‘We’re being vigilant’: Pritzker on the state of COVID-19 in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over and people should remain cautious. While the new case and hospitalization rates are significantly lower than this time last year, state leaders want to make sure Illinois doesn’t have another COVID surge.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this week that the United States is out of the COVID-19 pandemic phase. The chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden later walked back that statement. Fauci says the country is in a different moment in the pandemic, but the pandemic is not over.
Pritzker feels Fauci said the worst of the pandemic is behind us, and Pritzker said he is praying that is accurate. The governor said Illinois is still vigilant even though there are no longer requirements for masks and many executive orders were already lifted. During an unrelated event Wednesday, Pritzker said he is hopeful that he will be able to remove all of the COVID-19 executive orders eventually.
However, the governor also explained why he does plan to file another disaster declaration for the next month.
“We’re listening to the CDC about that, and the White House, and also keeping our own counsel about the cases and hospitalizations so that we’re tracking it,” Pritzker said. “So we can notify all of you about the care you can take for yourselves for your own health.”
Pritzker explained that he is winding down certain provisions of the disaster proclamation and that it does take time.
There are 714 people hospitalized for COVID-19 complications in Illinois and the 7-day case rate is 177 per 100,000 people.
“We are still in a pandemic. Let’s be clear, the federal government has a disaster proclamation in place,” Pritzker noted. “So does the state of Illinois.”
The state’s disaster proclamation expires Saturday, so you can expect to see Pritzker issue a new proclamation and re-issue corresponding executive orders Friday or Saturday.
DuPage, McLean, Champaign, and Piatt counties have medium-level community spread for COVID-19. The Illinois Department of Public Health will release the latest COVID community spread map Friday afternoon.
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