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In brief comments today, Gov. Pritzker took some time to acknowledge the holiday while reiterating his calls urging Illinoisans to stay home. He took a few moments to encourage residents to fill out the census, as well, noting Illinois' high ranking in the response rates compared to other states.

He also reported the highest number of tests completed in a day so far at nearly 8,000, a major step toward achieving the 10,000 per day public health officials recommend.

The governor reported 1,672 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 20,852 positive cases, and 43 additional deaths, bringing the total death toll to 720.

He said 86 of the state's 102 counties have confirmed cases.

Despite the grim numbers, Pritzker said the trends indicate the state's relatively early response to the virus is having its intended effect. The percentage of positive tests is remaining steady even as the number of tests expands. But Illinoisans must stay the course and continue social distancing and all other COVID-19 countermeasures in order to keep the trend moving in the right direction.

Pritzker was asked what he thought about the federal Department of Labor rules regarding unemployment benefits for independent contractors and gig economy workers.

The governor said he wished the federal government had provided a system for the states to use for these workers who did not previously qualify for benefits.

That didn’t happen and instead, each of the states is trying to build their own systems to deal with this new group of benefit seekers while their traditional systems are overrun with applications from traditional workers.

In summary, he said he wished the federal government had given the country a workable system rather than leaving it up to the states.