Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that most of Illinois' 11 regions are seeing increases in positivity rates, but two in particular are reporting "troubling trends" as the state continues to see a rise in coronavirus metrics.
Already, the state's Region 4, the Metro East region, is under stricter mitigation requirements implemented by the state after the area rose above an 8 percent positivity rate for three days in a row. As of Tuesday, the region had a positivity rate of 9.4 percent and Pritzker warned additional restrictions like the full closure of indoor dining and drinking could soon be put in place.
In addition to Region 4, Pritzker said Regions 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 11 have also seen an increase in their seven-day rolling average positivity rate. Only three regions - Regions 1, 5 and 6 - have seen slight decreases.
"Across the state, our 11 Restore Illinois regions are trending in different directions, the majority of which are negative," Pritzker said.
Of those seeing increases in positivity rates, Pritzker said officials are "closely monitoring" what he called "troubling trends" in Region 7, which includes Kankakee and Will counties, as well as Region 5 in southern Illinois.
"I want to emphasize again that local elected officials and health officials should pay close attention to the data for their communities and, where necessary, step up and impose greater mitigations on a targeted basis to bring down the number of infections and the positivity rate," Pritzker said. "Otherwise, it may only be a matter of time before the state will be forced to step in on a regional basis in other areas and impose resurgence mitigations like closing bars, indoor dining, limiting all indoor gatherings to even smaller capacity and more to reduce the spread of the virus."
Health officials in Illinois confirmed nearly 2,300 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday as the state reported a daily testing record along with a slight rise in positivity.
According to new data from the Illinois Department of Health, the state’s 2,295 new cases bring the total number of coronavirus cases during the pandemic up to 211,889.
Wednesday's 25 additional deaths bring the state’s death toll from the virus to 7,806 total fatalities.
According to officials, a total of 50,299 new tests were performed over the last 24 hours, marking a daily record and bringing the statewide total to 3,489,571.
Wednesday's new test results also bring the state’s 7-day rolling positivity rate up by one-tenth of a percent, from 4.3% to 4.4%, according to newly available data.
"I'm concerned we have grown numb to these numbers," Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Wednesday. "These are people, these are loved ones."