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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Lower one-day positivity rates continue

Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 04:22 PM

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.

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Illinois seeing encouraging trends

Published: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 06:16 PM

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 DPH.illinois.gov/restore.

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.gov

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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