BREAKING: Illinois Keeping ALL Mask And Covid Restrictions, When Will Pritzker Lift Them?
BREAKING NEWS: Illinois won’t be lifting its mask mandate or any other covid restrictions any time soon, Gov. JB Pritzker said in his press conference Monday, adding that the covid numbers need to be “on a good downward trajectory” before he’d even consider removing any of the restrictions.
“We’re watching to make sure that we’re on a good downward trajectory,” Pritzker said. “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.”
Pritzker said the number of ICU beds being used, the number of patients in hospitals, and the oncoming winter season which spiked covid numbers last year is keeping him from lifting any restrictions at this time. He also has not ruled out more restrictions should numbers become worse as winter approaches.
Covid numbers statewide continued to show improvement over the month of September, as the positivity rate for last week, Sept. 27-Oct. 3, dropped to 2.7 percent statewide.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 18,735 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, along with 236 additional deaths and over 159,000 new vaccine doses administered. That marks a total of 1,630,864 cases of coronavirus reported statewide since the pandemic began, and 25,017 confirmed COVID fatalities statewide. As of Sunday night, 1,687 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 412 patients were in the ICU and 234 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
When asked for potential numbers which could lift the mask restriction, Pritzker pointed to the metrics in June and last reopened fully. Illinois had dipped to a positivity rate of 1.3 percent; over the past week the rate was at 2.7 percent, down considerably from previous months.
In addition, according to the IDPH, almost 65 percent of Illinois residents 12-and-older have been fully vaccinated, another metric which is up considerably from previous months.
Still, Pritzker remained adamant against moving too quickly to take away the mitigations, noting that they were working to reduce the numbers.
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.
Last year at this time, the Illinois positivity rate was at 3.5 percent and climbing, as Illinois numbers raged out of control in October and November, causing a statewide shutdown.
For more ongoing coverage of this situation, stay tuned to your free, fact-based alternative media, QuadCities.com.