coronavirus illinois

Gov. Pritzker Encourages Illinoisans to Vote by Mail After In-Person Voter Tests Positive for Coronavirus

On Sunday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker encouraged Illinois residents to vote by mail after a person who voted at a Chicago precinct tested positive for the coronavirus

"I Votedstickers on display on an Election Day.

A voter from a precinct on Chicago's West Side recently tested positive for the coronavirus, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Sunday it may change the way Illinoisans are used to voting this coming Election Day.

As the state continues to approach it’s projected peak in coronavirus cases, the number of tests hit its highest number in the last 24 hours with nearly 8,000 tested, Pritzker said at his daily briefing Easter Sunday.

However, one of those that tested positive is someone who voted in person on election day, March 17, at the precinct at Harrison and Loomis, confirming voters at the West Side voting site may have been exposed to the virus.

“We relied on the local election authorities and backed them up in this effort that they would have sanitizer, PPE, that would protect the people who were working in those facilities… and if there were electronic screens that those were being wiped down,” Pritzker said before adding a solution that follows social distancing guidelines.

“We want to be looking at allowing everybody in the state to vote by mail and make it easier for people to do that so we have fewer people that would want to show up on election day at a precinct.”

On Sunday, Pritzker confirmed 1,672 new cases of the coronavirus in Illinois, a new single-day high, bringing total to 20,852 reported cases.

Despite the rising total, Pritzker believes there may be reason for cautious optimism as the death toll Sunday was lower than it had been in the last six days,  perhaps evidence that the state is continuing to “flatten the curve” in regards to cases.

“I’ve spoken before about a stabilizing or a bending of the curve, and today is one more day of evidence that it may be happening,” Pritzker said. “The percent of those tested that came up positive is almost exactly the same as it has been for the last two weeks.”

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