Gov. Pritzker spoke for the first time about a contact tracing initiative, which he said will be deploying an "army" of tracers "by the hundreds, and then by the thousands," in the coming weeks. He said that while contact tracing is a proven public health procedure, COVID-19 presents a challenge in light of the rapid spread of the disease.

"Contact tracing is not a new concept. The difference now is that in order to move safely back toward normalcy, the state, country and the whole world must contact trace on a never-before-seen scale," Pritzker said.

Pritzker and Dr. Wayne Duffus, the state's lead epidemiologist, spoke about the need for many trained workers in order to contact and interview each and every person who tests positive for COVID-19 and help them retrace their steps over the past 14 days, then inform people with whom those who have tested positive had close contact. Duffus said that a conservative estimate indicates the state may need 3,810 contact tracing workers, but said not all need be hired at once.

The governor’s estimated price tag for the tracking program is $80 million.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 3,137 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state's total to 56,055. She reported 105 additional deaths, bringing the total death toll to 2,457. To date, the state has run 284,688 tests, with 14,821 in the last day.

While hundreds of protestors are getting media attention in Illinois, Pritzker gave voice to the millions who are staying and home in an effort to protect everyone’s health. He said he, too, wants the economy to reopen and but that he’s not going to do it just because some protestor has a sign that says “Liberate Illinois.”

Pritzker said if there are regions that peak and show a downward trend, he would be willing to open them before the current stay-at-home order expires at the end of May.

Reporters asked about breaking language barriers to get information into Latino communities where there is often skepticism of seeking government help.

Dr. Ezike said a strength of the Latino culture is the cohesiveness of the family, but that it also unfortunately can result in infections spreading quickly. She said it’s important for people to know they can get treatment and care. The governor said the state is actively translating materials to cross barriers.

Reporters asked about ongoing problems with the unemployment system and whether gig economy workers would really start seeing benefits beginning May 11.

“They need to actually file their unemployment claim now under the current unemployment system, because it will make it much easier for them … to get paid [after new system launches May 11],” Pritzker said.

The applicant will get rejected for now, but come May 11, they will have an account already established for the new system, the governor said.

The governor was asked if was considering skipping pension payments or laying off state workers to balance the budget.

The answer to both was: no.

And the governor was asked about the mayor of East Peoria declaring his city open.

Pritzker said it’s a good thing the state is expanding testing because “a lot of people are going to get sick in those areas.”