KANKAKEE – Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong released a statement Friday afternoon supporting small businesses owner’s struggles after mitigation measures went in across various counties where COVID-19 is surging.
“After much consideration, I will continue to support our business owners and community to achieve a balance between public health and implications on the economy.” Mayor Wells-Armstrong said in a statement Friday afternoon. “Furthermore, the City of Kankakee is a home-rule municipality. This state mandate would impose standards on local law enforcement and the Kankakee County Health Department that cannot be met. I would prefer to have the City of Kankakee police addressing crime and protecting the City.”
The words came as local politicians across Region 7 turned attention to the economy rather than efforts to enforce recommended mitigation tactics, including Frankfort Mayor Jim Holland, who wrote the Governor asking why restaurants are ‘more likely to spread the virus than nursing homes.’
On Friday, the Kankakee County Health Department reported 41 cases, ending this week with 252 newly confirmed cases, a new single-week record high for new cases locally since reporting began.
“Statewide, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased 17% over the last week alone.” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during the daily COVID-19 press conference Friday afternoon. “What we do today, October 23rd will determine how many cases we have and what our hospitals will look like on Halloween, just 8 days from now, and Thanksgiving, just 34 days from now. Following public health recommendations, especially wearing a mask in public, will bring our numbers down, save our economy, and let more of our kids go to school, getting us as close to normal as we can be until we get through this.”
Since Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has reported 19,985 new cases of the pandemic in Illinois.
“My message to you is to stay strong. I’ve never run a marathon but I have the utmost regard for those who have been able to train, and plan, and finish a marathon. But this is a difficult race when you can’t actually see the endpoint. And I’m sorry that that’s the message I have for you.” Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Friday shortly after the director broke down in tears after addressing recent deaths in the state. “Nevertheless, I’m asking you to fight the fatigue. Fight the urge to give up on social distancing. Fight for your kids to have safe, healthy opportunities to have in-person learning in school with teachers that are trained to teach them, in the classroom.”
Central High School announced Friday they would go remote through November 5th after a number of students that are being required to quarantine ‘significantly increased.’
Friday marked the second straight day Region 7 had set records for rolling seven-day positivity ratings monitored by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which saw an increase of 0.1% to 9.2% to enter the weekend. Over the last seven days of reporting data, 21,611 residents of Will and Kankakee Counties were administered COVID-19 tests, with 1,986 (9.2%) resulting in positives.
Region 7’s Med Surge Bed Availability fell to 24% on Friday while ICU Bed Availability remained at 25%. Friday afternoon, 30 residents were hospitalized for COVID-19 in Kankakee County.
Region 7 was home to two of Friday’s 31 newly reported deaths across Illinois, including a man in his 60s from Kankakee and a woman in her 70s from Will County.
IDPH reported 3,874 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday.