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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

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.

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – New child care guidelines announced for Phase 3

Published: Friday, May 22, 2020 05:22 PM

Gov. Pritzker announced a major childcare initiative today, saying that at the onset of Phase 3 late next week, child care centers will be asked to open again in a staggered plan to offer increased child care as parents return to work.

Under the plan, child care centers that have been shuttered would begin a four-week provisional period allowing groups of 10 children, then would be allowed to open up to larger groups as long as no safety issues are found to have arisen. Pritzker said this plan would return the state to about 75% of its previous child care capacity. For many smaller providers, he said, that will mean a return to full capacity. Children under 2 would be in special groups where (as in public) they would not be required to wear masks.

The child care providers who have been open under emergency rules to serve essential workers will immediately be able to provide the full allowable capacity when Phase 3 begins, Pritzker said.

While he didn't explicitly detail any faith organization guidelines, Pritzker said that "broadly speaking," things like outdoor or drive-in faith services would be welcome under Phase 3 of the plan. In questions, the governor said he has maintained contact with faith leaders of every denomination, including a call this morning.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 2,758 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 105,444, and 110 additional deaths, bringing the state's total death toll to 4,715.


  • Asked whether he's "linking Republicans to the extremist fringe," Pritzker responded "I didn't link Republican elected officials to Nazi demonstrators, they linked themselves," and again pressing GOP officials to call out some of their own colleagues' behavior at protests.
  • Pritzker expressed frustration that it appears the legislature will not pass a bill codifying his withdrawn enforcement rule re: businesses in violation of the Stay at Home Order.
  • Asked if he agrees with Mayor Lightfoot's move to more slowly reopen Chicago despite Phase 3 of the reopening plan, Pritzker reiterated that local leaders should have discretion in such matters.
  • Asked when guidelines for fall K-12 classes will be issued, Pritzker had no firm date.
  • Asked whether another pending suit in Clay County could overrule his executive order, Pritzker said the matter has already been decided in other courts and "it's clear that judge has his own political agenda."

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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