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Pritzker: Illinois' decreasing COVID-19 positivity rate is reason for 'some confidence'

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker believes the state’s low COVID-19 positivity rate in recent weeks is a positive step forward. As the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 23 more deaths and 658 new cases on Monday, the state’s seven-day positivity rate remained at 5%.

“For whatever reason, as we’ve pushed down the curve, you’ve seen even the positivity number [decrease],” Pritzker said. “As that number goes down, it gives us some confidence level about trying to open things up even more.”

Illinois has now seen 128,415 cases of the virus and 5,924 people have died since the pandemic began. A total of 1,058,873 people have been tested. More than 16,000 people were tested in the previous 24 hours.

Pritzker said he is worried about the thousands of people who have attended protests over the past week. It’s likely still too soon to know what impact rallies might have on the coronavirus positivity rate.

“I’m hopeful that we can bring down the number of outbreaks because of all the surveillance testing that we’re doing,” Pritzker said.

As of late Sunday night, Illinois had 2,496 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those currently hospitalized, 713 were in the ICU and 443 were on ventilators. Total coronavirus hospitalizations decreased for the sixth consecutive day, and remain at the lowest total since IDPH began reporting hospitalization data in April.

Regional update: As of Sunday, the Northeast region (Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, McHenry, Lake and Will counties) reported a positivity rate average of 9%. The region reported an average of 32% of medical/surgical beds available, 38% of ICU beds available and 71% of ventilators available.

The North Central region (Bureau, DeKalb, La Salle, Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, Carroll, Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Putnam and Jo Daviess counties) reported a positivity rate rolling average of 5%. On average, the region has enough medical/surgical beds to accommodate a 46% surge in COVID-19 cases. The region reported that 49% of ICU beds are available and 75% of ventilators are available.

The Central region reported an average positivity rate of 2%. On average, there was an availability of 43% of medical/surgical beds, 54% of ICU beds and 79% of ventilators.

The Southern region had an average positivity rate of 4%. On average, there was an availability of 46% of medical/surgical beds, 46% of ICU beds and 83% of ventilators.

Threshold to move into Phase 4: In order to move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, each of the state’s health regions must ensure that testing is available in the region regardless of symptoms or risk factors.

Testing also needed to be made available to the residents and staff of congregate living facilities, according to the plan. A system for COVID-19 contact tracing and monitoring must be in place and able to respond 24 hours after diagnosis.

In addition to these requirements, each region must report an average positivity rate of 20% or lower, increasing no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period.

Regions also must report no overall increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 for a period of 28 days, meaning hospitalizations must decrease or remain stable.

Finally, each region must prove available surge capacity of at least 14% of ICU beds, medical/surgical beds and ventilators.

Contact tracing and monitoring within 24 hours of diagnosis for more than 90% of cases in region must be met in order to advance to Phase 4.

Newly reported deaths:

– Cook County: 1 male 50s, 6 males 60s, 3 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 2 females 90s, 1 male 90s

– DuPage County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

– Lake County: 1 female 70s

– St. Clair County: 1 female 80s

– Winnebago County: 1 female 50s

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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