While the state of Illinois’ stay-at-home order currently runs through April 30, Governor J.B. Pritzker says there are at least three things that will need to happen before restrictions can be significantly eased.
During his press conference Monday, Pritzker said that there is a chance that the stay-at-home order could be modified after it expires on April 30, but cautioned that there is still a long way to go before all businesses can re-open and gatherings can once again be held.
Barring a vaccine, Pritzker says that the lack of herd immunity leaves a three-fold path toward a significant move toward normalcy.
For starters, the governor says that testing capacity must be ramped up, both for the virus itself and for the antibodies that can be detected in the blood of those who have contracted and recovered from the disease.
“You need widespread testing,” he said. “We don’t have anywhere near widespread testing.”
The state of Illinois conducted more than 5,000 tests in the last 24 hours, and has conducted more than 100,000 tests since the pandemic began. The state ultimately wants to conduct 10,000 or more tests per day, and is continuing to ramp up toward that number.
Secondly, the governor says that a “contact tracing system” must be put in place, enabling the state to not only identify those who have tested positive for the virus, but also to contact those that the person has come in contact with after contracting the virus.
Finally, a treatment to at least lessen the severity and longevity of symptoms is needed, according to the governor.
“We need a treatment to lessen the severity of the symptoms, so that fewer people go to the hospital, fewer move from a regular hospital bed to an ICU bed, and fewer go from an ICU bed to a ventilator,” Pritzker said.
While case studies remain ongoing on all manner of treatments, including vaccines, anti-viral medications and plasma transfusions, there is no cure for coronavirus and no approved medications that lessen the virus’ symptoms, according to experts.
With those factors in mind, Pritzker says he is continuing to talk to industry leaders about procedures to re-open businesses, and scientists on how to re-open sectors of the economy in a safe manner.