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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Illinois seeing encouraging trends

Gov. Pritzker reported that all metrics for the four Restore Illinois regions are trending on track to move to Phase 3 as planned. Some encouraging numbers:

  • Statewide, the positivity rate for COVID testing has fallen to 9.2% after a high of 23% in late April.
  • Hospitalizations had been holding steady for weeks, but have now dropped to a six-week low, with 1,200 fewer beds in use by COVID patients.
  • Hospital bed availability is above 30%, much higher than the recommended surge availability.

"The fact we've seen these trend in good direction even after opening up in Phase 2 demonstrates the importance of individual actions," Pritzker said. "We required face coverings. Take note that along with social distancing, face coverings can make all the difference. It appears to be working: Since that one change, we saw all those numbers begin to fall."

Updated data for the specific regions can be found at

With the caveat that many medical institutions make fewer reports over weekends, IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 1,178 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, for a total of 113,195 cases. She also reported 39 additional deaths, bringing the state's total death toll to 4,923.

Dr. Ezike said that despite the grim death toll of 780 for the week ending May 16, this still signals the first week that there have been fewer deaths than the previous week.

"I'm hopeful this fact is the beginning of a downward trend," Ezike said. "That also depends on all of us and making sure we're doing all we can to decrease the transmission of this virus."

Dr. Ezike said more Remdesivir has been made available to Illinois hospitals and advised hospitals who have not yet received any to contact IDPH, as the intent is to distribute the treatment evenly.

In answering reporter questions the governor said that 2,000 calls a day are being answered at the IDES help line.

“I am terribly dismayed,” he said, regarding weekend mass partying in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

He noted the ban on evictions will continue past May 29.

He also said that lawmakers didn’t cut as much as they could have from the budget.

COVID-19 Links

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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