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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Coronavirus.illinois.gov created

Published: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 06:01 PM

Today the governor spoke from Murphysboro after touring IDPH lab facilities in nearby Carbondale.

The number of positive cases increased to 288 covering 17 counties. That’s a 128 case increase from yesterday with officials warning things will get much worse before they get better.

The positive cases cover people ages 9 to 99.

There is a new, centralized site for updates and information:

https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/

Appearing with the governor, Jackson County Chairman Keith Larkin urged people to practice humanity because when this is over and you have stories to tell, “make sure your stories are of kindness and community.”

IDPH Director Dr.  Ngozi Ezike stressed that the numbers will increase, and fatalities will increase, before the situation gets better and again renewed calls for aggressive social distancing measures.

“Assume you have it and stay home and don’t transmit it,” Ezike said.

She urged seniors who are most at risk to stay inside and entreated younger people to avoid things like playdates and gatherings that negate the benefits of things like work and school closures.

"I want to ask everyone to do their part and break the cycle of spread by staying home. Every action each of us takes as an individual has an effect on the entire community," she said.

IEMA Director, Brig. Gen. Alicia Tate-Nadeau, said her agency is working to ensure medical professionals have the protective gear and medical supplies they need and is also now working with retailers to counteract the effect of purchasers who have been unnecessarily hoarding supplies.

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – First death

Published: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 05:05 PM

The governor reported the first COVID-19-related death today, a woman in Chicago in her 60s with underlying health conditions who was in contact with another COVID-19 case.

In addition, the governor and public health officials revealed that the long-term care facility in DuPage County where one case was previously reported is home to a total of 22 confirmed cases: 18 residents and 4 staff.

Dr. Ezike of IDPH stressed the importance of social distancing and limiting unneeded travel. She said these nursing home residents were sitting in what is their home “and the virus was brought into them.”

The latest statewide count is 160 confirmed cases in 15 counties. Public health officials said as testing capability expands, new confirmed cases will rise in the coming days.

There is a small amount of good news. Dr. Ezike said the first two positive cases have cleared quarantine and returned to their normal lives and she believes the same will be happening soon for the third and fourth positive cases.

Dr. Ezike also said if any health care facilities are facing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) to speak up so officials can attempt to do something about it.

Pritzker bluntly called on the federal government to expand testing, calling their efforts "an incredible failure."

"The federal government is monopolizing supplies and not providing them to the states," he said. "They set deadlines and blew through them. They told us capacity would be increased and it hasn't."

Pritzker announced that his administration will file for statewide eligibility in a federal loan program for small businesses facing financial hardship.

Pritzker also shot back at the Chicago Board of Elections for their criticism of his refusal to postpone the election, saying he lacks the authority to take such unilateral action.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul spoke about price gouging of medical and sanitary supplies, as well as hoarding of food or other supplies throughout the state. Raoul said his office is investigating and will take action against price gouging, and repeated the entreaty that other officials have made in recent days not to act selfishly in procuring supplies. He also told Illinoisans to beware of scams involving fake cures for COVID-19,​ reiterating what medical professionals have said: That there is as yet no cure or vaccine and claims to the contrary are aimed at exploiting the vulnerable.

"The most important thing the public can do to assist us is to report incidents of price gouging to us," Raoul said.

COVID-19 Links

Illinois.gov

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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