While older adults and those with pre-existing conditions have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, Illinois' top doctor has urged everyone to take precautions, reiterating it's not clear who will die from the virus.
For months, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike has pleaded for residents to take precautions, and even more so in recent weeks as the state has experienced a second surge in coronavirus cases.
"You've heard me say this and everyone a million times, wash your hands, wash your distance and wear your mask," she said Monday at a news conference alongside Gov. J.B. Pritzker at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. "Just to be clear, it's not pick two or three or pick your favorite one. It's all of them."
During the news briefing, Pritzker warned that "there seems to be a COVID storm coming" and urged Illinois to be prepared.
On Monday, IDPH revealed 4,729 new cases of COVID-19 within a 24-hour span, marking the fifth time in the last six days that the state has reported more than 4,000 new cases.
The state of Illinois reported more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus over the weekend alone, signifying a continued upward trend in case numbers and positivity rates.
According to IDPH, the state exceeded 6,000 new cases in a single day for the first time ever Saturday, with 6,161 new cases reported. The state reported more than 4,000 new cases on Sunday.
With the continued increases, Ezike has warned people not to be "lax with getting infected," because the chances of survival are "good."
"As we know, it's not clear who will succumb to this virus or not," she stated. "...We have heard countless stories of individuals, even teenagers, with no known medical conditions that have succumbed to this virus."
On Friday, Ezike was brought to tears during the state's daily COVID-19 news briefing as she delivered difficult news concerning the second surge, stating she was "desperate to find a message that will work" to battle the pandemic.
"Hopefully after that, now, we can...put our boots back on and continue the fight, fight against the fatigue and then fight against the virus as well," she said Monday.