New COVID-19 safety mitigations take effect across the state on Friday.
The tier three mitigations are not a full-blown lockdown, but Illinoisans are definitely urged to stay home if possible. The new restrictions are closing casinos, putting indoor group sports and exercise classes on hold, and limiting the number of customers in stores. Governor JB Pritzker says he knows this is hard, but that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“We are close. You can see the vaccines are coming and if you can just hang on, wear your mask, keep your distance, get a flu shot, we are going to get there.”
Northshore University Health System Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Kamaljit Singh says the changes are necessary to slow the spread of the virus.
“We need everyone to understand that this battle will be won outside the hospital, not in it. Once you are in the hospital then the cat is out of the bag. We have to take the fight in to the community. The only way we can beat this virus is to stop the transmission out there.”
At last count, a record 6,037 coronavirus patients were in the hospital. The Governor says without these mitigations, as many as 45,000 more Illinoisans could die from the virus.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 4,612 new cases and 168 additional deaths. That’s the highest fatality rate in a single day since May.
The State’s positivity rate for the past seven days as 12-percent. the Southern Illinois Region positivity rate for the seven days ending November 16th is 13.4-percent. The Marion County rate remained at 17.4-percent. The Metro East Region rate has bumped up to 16.4-percent. The East Central Illinois rate is 14.3-percent.