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COVID-19: In light of potential curve flattening, Pritzker warns against large summer events

Gov. JB Pritzker at Thursday’s press briefing. This week, the Illinois Department of Health announced the largest single-day increase of confirmed cases in the state so far, topping 1,529 cases on April 8.

Since last Thursday, Illinois has seen an increase of 8,727 positive cases of COVID-19 and 371 deaths. The record-week of total cases and deaths is still increasing heading into the weekend, as the total number of confirmed cases has reached 16,422 and 528 deaths as of Thursday night. 

In the last seven days, the number of total cases has more than doubled while the number of deaths has tripled. However, Gov. JB Pritzker said the rate of cases is increasing less rapidly. 

“That indicates to us that we are, in fact, bending the curve,” Pritzker said. “There is even some evidence that we may be moving toward a flatter curve, but we need to keep watching the data on a daily basis. Keep in mind our case numbers and the death toll are still growing and, thus, our fight must continue.”

Despite this, Pritzker said he doesn’t foresee that the state will “move on” from the virus in the summer months or the fall until there is increased testing, content tracing and treatment.

“I think everybody needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events,” Pritzker said “From my perspective today, I do not see how we’re going to have large gatherings of people. Again, until we have a vaccine, which is months and months away, I wouldn’t risk having large groups of people together anywhere. And I think it’s hard for everybody to hear, but that’s just a fact.”

Illustration by The Scout

IDPH announced the largest single-day increase of confirmed cases in the state so far, topping 1,529 cases on April 8. The largest single-day increase in deaths came on April 8 as well, with 82 deaths confirmed. IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike supplemented Pritzker’s comments with her own reflection. 

“We are headed in the right direction because of all of the tremendous efforts by all of you,” Ezike said. “All of these actions are making a difference and we must continue to work together.”

Illustration by The Scout

In the greater Peoria area, the total number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 has reached 39. There are three total COVID-19 related deaths in the region; one death was reported in Peoria County on April 4, the other two deaths were recorded in Tazewell County on April 6 and one on April 8, respectively.

In Peoria County, there are 16 total cases, including the one death, eight recovered cases, five patients in home isolation and two hospitalized cases. 

In Tazewell County, there are 16 total cases, while in Woodford County there are seven cases. 

Peoria City/County Health Department administrator Monica Hendrickson reminded residents to stay home and practice social distancing during the upcoming Easter weekend in Thursday’s press briefing.

“Many people plan to travel to join others in fellowship,” Hendrickson said. “But staying at home and social distancing are key to stopping this virus.”

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