coronavirus illinois

Watch Live: Pritzker to Discuss Coronavirus Response From County at ‘Warning Level'

NOTE: Gov. Pritzker's 10:30 a.m. press conference will be streamed live in the player above

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is scheduled to discuss the coronavirus response Tuesday from one of 11 counties state health officials say is at a "warning level" for the spread of COVID-19.

The governor is set to speak at a news conference at 10:30 a.m. at the Southern Illinois University Student Center in Carbondale, according to his public schedule. Carbondale is located in downstate Jackson County.

Jackson County is one of 11 counties in Illinois that are now at a "warning level" for coronavirus, the state's health department said Friday. The warning means each of the counties saw increases in two or more COVID-19 "risk indicators," the health department said.

The counties now under a warning include: Cass, Gallatin, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Perry, Randolph, Saline, Sangamon, St. Clair, and White.

The counties each "saw outbreaks associated with business operations and activities posing higher risk for disease spread, including school graduation ceremonies, a rise in cases among late teens and 20s, parties and social gatherings, people going to bars, long-term care outbreaks, clusters of cases associated with restaurants and churches, and big sports events including soccer, golf, and softball tournaments," the health department stated. 

Jackson County in particular reported an 8.8% positivity rate in coronavirus testing in the metrics that placed it in the "warning level," state health officials said, noting the case rate was 226 for every 100,000 residents - well above the target number of less than 50.

"Residents of many communities are not wearing face coverings that have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19," IDPH said in a statement on the 11 counties. "Public health officials are finding that most contacts to cases are testing positive as well."

On Monday, Pritzker unveiled a new statewide public awareness campaign in Springfield, another hot spot, urging residents to wear face coverings outside the home using the tagline, "It only works if you wear it."

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