14 days. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman File)
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says nearly 300-thousand people in the state filed for unemployment in the last two weeks. The increase is attributed to an economic downturn leading to layoffs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal stimulus package is adding 600-dollars a week to regular state unemployment benefits. Wait times are long on the department’s website and call centers, making it difficult for some people to access the benefits.