Illinois Governor JB Pritzker sounded a somber and sometimes irritated note during his daily press conference on covid-19 today, warning “we’re in for a very difficult few months” and saying we might very soon get to a point where he has “no other choice than to have a mandatory shutdown.”

“What will it take to make this real for you?” Pritzker said. “Do we have to reach a positivity rate of 50 percent like we’re seeing in Iowa

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker.

today? Are you waiting for your health care workers to get sick to a point where you don’t have enough staff in the local hospital to cover the next shift? What about if your hospitals become so overrun that your sick and your dying have nowhere left to turn? Because I promise you, while you fail to take responsibility in your city and your county, that day is coming closer – and it will be on you.”

Illinois health officials reported 11,632 new covid cases on Monday and 37 additional deaths, marking the 11th consecutive day in which the state has seen more than 10,000 new cases, and bringing the total number of cases in the state to 585,248 and total deaths to 10,779, according to Illinois Department of Health numbers.

IDPH issued new guidance Wednesday urging residents to stay home and only leave for “essential activities.”

The virus has been spiking out of control in the Quad-Cities area — on both the Illinois and Iowa sides.

Today, Quad-Cities Congresswoman Cheri Bustos announced that she has tested positive for covid-19.

The Illinois Quad-Cities’ region’s positive testing number roared to almost 15 percent (at 14.6), as all regions in the state moved over the 12 percent positivity rate, triggering numbers Governor JB Pritzker said could lead to a lockdown, especially with the Thanksgiving holiday looming.

On Nov. 15, the Rock Island County Health Department reported 104 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 6,709. Currently, 58 patients are hospitalized in the county. The death toll from the virus remains at 115.

The Quad-Cities has exploded into the top 10 worst covid outbreak spots in the nation, according to data from the CDC, the New York Times reported.

According to the data, the Illinois/Iowa Quad-Cities is now inside the top ten most rapidly spiking hot spots nationwide, roaring from number 13 to number 7 in just two days.

“This virus knows no boundaries,” Pritzker added, “if we don’t take action until our hospitals are full it will be too late.”

Pritzker noted that with beds full of covid patients and healthcare personnel occupied with covid cases, it doesn’t leave many people left to care for other people suffering from non-covid medical issues which could be serious or life-threatening, and therefore puts the hospital system in a tenuous position.

Virus-related deaths are up 260% since the beginning of October, Pritzker added, warning that the overflow is overwhelming the state’s hospitals. “We have just 1,100 ICU beds open in a state of nearly 13 million people in the middle of a pandemic,” he said. “We’re failing our essential healthcare workers. These are our front-line healthcare heroes and they need your support right now.”

 

 

 

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.