The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending the public to stay home for the next 3 weeks under new guidance released yesterday. The guidelines say that everyone should only leave their home for essential activities like work that must be performed outside the home, COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy, and buying groceries. The guidance also urges employers to provide accomodations to have employees work from home as much as possible during this time period.
The press release says that IDPH is trying to reduce transmission of COVID-19 heading into the holiday season so businesses and schools can remain open.
Governor J.B. Pritzker said that local and county governments need to get on board with current mitigations during a presentation at the new Chicago Veteran’s Home ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday: “We are certainly looking at statewide mitigations. I do think local governments, right now, if they are not imposing new mitigations and enforcing the ones that are already in place – they are doing it wrong. Every state around us is at 20, 30, 40+ percent positivity rates. Iowa, yesterday at 48% positivity rate. Think about that. 48% positivity rate – you run into 2 people in Iowa, one of them has COVID.”
IDPH yesterday announced 12,657 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 throughout the state, which was a single day record, including 145 additional deaths. The statewide positivity rate is currently 12.4%. The state saw its hospitalization numbers continue to increase on Wednesday, with 5,042 residents currently in hospitals due to the coronavirus. Of those patients, 951 are currently in intensive care units, and 404 are on ventilators. All three statistics are the highest metrics the state has seen in their respective categories since the first peak in COVID-19 cases this Spring.