Illinois Gov. Pritzker Doubles Down On Mask Mandate And Covid Restrictions; When Will They End?
As Illinois covid numbers continue to improve, pressure is mounting for Gov. JB Pritzker to remove the covid-19 restrictions and mask
mandate which has been in place since August, but yesterday in a press conference Pritzker renewed the mask mandate and said it was still “way too early” to remove it.
“If you go look at the hospitalizations — the new hospitalizations, as well as the ones that are, you know, existing in total — they are not dropping at the rate that they were dropping even a couple of weeks ago,” Pritzker said. “So I’m concerned about that.”
However, with Illinois numbers getting better, will we see any movement soon?
“Generally speaking, things are better than they were a couple of weeks ago,” Pritzker said. “So I’m hopeful.”
This week, Illinois became one of just six states nationwide to move from the high level of covid transmission (the highest) down to the substantial level. The state is now at 95 cases per 100,000 people; the cutoff for substantial is 100 per 100,000.
“We’re watching to make sure that we’re on a good downward trajectory,” Pritzker said in a press conference. “That’s what we were looking for back in May leading into June; it’s what we’re looking for now in order for us to possibly make changes.”
Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 2,913 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 39 related deaths today. There have been 1,660,883 total COVID cases, including 25,327 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
The IDPH also reported that the seven-day statewide test positivity rate from Oct. 6-12 is at 2.6 percent, and within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 105,515 specimens for a total of 33,443,341 since the pandemic
As of last night, 1,615 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 365 patients were in the ICU and 197 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
A total of 14,927,266 vaccines have been administered in Illinois. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 28,950.
COVID-19 cases across the U.S. have fallen by 21% over the last two weeks, with hospitalizations down 20 percent according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Just a few weeks ago,Pritzker announced even more mitigations banning students and staff from schools if they tested positive for covid or had exposure to the virus. That was in addition to the statewide mask mandate and other mitigations already in place.
In early August, Pritzker announced Illinois students preschool through 12 would be required to wear masks during school and indoor sports and activities, as reported on QuadCities.com. That requirement for kids to wear masks in all schools remains in effect.
The CDC recommends everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in areas with high or substantial community transmission. On Wednesday, all of Iowa’s 99 counties were classified as “high” transmission.
For more ongoing coverage of this situation, stay tuned to your free, fact-based alternative media, QuadCities.com.