JB Pritzker

‘The Stoplight is Red:' Pritzker Urges Vigilance as Coronavirus Mitigations Take Effect

All 11 healthcare regions in Illinois will be under enhanced mitigation rules later this week

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker emphasized Monday that the state is heading in the wrong direction in terms of coronavirus cases and positivity rates, urging residents to continue to be vigilant and to take state directives seriously as officials try to curb the spread of the virus.

According to the governor, none of Illinois’ 11 healthcare regions saw a decline in their coronavirus positivity rates over the last week, and now all 11 are currently under enhanced mitigations as a result.

During his Monday press conference discussing the state’s response to the virus, Pritzker urged state residents to take the recent spike in cases seriously, saying that the state is at a critical point in preventing a further explosion in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

“Just like driving a car, when someone blows through a stoplight they not only risk their own life, but also the lives of all the other drivers around them,” he said. “Right now, the stoplight is red. Please act accordingly.”

No region of the state has been spared the recent uptick in cases and positivity rates. Pritzker called the last seven days “one of the worst single-week increases” in regional positivity since the pandemic began. He pointed to Region 7, comprised of Will and Kankakee counties, as one of the more alarming examples, as that region has seen its positivity rate increase from 9.3% to 12.4% in just one week.

Hospital admissions are also up throughout the state, with more hospitalizations than any time since late May, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Even with the increases in numbers, Pritzker emphasized the importance of the actions of residents, saying that doing simple things like wearing a mask and social distancing can have a big impact on numbers, and could allow businesses to return to more normal operation in the coming weeks.

“Nothing we can do will immediately reduce the positivity rate or hospitalizations,” he said. “But our resurgence mitigations are designed to have an impact over several weeks as long as everyone takes some responsibility for masking, social distancing, and following CDC and IDPH guidelines.”

Under the mitigations in effect in 10 of Illinois’ 11 healthcare regions, indoor dining and bar service is currently suspended, while gatherings are limited to 25 people or fewer. In Region 1, located in the northwestern part of the state, gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer individuals as a result of elevated positivity rates.

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