Public health officials released Illinois latest COVID-19 numbers, which included 168 new cases that now stretch across 26 counties including another death, a man in his 70s in Cook County. Cook County now holds 73% of all COVID-19 cases in the State with cases ages 3-99. Despite growing numbers, Governor Pritzker said he’s hopeful for the State.
“I’m hopeful in a way that the commercial laboratories and the private sector will help us figure this out because so far the federal government hasn’t. Just one example, private companies have developed or are developing rapid COVID-19 tests things that don’t take 4-5 hours to get an answer for, but something that you could do on the spot. That would be a revolution here.” said the Governor.
“The Stay-at-Home order is an opportunity to protect people on the front lines of this fight, and the people who are most vulnerable to its consequences. I ask you to help them out by simply staying at home.”
In Kankakee County, health officials announced a second case of COVID-19 late last night. Kankakee holds less than 1% of total cases statewide.
Issuing a call-to-action in the fight against COVID-19, the Governor asked former members of the Medical community to consider reenlisting against this microscopic menace, waiving fees and expediting licenses to rejoin the healthcare workforce.
“We’re in the middle of a battle, and we need reinforcements. I’m asking all former physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners and respiratory care therapists who’ve recently left the field, whether for retirement or a new profession, to come back and join the fight against COVID-19.”
Individuals across the county continue to struggle to understand what ‘essential business’ actually means, despite the Governor’s ‘Stay-at-Home’ order that goes into effect at 5 pm tonight. Specifically, manufacturing companies.
“There’s a supply chain of manufacturing that occurs, not just for the end product you see on a shelf, but all the way back, you know, the bread that you see on the shelf is not just the bread itself, but there’s a twist tie and there’s a plastic bag that holds the bread. Those are all manufactures that are necessary in order for that good to end up on the shelf.” Gov. Pritzker explained.
Under the order, stores like Bradley based Lowe’s will remain open with limited hours. However, stores like Michaels are questioned by members of the community as being ‘essential’ as under the executive order, business that supply business may remain open.
“I would say anyone operating a clothing store does not fit into that category, just one example.” The Governor said, advising businesses questioning if they should remain open to check the State’s Coronavirus website. Marshall’s in Bradley announced yesterday they would close their doors as well as Northfield Square Mall earlier today.
Meanwhile Doctors are still researching how quickly COVID-19 can spread. “We know you could potentially have the virus at say Day 0, but the likelihood of transmitting it at that time is significantly lower which is why we prioritize people with symptoms. Because we know the direct method by which people would transfer it to another individual,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike during today’s press conference.
Gov. Pritzker reinforced his waning optimism in regards to the Federal Government coming to help in the COVID-19 pandemic. “I said the other day that the Federal Government is like Lucy with the football, and I feel like Charlie Brown.” This after the State of Illinois was promised a certain number of tests for COVID-19 weeks ago.
“Are we seeing more tests? Yes. But not even at the numbers that were promised weeks ago. Now they want to play games about the numbers. All I can tell you is the great people of the State of Illinois, the people who work in our hospitals, the researchers, the laboratory technicians, they’re the ones, the doctors here, they’re the ones who’ve actually figured out how to test and have spun up testing all across the State.”
State of Illinois IDPH laboratories was one of the pioneers of those efforts.
Here in Kankakee, locally-based CSL Behring has stated it is exploring the development of a hyperimmune serum that could help people recover from COVID-19, the company said in a news release earlier today. However, CSL Behring creates products for the World, not exclusively at the State level. That offer has been made directly to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Tomorrow’s COVID-19 press conference is scheduled for 2:30 pm. You can watch it live on the State of Illinois’ dedicated COVID-19 website at coronavirus.illinois.gov.