Illinois' Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions are having an effect on case numbers, positivity rates and hospitalizations, Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed Monday, as he acknowledged the state's metrics are still "high," but called them "moderate" as compared to rest of the country.
The state's Department of Public Health on Monday reported 8,691 new confirmed and probable cases, bringing the state's total to 796,264 since the start of the pandemic.
According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, three out of four staffed hospital beds are currently in use statewide. Illinois is also averaging 152 deaths per day from COVID-19.
Illinois has averaged 75.6 daily cases per 100,000 individuals in the past seven days, making the state's average daily case rate the 18th highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With a rolling seven-day positivity rate of 10.1 percent, Illinois came in at 31 on a list of states with the highest test positivity rates, the website Becker's Hospital Review revealed Monday.
In response to surging coronavirus cases, state officials announced stricter Tier 3 mitigations for all of Illinois on Nov. 20. The restrictions include: no indoor dining, no gatherings larger than 25 people, a capacity limit of 25% for businesses and a 50% capacity limit for essential retailers, such as pharmacies and grocery stores.
Just days later, on Nov. 30, Pritzker said all of the state's health care regions will remain under Tier 3 mitigations for the "next few weeks" even if they meet the criteria to be downgraded.
At the time, Pritzker said Illinois was in a "precarious place" and health officials needed to evaluate the effect of Thanksgiving before making any "premature adjustments."
On Monday, the governor said the next four weeks could be the "most crucial month of this entire pandemic," warning the state could still see a post-Thanksgiving surge.
He explained that a "surge within the surge" remains possible.
“So far, we haven’t seen our positivity rate start to creep back up, which is a good sign, but we also haven’t seen it substantially fall – not a good sign,” Pritzker said. “It may be that our mitigations are working to offset the expected surge in cases. But we won’t know that for sure for at least two more weeks.”