Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that COVID numbers in the state may be beginning to “flatten out,” and that he is “hopeful” about the direction the state is heading in.
Pritzker spoke to media Monday about the COVID numbers, which had previously caused the state to re-institute a mask mandate for indoor spaces, even for vaccinated residents.
While the governor did not say when residents could expect the new mask order to be rescinded, he did say that several key metrics, including cases and hospitalizations, are starting to show signs of flattening out.
“It’s certainly heartening to see as I have that hospitalizations are not going up,” he said. “That’s a very important indication that maybe things have flattened out.”
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On Monday, the state of Illinois recorded 1,691 new cases of COVID-19, the fewest in a single day since early August. The state’s test positivity rates have also shown signs of falling in recent weeks, with the case positivity rate now standing at 4.4% over the last week. The positivity rate on individuals tested has decreased to 5%, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Hospitalizations due to COVID remain at their highest levels since early February, but after rapid increases through July and August, numbers have begun to flatten out, according to IDPH data. As of Monday, 2,247 patients are currently hospitalized across Illinois because of the virus, with that number remaining relatively consistent since late August.
ICU admissions, which had dropped to less than three dozen around the Fourth of July holiday, are still high, sitting at 341 as of Sunday, but that number has also shown signs of steadying in the last week, according to IDPH data.
While Pritzker says that he’s encouraged by recent developments, he emphasized that he will continue to monitor data, and to listen to health officials in his administration, including IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
“I’m very hopeful, and I watch those numbers very closely, and I’ll also listen to Dr. Ezike,” he said.