Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is urging political candidates throughout the state to avoid hosting in-person parties on Election Day, saying that those types of gatherings could cause even bigger issues for communities coping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
During his daily coronavirus press briefing Tuesday, Pritzker once again urged voters to be safe as they head to the polls, but said that post-election parties could expose more people to the virus and require further mitigation efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Local officials and local law enforcement should be standing up and enforcing rules in the state,” Pritzker said. “And you know why? Because weeks from now, when people end up going to the hospital as a result of these gatherings that are being allowed and the failure of enforcement, those local officials and people who live in those areas will be coming to the state to ask us ‘what we’re going to do to provide hospital space when hospitals are full.’
“Of course we’re going to do everything we can, but if local officials don’t do their job, we’re going to end up with hospitals turning people away, and that’s not something I find acceptable,” he added.
Most candidates throughout the state are hosting virtual events, with speeches livestreaming on their Facebook pages or via other websites.
Pritzker says that those types of events should be encouraged, and that his main goal is to help the state curb infections as coronavirus case numbers and positivity rates continue to climb.
“That is why people all across the state need to stand up and make sure they’re doing everything they can to enforce the rules here so that we don’t end up with a terrible nightmare of a healthcare situation,” he said.