RECAP: Governor gives COVID update Wednesday

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Photo of Governor JB Pritzker

FILE – In this Aug. 2, 2021, file photo, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at East Aurora High School in Aurora, Ill. Illinois health care workers and educators from kindergarten through college will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Pritzker said Thursday, Aug.26, 2021, in announcing new safety protocols that also include a fresh statewide mandate for masks to be worn indoors. (Rich Hein/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday is set to give a COVID update in Chicago. Follow this page for live updates.

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Live updates below beginning at 1:30 p.m.

JBP: record COVID hospitalizations in Illinois and across the nation

JBP: the omicron variant is the most transmissible we’ve seen

JBP: “We are nearer than even to having everything we need to detect and treat the disease.”

JBP: 2,048 health care workers are being deployed across the state to support hospitals. “We’ve created COVID reaction teams” of health care workers to also help hospitals.

JBP: Doctors who got their medical training in another country can help doctors here. Allowing out of state providers to provide virtual visits to Illinois residents if there is a previous patient-provider relationship.

JBP: “Health and safety must be our primary concerns to keep schools from going remote.”

JBP: The University of Illinois and others provided rapid tests for use at Chicago Public schools. This helped break the impasse between teachers and administration.

JBP: highlights the “On The Fence” PR campaign that talks to people who were hesitant but got the vaccine

IDPH’s Dr. Ngozi Ezike: too soon to tell if omicron has peaked

DNE: more than 7,100 people are in Illinois hospitals with COVID. The “vast majority” are unvaccinated. [Dr. Ezike later said the ~7,100 total is an high during the pandemic.]

Officials are now taking questions at 1:48 p.m.

DNE: “We want a consistent decline” in hospitalizations

JBP: “We’re not in the business of providing tests to schools on an ongoing basis.” Again highlights the UI SHIELD spit tests [which schools across Illinois are using]. Other districts have chosen other solutions for testing. Other schools just need more tests.

DNE: “Very, very high cost” to care for COVID patients across Illinois

DNE: You can open up McCormick [Place in Chicago] for COVID patients, but you still need people to care for them.

The press conference ended at 2:03, lasting around 30 minutes.

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