Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a stark warning to young adults in the state Wednesday, saying that the delta variant of the coronavirus is impacting individuals 30 and younger with much greater regularity than previous strains of the virus.
According to Pritzker, approximately 12% of COVID hospitalizations nationwide are occurring among individuals 29 and younger, and the state is urging those residents to take virus mitigation efforts seriously.
“Unlike before, people 29 years and younger are accounting for 12% of hospitalizations across the nation. We are seeing young people with no underlying conditions now on ventilators,” he said. “Every time we think we know where this virus is headed, it shifts.”
During a press availability Wednesday, Pritzker continued to urge eligible residents to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, with shots available through at-home programs and a wide variety of other methods.
Pritzker says that 96% of COVID hospitalizations in the state are occurring in unvaccinated individuals, and he says that it is imperative that young adults take the virus seriously.
“I want to say specifically to young adults: please don’t think that the worst case scenario can’t happen to you. It can happen. It is happening,” he said. “Get vaccinated. To parents of minors who are eligible to get the shot, please get your children vaccinated as soon as possible.”
While the CDC is recommending that most Illinois residents wear masks whether they are vaccinated or not, Pritzker is going a step further, mandating mask-wearing in schools and in long-term care facilities. He has also issued a mandate for staff at state-run congregant care facilities, including prisons and veterans’ homes, to get their COVID-19 vaccinations by early October.