During his coronavirus press briefing Wednesday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued warnings about a pair of worrying trends developing in the state as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
On Wednesday, Illinois reported more than 1,700 new coronavirus cases, and Pritzker says that the new cases aren’t coming in the same demographics, or in the same region of the state, as they were previously.
“The largest increases in cases are occurring among young people, especially between the ages of 20 and 29,” Pritzker said. “Second, the percentage of the population contracting COVID-19 outside of the Chicago region has dramatically increased.”
The virus, which originally had disproportionately hit older populations and those individuals who lived in congregate settings like prisons and assisted living centers, is now hitting young people hard. According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the 20-29 demographic now has reported the most coronavirus cases of any age group, with 34,473 cases reported during the pandemic.
Chicago was the epicenter of the virus during the early stages of the pandemic, as it was one of the biggest hotspots in the United States. While cases are currently on the rise in Chicago, the area’s positivity rate isn’t climbing as much as some other regions of the state, including Region 3, where Springfield is located, and Region 2, where Peoria is still seeing spikes in cases.
Despite those trends, Pritzker is warning all state residents to remain vigilant, saying that the virus still poses a threat to individuals in all areas.
“This does not in any way suggest that those are the only two categories of people in danger,” he said. “This virus continues to ravage people of all ages and across the entire state.”