Gov. JB Pritzker delivered his daily COVID-19 press briefing from the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center in East St. Louis today. He highlighted the city’s drive-thru testing center, which is now able to receive up to 500 samples a day from community members who need tests.

He also used his platform to speak about the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the viral Central Park video taken by Christian Cooper.

“Being black in America cannot be a death sentence,” Prizker said. “But it is in some ways. And it’s dangerous to pretend otherwise.”

Pritzker said he felt a special responsibility as a white elected official to urge Illinoisans and Americans to truly contend with the racism that permeates society.

Local St. Clair County and health officials also spoke on the work being done to open one of two pilot contract tracing programs in the state.

Pritzker shared the daily COVID-19 numbers:

  • 1,111 positive tests out of 17,179 performed in the past 24 hours for a single-day positivity rate of 6.47%.
  • Statewide total of 114,306 cases and 803,973 tests performed.
  • 160 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 5,083.
  • Preliminary 7-day rolling average from May 20-26 of 8.6%

In taking questions from reporters, Gov. Pritzker said:

  • Nursing home restrictions across the country are likely to be among the last things loosened, according to the CDC.
  • The state does not include antibody test results in the daily results for a couple reasons: 1. They’ve so far proven to be unreliable 2. If accurate, they tell you that you HAD the disease and medical science is no longer sure anymore that having had COVID-19 provides immunity from getting it again.
  • The needs of communities like East St. Louis have been overlooked for too long and his administration offers specific loan programs to help communities of color like East St. Louis.
  • He is as anxious as anyone to see sports return, but it’s not safe to put fans in the stands, and even organizing TV-only events would involve a lot of people. And he has not had any specific conversations with the NHL regarding Chicago serving as a hub city for hockey games.
  • He’s not going to dictate to the mayor or Chicago City Council when a casino opens or where it should go.
  • He does not know if the John Deere Classic will be played July 6 in the Quad-Cities but does know that the PGA has been in contact with his staff.
  • He is aware that theater owners want to reopen, but that’s planned for Phase 4, not Phase 3.