Pritzker provides COVID-19 update, discusses new emergency rules

Coronavirus

CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor JB Pritzker, along with several state health officials and medical experts, held a press conference Sunday to provide an update on their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He also spoke about the new emergency rules filed Friday that would punish “scofflaw” businesses flouting public health requirements with warnings and fines of $75 to $2,500.

Pritzker said the rules would allow a modest level of enforcement similar to what other states already have and would provide support to businesses over shame and punishment, adding the old rules provided “no middle ground.”

He said they would give businesses enough warning to rectify infractions long before fines are issued.

“We’re also doing this for the businesses that are following the rules, while their competitors flout them,” Pritzker said. “We’re doing this for people who have to work in stores where their bosses won’t enforce public health rules.”

He also said they’re doing this to reduce or eliminate the spread of COVID-19 in communities, so if parents want to send their kids back to school, “we have the best chance of preserving in-person learning options.”

He later said at the press conference that if you “cannot provide in-person learning safely, then you should not be requiring it.”

Dr. Emily Landon with the University of Chicago said at the press conference “masks are easy,” and questioned why the act of wearing one was controversial.

Dr. Robert Murphy, a Director for Northwestern Medicine, blamed indoor dining and social congregations at bars for being an issue, especially when people do not wear face masks. He also said that bars were still closed in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, adding they were three states with some of the lowest infection rates.

ORIGINAL STORY: CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor JB Pritzker is joining several medical experts this afternoon to talk about responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A live-stream of the press conference is expected to start at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 9th. It will be hosted by Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago.

Pritzker last held a Sunday press conference addressing the coronavirus pandemic in May.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information when available.

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