Gov. J.B. Pritzker will once again deliver daily coronavirus briefings alongside the Illinois’ top public health official as coronavirus cases rise statewide during the pandemic, sparking concerns over a “second wave” of the virus.
“While we continue to see a safer pandemic landscape than back in the spring – in terms of positivity, hospital capacity, and community spread – and safer than much of the Midwest, things have changed,” Pritzker announced on Oct. 19. “Every region of the state has started to move in the wrong direction. Cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths are rising statewide. So to ensure you have utmost transparency on where the state is headed, Dr. Ezike and I will resume these COVID-19 briefings on a daily basis until Illinois returns to a better standing in our handling of this pandemic.”
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Pritzker had delivered daily updates early on in the pandemic, but those updates were reduced to weekly briefings over the summer “as Illinois began to see relative success in keeping this virus at bay.”
The announcement comes as three different healthcare regions in Illinois could be on the verge of having enhanced mitigation strategies put into place as a result of increasing positivity rates.
According to data available through the Illinois Department of Public Health, Region 5, located in southeastern Illinois, has exceeded the 8% threshold for its seven-day positivity rate for three consecutive days.
Pritzker said that the region will see new coronavirus mitigation standards put into place on Thursday, including a prohibition on indoor dining and bar service.
The news is also bad in Region 7, comprised of Will and Kankakee counties, and Region 8, home to Kane and DuPage counties.
Region 1, located in northwestern Illinois, is already under enhanced mitigation rules, but has seen its positivity rate climb to an alarming 11.1% in recent days.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,113 new cases of coronavirus Monday, along with 22 additional deaths.
In all, 347,161 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the state during the pandemic.
Monday’s additional deaths bring the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities to 9,236.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate increased once again, going up to 5.4%. That number is the highest the state has reported since early June, and comes as the state has reported nearly 25,000 cases last week, the highest seven-day total since the pandemic began.
Though he did not give a time for the daily updates, NBC Chicago will offer a daily live stream of the briefings in the player above.