Rockford, Illinois News

Pritzker: State is approaching need for stay-at-home order

CHICAGO — A second statewide stay-at-home executive order is Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s last resort to get a handle on the latest COVID-19 surge.

But it’s something he says could happen soon.

“We’re running out of time, and we’re running out of options,” Pritzker said Thursday during his daily COVID-19 briefing. “Our growth in new cases is now exponential. We are seeing current numbers and future projections worse than what we saw in the spring. If things don’t take a turn, some form of a mandatory stay-at-home order is all that will be left.”

The state is currently under a “stay-at-home advisory,” whereby Illinoisans are asked to work from home if possible and only travel for essential services like groceries, school, doctor visits or to be tested for COVID-19.

“Our goal here is this: We’re asking Illinoisans, no matter where they live, to stay home as much as possible,” Pritzker said.

If the number of infections, which is again growing exponentially, continues to rise, Pritzker said at any time, the advisory could become an order like the one issued in March.

“This is definitely something we’re monitoring day-by-day,” Pritzker said. “It is absolutely possible, and certainly likely if the numbers keep going the wrong direction, that we may have to take more stringent action.”

The governor also called on city, county and state officials to enforce restrictions already in place. He said too many mayors and county board leaders are not enforcing them and that some don’t believe in the severity of the virus.

“What is it going to take to get you to be apart of the solution?” Pritzker said. “Dr. Ezike and I have stood up here every day telling you the facts. We’ve shown you what this looked like in the spring and how this wave is already worse than that in many regions across the state. What will it take to make this real for you? Do we have to reach a positivity rate of 50% like we’re seeing in Iowa today? 50%? Are you waiting for health care workers to get sick to the point where you don’t have enough staff in the hospital to cover the next shift? Because I promise you, while you failed to take responsibility in your city or your county, that day is coming closer, and it will be on you.”

The IDPH reported 12,702 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease including 43 additional deaths, Thursday. As of Wednesday night, 5,258 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 956 were in the ICU and 438 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11 is 12.6%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11 is 13.9%.

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