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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Governor reminds all to follow Stay at Home Order

Published: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 06:00 PM

Gov. JB Pritzker admonished elected officials’ defiance of the stay-at-home orders, saying those officials are endangering their communities and risking people’s lives.

"This pandemic is not over. To pretend otherwise in a misguided attempt to reclaim what we've lost will only make this last longer. Here's what I want to say to those leaders," Pritzker said, referencing those who have called for an end to the Stay at Home Order. "You weren't elected to do what's easy. You were elected to do what's right."

Pritzker went on to say counties that flout safety orders could be ineligible for relief funds, and businesses or individuals licensed by the state could find their licenses invalidated if they defy public safety orders. He said no penalty the state could impose upon those who defy the orders would be worse than the loss of human life, however.

"One-hundred and ninety-two people lost their lives in the past 24 hours," he said. "How is that not real to you?"

Pritzker reported IDPH and IEMA have teamed up to make major PPE shipments to 1,200 long-term care facilities throughout the state, including medical-grade masks. Working through a disinfecting program run by the federal HHS and FedEx, these masks will be delivered to be disinfected. Eighty-five percent of those deliveries are complete, with the remaining facilities expected to receive these emergency stockpiles within the coming days, Pritzker said.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 1,677 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state's total to 85,698 cases. She also reported the largest single-day death toll so far, with 192 additional deaths, bringing the state's total death toll to 3,792.

Although quarantined at home because a senior staff member tested positive, the governor was repeatedly asked why he wasn’t visiting small businesses in the suburbs and elsewhere.

Pritzker said going to places and shaking hands and hugging people “isn’t going to be a smart thing.”

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – New construction program for local governments

Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 06:42 PM

Gov. JB Pritzker called on the General Assembly to return to Springfield and enact economic relief efforts. Among the points he urged lawmakers to take up:

  • Comprehensive economic relief plans for families, small businesses and small towns.
  • Significantly increasing rent assistance for individuals as well as rent and mortgage assistance for small businesses.
  • Assistance for businesses that expressly prioritizes those ignored by the Paycheck Protection Program.

He later clarified that he hoped the General Assembly would return before the end of the month but said he wasn’t going to order a special session, in part because he didn’t know if lawmakers would show up.

The governor also announced that DCEO will administer a $25 million grant program for local governments to fund infrastructure projects. DCEO will host webinars in the coming days to assist local governments with applying. He also announced a $75 million grant program to hospitals, which will disburse through June.

All this came as the state reported the largest single day tally of new infections at 4,014 cases, which comes a little more than a week after beautiful weekend weather saw many people ignoring social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 144 additional deaths, bringing the state's total death toll to 3,601. She reported a statewide COVID-19 test positivity rate of 18%, and explained that the data reflects a week-long period with three days of lag to allow for better verification.

The state also received 29,266 test results in the last 24 hours, the highest testing mark to date.

Addressing concerns about the veracity of the death toll, Dr. Ezike said all COVID-19 deaths that have been tabulated as such are done so because they have laboratory confirmation of the presence of the virus in the deceased person. She said past cases may not have been counted if there was no suspicion of the virus' presence, and that efforts are being taken to ensure that deceased persons who died of, for instance, a gunshot wound, would not be counted amid the COVID-19 death toll. At the same time, many who have died have had other less clear-cut underlying health concerns, such as cancer.

Taking questions from reporters, the governor said he wouldn’t rule out withholding federal disaster aid from communities that intentionally disobey his executive orders. The question was prompted by Pennsylvania’s governor making that threat yesterday.

“We would consider that,” Pritzker said.

He said most people in Illinois are following the orders and the small minority who aren’t are guided by partisanship and are not following any science or data.

Pritzker said the state supplies lots of support for cities and counties, there are numerous methods of executive enforcement but that he hoped to not have to use them.

Asked about unemployed workers getting bank cards but being unable to access any benefits, Pritzker said those cards are often mailed out before final approval of the applicant and that IDES and the bank are working through the issue.

The governor was asked to comment on the Elmhurst mayor’s demand that DuPage County be treated differently than Chicago and be allowed to reopen.

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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