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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – IDPH recommends pregnant women get COVID-19 tests

Published: Friday, May 15, 2020 07:39 PM

The state’s public health director is urging hospitals test all pregnant women for COVID-19 in an effort to better protect the expectant mother and child.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike said labor can mimic or cover up COVID-19 symptoms and data from hospitals with universal maternity testing shows positive rates of 3 to 12% for the disease. Ezike said it’s vital to know if an expectant mother is positive in order to protect the delivery team and have a plan for the mom after the delivery and the newborn baby.

Her push for testing pregnant women came during the daily COVID-19 briefing Friday in which she announced 2,432 infections had been discovered among the nearly 26,000 test results returned in the past 24 hours. That translates into a 9% positive rate.

There were also 130 deaths due to the disease in the past day. So far, 4,058 people have died since the state began tracking the outbreak nearly three months ago.

Heading into Friday, there were 4,367 people hospitalized with infections in Illinois. Of them, 26% were in Intensive Care Units and 675 were on ventilators.

Gov. JB Pritzker said the good news is that the positivity rate is coming down and currently all regions are showing numbers that, if they continue, would result in everyone moving to Phase 3 of the reopening.

The governor continued to emphasize expanded testing and test result capacity.

Four additional drive-thru sites will open in the coming days in Chicago’s Chatham community, Champaign, Peoria and Rolling Meadows.

The governor was asked if he thought Iowa’s reopening put Illinoisans in danger.

“I would warn the people of the Quad-Cities region to be extraordinarily careful,” Pritzker said.

Asked again about the whereabouts of his family, the governor accused Republican partisans of endangering his family with reckless inquiries that are fueling hate speech.

“I would hope the GOP, Republican super PAC that’s pushing stories like this will stop doing it,” Pritzker said. “They are putting my family in danger.” 

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – State makes job-seeking resources free

Published: Thursday, May 14, 2020 05:02 PM

Gov. Pritzker today announced efforts by the state to make job seeking and job skills training portals freely available to all those unemployed due to COVID-19.

The governor said IDES and DCEO have joined forces to launch Get Hired Illinois, a one-stop shop dedicated to connecting residents with jobs and free skills training. The website is

In speaking to reporter questions, the governor said all metrics for all four Restore Illinois regions are within the bounds that would allow reopening by the soonest date, including the Northeast/Chicago region. He also reiterated statements saying the state will use licensure and local relief funding as enforcement of the Stay at Home Order and again called on local leaders to "be the person they elected. Don't fall prey to rhetoric that says 'Let's open up!'"

Again answering questions on whether the four Restore Illinois regions will be considered, Gov. Pritzker reiterated points he has previously made about the interconnected nature of EMS regions and clarified that the metrics are all based on rolling averages and thus will not be overturned due to "one bad day."

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 3,239 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases to 87,937, and 138 additional deaths, bringing the death toll to 3,928.

Other reporter questions:

Asked whether he'll meet with Senate Minority Leader Brady, Gov. Pritzker said he is in daily communication with the legislative leaders and that Brady's calls "sound like grandstanding to me."

Responding to questions on new findings showing some young people afflicted with COVID-19 have exhibited strange new inflammatory symptoms, Dr. Ezike said a meeting of health care providers today focused on this emerging syndrome and steps are being taken to begin tracking cases of it.

The governor also dismissed the possibility of delaying the scheduled minimum wage increase or the possibility that he could face a similar situation the governor of Wisconsin now faces, having had the state's stay-at-home order rescinded by the state supreme court.

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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