coronavirus illinois

Illinois Could See Uptick in Coronavirus Cases in 2-3 Weeks Due to Protests: Pritzker

Gov. Pritzker said he was concerned about a possible spike in cases after seeing many protesters close together

Chicago protest
Chris Dilts/Xinhua via Getty

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker admitted on Friday that he's worried about an uptick in coronavirus cases in the next two to three weeks following recent protests statewide with many demonstrators apparently ignoring social distancing.

Several protests have taken place in the last two weeks in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.

At a news conference Friday outside a coronavirus community-based testing site in Peoria, Pritzker stated he was glad to say that many protesters have been wearing masks, but acknowledged that's only half the battle.

"I'm concerned and worried, seeing so many people packed so close together," he said.

Pritzker said, if the cases were to significantly increase, the uptick would be reflected by a changed hospitalization rate in the next two to three weeks.

As in recent days, the state's positivity rate held around six percent Friday — well under the 20% threshold required to move onto Illinois' next reopening phase.

On Friday, state officials announced more than one million coronavirus tests had been performed.

Illinois also reported an additional 1,156 coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 125,915 cases in 101 of its 102 counties. Additionally, 59 new deaths occurred, increasing the total number of deaths to 5,795.

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