Statewide COVID-19 restrictions could return to Illinois
CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker, on Thursday, announced that he is considering brining back statewide COVID-19 restrictions Illinois was under at the onset of the pandemic.
That means if the state’s positivity rate continues to climb, public schools, retail stores, salons, gyms and offices could again be closed as they were under the governor’s stay-at-home order he issued in March.
“If the numbers keep going in the wrong direction, we will need to impose further mitigations,” Pritzker said. “I think we all remember what Phase 3 looked like, or Phase 2 looked like. Those are all things that are under consideration.”
The governor said whether he imposes statewide restrictions will hinge on local officials, some of whom are not enforcing mitigations already in place.
“They are supposed to enforce state laws, and when they don’t enforce them, people die,” Pritzker said. “If Illinoisans don’t change their behavior we are going to experience a surge in hospitalizations much great than we are seeing now.”
Each of the state’s 11 regions are under some form of new COVID-19 restrictions including bans on indoor dining and drinking. Bars and restaurants in Region 1, which includes Boone and Winnebago counties, have been ordered to suspend indoor dining, but several restaurants and bars are defying the order.
The governor’s announcement comes as the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 9,935 new cases of COVID-19 cases. The department also announced 97 additional fatalities, bringing the state’s death toll to 10,030.