CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — Cases of COVID-19 in Illinois have skyrocketed by nearly 380 percent since October 1, Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday.
Similarly, Illinois’ statewide test positivity rate is up by 180 percent over the last five weeks.
Those figures were publicized in conjunction with an announcement from Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health that three additional regions will undergo mitigation due to a surge in COVID-19 test positivity rates.
The regions are Region 5 (Southern Illinois), Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties), and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties), beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. These regions are seeing a test positivity rate that remains above 8 percent and continues to rise after more than 14-days under Tier 1 mitigations, which exceeds the threshold set for establishing additional mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.
Pritzker chided local elected leaders in some areas — including mayors, city council members and state’s attorneys — for inaction as it relates to enforcing COVID-19 standards, such as limiting gathering numbers and enforcing the use of masks.
“These mayors and city councils and county boards and state’s attorneys need to take some responsibility for keeping their constituents safe,” he said. “I promise them that that responsibility pales in comparison to what could come when hospitals in your area are filling up and there aren’t enough nurses or doctors to save their constituents’ lives.”
Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike emphasized that a rise in coronavirus cases, positivity rates or hospitalizations is not necessarily due to mitigation efforts not being strict enough, but whether people follow them closely.
“Unfortunately there are a significant number of people who are not following this recommendation, and by not doing these things, the virus just continues to get ahead of us — it continues to spread, leading to more and more cases, more and more hospitalizations and unfortunately more deaths,” Ezike said.
Pritzker also said he supports a national mask-mandate proposed by President-Elect Joe Biden.
“…It would help our state,” he said. “I’ve been calling for a national mandate for some time again as said earlier, think about the states around us — the fact that they don’t have mitigations in many of those states. And that has an effect on Illinois, where we do have a mask mandate, and… frankly we do need help with testing and tracing.”
Pritzker did not rule out issuing another Stay-At-Home order in the future, but emphasized it was not his “preference.”