‘It looks like a new wave could be upon us’- Gov. Pritzker on rising COVID cases in Illinois

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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned this afternoon “it looks like a new wave could be upon us.” Pritzker was referring to COVID-19.

He said every region in the state is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to cases, hospitalizations, positivity rates, and deaths.

Pritzker said two of the state’s 11 health regions are above the 8% threshold and more may be joining it soon.

The latest region to rise about that threshold is Region 5 which comprises southern Illinois. Starting Thursday, Region 5 will have increased mitigations, like temporary closure of inside dining and bars as well as limiting gatherings to 25 people.

Monday, Illinois is reporting 3,113 new COVID-19 cases. There are also 22 additional deaths. That comes after two record-setting days for cases last week.

Pritzker says the rise in Illinois comes as positivity rates are rising nationally and where a majority of border states have been called out as national hotspots.

The governor went on to say places like Missouri and Indiana are seeing hospitals reach capacity and ICU shortages and in Wisconsin, things are so severe they are opening a field hospital.

“We can’t wall off Illinois from the surge, but we can do better than others at following mitigation to slow the spread,” said Gov. Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker did offer some reassurance saying the state knows more about the illness now than at the beginning of the pandemic. He also says Illinois has the best and most widely available testing infrastructure between the two coasts. He explains that is one reason the raw test results are so high.

Gov. Pritzker also explained the state’s greatest asset is its ability to form a more targeted response to COVID-19 because of widespread testing and contact tracing.

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