Pritzker says no stay at home order for state as another region joins mitigation list

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Gov. JB Pritzker said Friday he is not considering another statewide stay at home order even as another region of the state is put under mitigation measures because of the surging coronavirus.

State health officials said Region 6, which covers 21 counties in the east central part of the state, will start mitigation measures Monday because the region’s positivity rate has been at 8% or more for three consecutive days.

That means no indoor service at bars and restaurants, requiring those facilities to close at 11 p.m. and limiting crowds to 25 people or less.

Once the region starts mitigation, only Region 2 – which includes Peoria and the Quad Cities – will not be under mitigations out of the 11 regions in the state. However, Pritzker said the region reported an 8% positivity rate for the first time Friday.

“Barring an unlikely reversal of that trend, two more days at or above that 8% intervention threshold will bring Region 2 into mitigations in the coming days,” Pritzker said during his daily briefing.

Given those circumstances, Pritzker was asked if he is considering another stay at home order like he issued at the start of the pandemic.

“I’m not currently considering a stay at home order for the state of Illinois,” Pritzker said. “Obviously, it’s something in the tool boxes of other countries that they’re moving forward with, but right now, we have pretty good mitigations.”

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said the virus’ toll keeps mounting.

“The cases continue to increase, the hospitalizations continue to increase and the deaths continue to increase,” she said. “We all feel discouraged, but you shouldn’t feel like there is nothing you can do.”

IDPH reported 6,943 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, a new record. That brings the caseload to 402,401. There were 36 additional deaths bringing the death toll to 9,714.

Other numbers that continue to increase include 3,092 hospitalizations, 673 patients in intensive care and 288 patients needing ventilators. The state’s positivity rate jumped to 7.3%.

Ezike warned of potential shortages of hospital beds in Regions 3 and 6 “in as short as two to four weeks.”

“We are getting into territory that most of these hospitals have never seen before,” Ezike said.

The new mitigations came on the same day the Illinois Restaurant Association held a news conference in Chicago to warn of the catastrophic effects the mitigation efforts have on that industry.

IRA President Sam Toia said that by Sunday 90% of the restaurants in the state would be under mitigation measures that prohibit indoor dining and have other restrictions.

“Make no mistake. Illinois restaurants are in a moment of complete crisis,” he said. “Closing indoor dining means the majority of restaurants will no longer be able to sustain their operations.”

Curbside service and takeout don’t generate enough revenue to keep most places going, he said. Surveys said 55% of Illinois restaurant owners think it’s unlikely they will still be in business in six months.

Pritzker said the data and science shows that bars and restaurants are places where the virus is spread because people can’t wear masks while they are eating and drinking.

However, some Republican lawmakers held a news conference in Springfield where they again complained that the administration hasn’t shared the data and science that proves the governor’s assertions. They also complained that Pritzker was not consulting with lawmakers before making decisions about dealing with the pandemic.

Pritzker said that isn’t the case.

“We’re not freezing anybody out,” Pritzker said. “I speak with lawmakers all of the time. I’ve spoken with Republicans and Democrats the last two weeks. I can’t get to all 177 members of the General Assembly all of the time. I certainly reach out to them when I know we’re heading into these difficult moments.”

He said he’s made adjustments to policies based on conversations with lawmakers.

Contact Doug Finke: doug.finke@sj-r.com, 788-1527, twitter.com/dougfinkesjr

Region: Springfield,Feeds,State,Politics,Central,City: Springfield,Region: Central

via State Government News – The State Journal-Register https://ift.tt/2rmLmH6

October 30, 2020 at 04:51PM

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