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Gov. Pritzker says all regions have met health metrics to move to Phase 4

Cases of COVID-19 in Illinois on Wednesday, June 24.
Cases of COVID-19 in Illinois on Wednesday, June 24.(Ill. Dept. of Public Health)
Updated: Jun. 25, 2020 at 2:46 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker held a briefing at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 25.

He was in the James R. Thompson Center to give a COVID-19 update.

Governor Pritzker said every region in the state met the health benchmarks to advance to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, which begins June 26.

The governor also announced several new efforts to build on the state’s response to COVID-19 and help keep Illinoisans safe.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s benchmarks, on a statewide level, Illinois flattened the curve, passed the peak and saw a sustained decline in key metrics since the coronavirus pandemic began. Looking at 7-day rolling averages, which smooth out daily fluctuations and allow trends to emerge, Illinois is seeing marked declines in cases, deaths, case positivity and covid-related hospitalizations.

The governor said the state built up its daily testing capabilities, surpassing 30,000 tests in a 24 hour period for the first time on Thursday.

Illinois is continuing to build on this progress by launching 12 mobile community testing teams. The testing teams will move throughout the state to mitigate and suppress emerging outbreaks, including places like meatpacking plants, nursing homes, or other traceable gatherings.

The mobile teams will operate in partnership with a network of commercial labs that the state has contracted with which will allow test results to be quickly delivered.

The state also continues to build up its statewide contact tracing capacities, increasing the ranks of contact tracers by 20 percent since June 1 for a total of more than 550 active contact tracers across the state. Two-hundred-fifty new tracers will join their ranks in the coming weeks as Illinois continues to scale up operations, including using new technology to multiply the state’s effectiveness in its contact tracing efforts.

In addition, all of Illinois’ 97 local health departments have applied for funding support totaling $230 million to increase contact tracing. Those funds will be disbursed in the next few weeks.

Community based organizations will have the opportunity next month to obtain funding through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to collaborate on contact tracing efforts alongside their local public health departments.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 894 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 41 additional deaths on Thursday, June 25.

Currently, the health department is reporting a total of 139,434 positive cases, including 6,810 deaths in Illinois.

As of Thursday, a total of 1,460,527 Illinoisans have been tested for the virus.

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