Pritzker will not say what may set off an order – NBC Chicago

Governor JB Pritzker warned Tuesday that if Illinois COVID metrics don’t go down, “significantly larger attenuations” could be imposed in the state.

“We are constantly reviewing the menu of options that we may have to impose in order to bring the numbers down,” said Pritzker during a press conference. “I will remind you that if we can’t bring these numbers down, if hospitals keep filling up, if hospital beds and intensive care units get full like in Kentucky – that’s right next door to Illinois – if that happens, we will.” have to enforce significantly greater damage controls. “

According to the state health department, 37 counties of Illinois and Chicago were on Tuesday at a “warning level” for the availability of intensive care beds.

For a county to reach the “warning level”, the bed capacity in the intensive care unit must be below 20%, reported the Illinois Department of Health.

All but one counties in Illinois are also seeing “high” community transmission of COVID-19, which puts most of the state in the category where anyone over 2 years old should wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Health authorities say.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidelines late last month to recommend that fully vaccinated individuals be in areas of the US where “significant” or “high” transmission of COVID-19 is observed to wear masks indoors again.

Illinois health officials on Friday reported 24,682 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, along with 126 additional deaths and nearly 235,000 new vaccine doses administered – increases in all metrics as the state continues to see a Delta-powered surge.

At midnight on Thursday, 2,000 patients were hospitalized in the state for COVID – an increase of about 21% from the previous week. Of these patients, 468 were in intensive care beds and 234 were on ventilators. All readings are a reported increase compared to the previous week’s numbers.

Pritzker said heightened slowdowns could include these like “phases” that imposed restrictions on both regional and national levels at the start of the pandemic, although he did not offer many details.

“These are things we don’t want to go back to,” he said.

Pritzker noted that heightened measures have already been taken across the state, including a mask requirement for interior spaces in schools, a vaccination order for government employees in meeting places, a vaccination requirement for nursing home staff and a mask order in all government buildings.

Meanwhile, both Chicago and a suburb of Cook County have independently issued indoor mask mandates that require people over 2 years of age to wear masks in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status.

Last week, the governor declined to provide a specific metric where the state could impose a similar masking mandate indoors, leaving the door open for further mitigations but leaving local authorities to take action, even if it does the current one The delta variant described the increase in COVID-19 as a “very dangerous moment”.

Earlier this month, Pritzker unveiled a new mask mandate specifically for schools that requires – rather than recommending – all students, teachers and staff in K-12 schools to wear masks indoors with immediate effect.

The Illinois State Board of Education later suspended several schools and counties across the state or changed their status with the state to “disapproved” for failure to adhere to the mandate.

When asked about this action at an independent press conference on Friday, Pritzker said that schools that fail to meet the requirement are putting students and their communities at risk at a “very dangerous moment”.

“What I can tell you is that those schools that do not adhere to the mask requirement for their children naturally endanger their children, they also endanger the people who work in the school, the parents and grandparents who pick up and their children to school, “said Pritzker.

“We are living in a very dangerous moment with the coronavirus, an upswing in the Delta variant across the country and here in Illinois,” he continued. “I am deeply concerned that the Delta variant is having increasingly serious medical effects on younger people, not just young school children but also older children in high school and the young teachers who come to work in schools every day.” are just trying to ask people to make sure people are following an attenuation that we know is working. “

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