By Kevin Bessler | The Center Square
(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker says five regions in Illinois are going in the wrong direction in regards to coronavirus cases.
The governor says regions 2, 3, and 4, which is central Illinois, west central Illinois and the Metro East, and regions 7 and 9, areas north and south of Cook County, have seen an increase in their 7-day rolling average positivity rate.
“Let me remind you if a region experiences 7 out of 10 days of an increase in positivity rate, plus a sustained 7-day increase in hospital admissions, that triggers tougher mitigations for that region,” Pritzker said.
The governor said local officials need to pay attention to the data and implement harsher restrictions, or otherwise, the state will have to step in again.
“To be clear, we don’t want to go back to where we are shutting things down. We don’t want to,” said Pritzker. “It is the last thing that is on my mind, if I can avoid it.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 1,645 new coronavirus cases with 16 additional deaths. That brings the total to 198,593 cases, and 7,672 deaths in all 102 Illinois counties. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike said she was alarmed by the increase in cases.
“Fact, this is not a normal event, and as all trauma, this has caused alternating and varying amounts of fear, of anxiety, of panic and for some, denial,” Ezike said.
Only two regions reported a decrease in cases, region 6, which is east-central Illinois, and 8, which is DuPage and Kane counties.