Scott County was the remaining holdout of counties not reporting any cases of novel coronavirus in the state to date. That was until today, when they became the 102 county to report.
The announcement comes the same day as Illinois surpassed 7,000 deaths in the pandemic. On Friday, IDPH announced 868 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, the third day over 800 cases had been announced this week heading into a busy holiday weekend.
Governor JB Pritzker stressed today the importance of not letting your guard down during the holiday weekend.
“The virus is not taking the holiday weekend off, and neither can we. Letting our guard down now would fly in the face of the progress we’ve made over many months,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We have seen that mitigation measures have worked in our state and we’ve seen too many other states rapidly lose ground in the fight against the virus. If establishments cannot abide by capacity requirements, I will not hesitate to close them to keep people safe. We must continue to take the proven steps that keep us safe: wear a face covering, watch your distance and wash your hands. While other parts of the country are refusing to follow the science and seeing their positivity rate and hospitalizations increase, Illinoisans have come together to keep each other safe. Let’s keep being all in for our communities.”
Earlier today IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike urged people to be socially responsible and avoid crowded bars and restaurants during the holiday weekend.
“Bars, by design, are social settings where people gather closely together for extended periods of time. Additionally, people often need to raise their voices or shout to be heard, which means droplets from seemingly well but infected individuals could spread further than the recommended 6 feet of distancing,” said Dr. Ezike. “All of these factors increase the risk of transmission and can lead to more cases and outbreaks. Over the holiday weekend, we strongly urge people to be socially responsible and avoid crowded bars and restaurants. If you do go to one of these venues, please make sure to keep distance between yourself and others and wear a face covering.”
“If you take this precious time to celebrate, please do so responsibly. Abide by occupancy restrictions in bars and restaurants so we can continue to fight the spread of COVID-19,” said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Your loved ones and first responders want you to return home safely and continue to stay healthy. We can do this together.”
IPDH now reports a total of 145,750 cases and 7,005 deaths to date in the pandemic. As of Thursday evening, over 1,300 patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals for the disease, including 334 in ICU with 134 on ventilators.