SPRINGFIELD – As much of Illinois prepares for its next stage of reopening, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during a Tuesday COVID-19 briefing numbers show the state may be coming down from a peak.
Pritzker said the state of Illinois is set to move forward into phase three of the “Restore Illinois” plan Friday, and despite reopening more portions of the state’s economy earlier this month, coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations are continuing to trend in the right direction.
The comments echo ones made by Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who reported the first week-over-week decline in COVID-19 deaths for Illinois so far this pandemic.
Ezike said she hoped the decline marks the start of a “downward trend,” but noted, “until we have a definitive cure and vaccine, we must prevent further spread.”
The governor also pointed out Tuesday that COVID-related hospitalizations have dropped to a six-week low.
According to an analysis by ProPublica, as of Tuesday Illinois is the only state at this time to have met all of the criteria contained in guidelines issued by the federal government for safely reopening businesses and easing social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. ProPublica based its analysis on state-level data, updated daily, for five metrics stemming from the guidelines for reopening issued by the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thirty states have met only three of the goals or fewer, and three of them – Alabama, Alaska, and West Virginia – have met only one of the five.