Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker once again hinted that another stay-at-home order could be possible if Illinois’ coronavirus metrics continue to rise.
Addressing residents in his daily coronavirus briefing Monday, the governor said he’s “looking at really all the possibilities” for curbing the spread of the virus.
“I’m very concerned as we approach Thanksgiving,” Pritzker said. “I’m very concerned as these numbers rise. And as a result, as I’ve told you, for days,
you know, we are looking at really all the possibilities – the possibility that we would have to go back a phase, the possibility that we would have to ultimately have a stay-at-home order – those are not things that I prefer to do. But those are things that these numbers are not sustainable.”
It remains unclear when exactly the governor might make such a decision on another stay-at-home order, but he did note which metrics he’s watching.
“I guess I one thing I look at every day is are we are we bending the curve as we, back in the spring, we were doing – are we bending the curve?” he said. “And that doesn’t mean that the numbers go down from one day to the next, but it does mean that the rate of increase is subsiding. And that’s the beginning of flattening it and heading down.”
This marks the second time the governor has hinted at the possibility of a stay-at-home order in recent weeks. Previously, Pritzker said such a move was not on the table.
“I’m not looking at the broader mitigation of stay-at-home as something I would do in the coming days or week, but I can’t guarantee you what it looks like two weeks from now or three weeks from now – I just don’t know,” Pritzker said last week. “None of us, frankly, expected that the entire country would be swept with an increase in COVID-19.”
In the last 24 hours, Illinois reported 10,573 new cases, marking the fourth consecutive day above 10,000. The state is expected to top 500,000 cases for the pandemic so far Tuesday.
Illinois’ average daily coronavirus case numbers have increased nearly 380% since Oct. 1, Pritzker said. It’s important to note, however, that the state recently changed its reporting of daily cases, adding in “probable” cases, which include positive results from rapid antigen tests in the state.
Statewide test positivity is up more than 180% in the last five weeks and hospitalizations and deaths are each up more than 150% for the same time period, he added.
“The virus is winning right now,” Pritzker added.
Several Illinois regions are now set to enter even tighter mitigations to curb the spread of coronavirus in both southern Illinois and part of the Chicago area.
Regions 5, 7 and 8, which include Will, Kankakee, Kane and DuPage counties in Illinois, as well as the southern part of the state, are set to enter Tier 2 mitigations Wednesday.
“The situation has worsened considerably in certain areas of the state, with massive increases in the rates of community transmission specifically in three regions,” Pritzker said.
Tier 2 adds further gathering size limitations and reduces table sizes for restaurants and bars to a maximum of six, among other restrictions for sports and recreational events.
Already all of Illinois is under increased mitigations imposed by the state on a region-by-region basis. The restrictions follow a three-tiered plan, the first of which eliminated indoor dining at restaurants, reduced gathering sizes and more.
Region 1 has been under Tier 2 mitigations since late last month.