Illinois Won’t Be Able To Take Masks Off For 6+ Months: Pritzker

ILLINOIS — State health officials on Monday announced 1,231 new cases of the coronavirus and 18 additional deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, bringing the statewide total to 172,655 confirmed infections and 7,416 known deaths. Another 1,242 probable cases and 192 probable deaths are not included in the official totals.

The latest deaths include:

  • Cook County – 1 male 30s, 1 male 40s, 1 male 50s, 2 females 60s, 3 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 male 70s, 1 male 90s

  • DuPage County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 90s

  • Peoria County: 1 female 50s

  • Winnebago County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that the state likely won’t be able to return to normal until next year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic … will remain a part of our lives for some time to come. As much as we might like to, it’s not something that we can wish away. So, we have to act responsibly and collectively to protect the people that we love,” the governor said at a morning news conference in Adams County.

“This is not a political virus. It’s not a red state virus or blue state virus. It’s not something made up by somebody for political purposes. This virus attacks anybody. We just have to figure out how to live with it to make sure the fewest amount of people get sick, go to the hospital — maybe die. And we need everybody’s help.”

“We’re not going to have to do this forever,” the governor added. “You’ve seen, there’s progress on vaccines and treatments, but we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet. And frankly, we’re not going to be there until 2021, in my humble opinion. I’m not a doctor, but that’s what my observation is, that we’re not going to be able to take off the mask and go about everything we were doing seven, eight months ago for a few more months. Maybe six plus months.”

Illinois on Monday saw its sixth straight day with more than 1,200 new cases. Health officials said Friday that Adams County, where the governor spoke, as well as LaSalle, Peoria and Randolph counties are at a “warning level” for a surge in cases. Pritzker called the situation there “alarming.”

See how your region is doing here.

In the past 24 hours, labs in Illinois have processed 30,567 coronavirus tests, for a total of more than 2.5 million since the pandemic began. The state’s rolling, seven-day positivity rate is about 3.8 percent — four-thenths of a percentage point higher than last week and 1.4 percentage points higher than last month.

According to Johns Hopkins University, a positivity rate of less than 5 percent is a good measure of whether enough tests are being conducted in a given state.

As of Monday, the United States as a whole had tested more than 51.4 million people for the coronavirus. The country now has more than 4.2 million confirmed coronavirus infections, and, according to Johns Hopkins University, at least 147,253 Americans have died from COVID-19.

Based on the latest predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 160,000 to 175,000 Americans could be dead from the disease by Aug. 15.

Globally, more than 16.3 million people have been infected and 650,157 are known to have died.

Illinois Coronavirus Helpline:

Illinois officials say a state helpline has been set up to provide emotional support and quick answers to questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Illinoisans can test “TALK” to 55-2020 (or “HABLAR” for Spanish), and within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor. Residents can also text keywords such aS “UNEMPLOYMENT,” “FOOD” or “SHELTER,” to the same number to receive additional information about those topics.

Here’s what’s happening with the coronavirus in Illinois:

Target Closes On Thanksgiving, Will Adjust Holiday Sales Schedule

The Minneapolis-based retailer says ‘this isn’t a year for crowds’ and will begin offering holiday savings in October to keep shoppers safe.

No Fall Sports: IL Elementary School Association

There are no plans to reschedule. IHSA hasn’t yet decided the fate of high schools sports, which could also be canceled until 2021.

Golden Corral Ends Buffet, Renovates Restaurant

They even removed the word “buffet” from its restaurant sign.

Walgreens CEO Stepping Down

The Deerfield-based Walgreens Boots Alliance recently announced quarterly losses of $1.7 billion amid the coronavirus pandemic.

School Reopening Tracker: Illinois Districts Start Backtracking On Hybrid Plans

Leaders are expected to balance public health guidelines and educate students safely without additional money from the state.

Virtual Lollapalooza Festival Announces Partial Musical Lineup

The annual Grant Park-based musical festival was canceled in June due to the coronavirus pandemic but will offer free YouTube streaming

Mobile Coronavirus Test Unit To Travel Through Kane Co. This Week

The mobile unit is scheduled to make stops in Geneva, St. Charles, Elgin, Carpentersville and Aurora.

Mitchell Pool Closes Due To Staff Coronavirus Case In Deerfield

The Deerfield Park District also announced Monday a second staff member is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

1 IL Coronavirus Region ‘Dangerously Close’ To New Restrictions

The state could soon step in after an uptick in cases in the Metro East emergency management region, Gov. J. B. Pritzker said Wednesday.

D202 Teachers Rally For Remote Learning, Raise Safety Concerns

Junior Delaney O’Sullivan said if the board rejects remote learning, it will be responsible for the “lives of everyone” in the district.

Illinois Aviation Museum Reopens With New Exhibits Amid Pandemic

The museum is following safety protocols with “enhanced sanitizing and cleaning, hand sanitizer stations throughout the museum and masks.”

Aurora University Reverts To Remote Learning Plan Amid Pandemic

“The optimism of June now gives way to the hard reality of July,” the university’s president said while announcing the decision.

MLB Opening Day: Chicago Cubs, White Sox Play Amid Pandemic

The crack of the bat, but not the roar of the crowd, will mark the sound of Major League Baseball’s return in 2020.

Petition To Save Sports Nears Signature Goal

The organizer is reaching out to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Illinois High School Association and the Illinois Department of Health, among others.

Pritzker Extends Illinois’ Eviction Hold For Another Month

The state’s moratorium on evictions now runs through Aug. 22.

No Face Masks In School, Bus Will Result In Disciplinary Measures

The district said students can face “detention, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and removal to a remote-learning platform.”

Coronavirus by the numbers:

Illinois:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 172,655

  • Deaths: 7,416

  • People tested: 2,542,134

  • Recovered: Illinois does not provide exact numbers of recovered cases, but says the recovery rate is 95 percent.

Nationwide:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 4,271,095

  • Deaths: 147,253

  • People tested: 51,491,494

  • Recovered: 1,297,863

Global:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 16,340,152

  • Deaths: 650,157

  • People tested: No data available

  • Recovered: 9,438,507

Sources: Johns Hopkins University and IDPH

Tips from the CDC on dealing with coronavirus:

While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid virus exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends taking these actions to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

What to do if you’re sick:

Call head if you’re planning to visit your doctor:

  • If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Stay home unless you must see a doctor:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.

  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home:

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Avoid sharing personal household items:

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Masks:

  • CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

  • Face mask instructions — sew- and no-sew masks

To donate personal protective equipment (PPE), email PPE.donations@illinois.gov. For health questions about COVID-19, call the state coronavirus hotline at 800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

This article originally appeared on the Across Illinois Patch

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