BREAKING NEWS: Illinois Keeping Mask Mandates, Could Pritzker Add MORE Restrictions?
BREAKING NEWS: With Illinois covid-19 numbers finally starting to trend in the right direction, will Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker relax any of his mandates and restrictions regarding masks and other measures about the virus?
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady spoke with media today, and was cautious about any removal of
mask mandates, and in fact talked about the potential for a return to more restrictions if numbers take a downtown when colder weather sends more people indoors.
“First of all, as always, this is the first day we have been back down in this substantial risk category,” Arwady said.
“I have been talking to IDPH about the idea of, could you use a regional approach when it comes time to be thinking about masks for example,” Arwady said. “But the other concern here is that as we are heading into colder weather, and frankly, moving indoors is likely to — I would be surprised if we did not continue to see some increase in COVID cases.”
However, she was cautiously optimistic.
“We always want to see one incubation period. You want to make sure that where you’re seeing progress like this, it is not just a blip, that you’re holding it. But the news really does continue to look good.”
Discussions about masks and other mandates will be dependent on vaccination numbers as well as covid infection numbers, and could see a more regional approach if some regions are worse than others.
The latest Illinois weekly covid-19 numbers are trending in a positive direction, with a third straight week of slowly declining numbers after two months of spiking cases.
There were 21,787 new cases over the past week, a 16 percent decrease in infections over the previous week, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Deaths due to covid also fell about 16 percent from the previous week, and across the state, the positivity rate has dropped from 4.1 to 2.7 over the last week.
Hospitals across the state also saw an 8 percent decline in covid patients, although southern Illinois was still in rough shape, with ICU beds at capacity across most of the southern zones. Only two ICU beds were available across the entire seven counties making up the southernmost part of Illinois.
Just a few weeks ago, Illinois Gov. JB 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 from Pritzker.
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.