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More COVID-19 mitigations could be on the horizon

SPRINGFIELD — If the Illinois COVID-19 situation gets worse, Gov. JB Pritzker warned Tuesday that the state could impose “significantly greater mitigations.”

“If we are not able to bring these numbers down, if hospitals continue to fill, if the hospital beds and ICUs get full like they are in Kentucky — that’s just next door to Illinois — if that happens, we’re going to have to impose significantly greater mitigations,” Pritzker said during a Tuesday press conference.

The governor did not specify what the “significantly greater” mitigations would be. But his announcement came just hours after it was reported cases and hospitalizations in Region 1, which includes Boone, DeKalb and Winnebago Counties, are steadily increasing.

As of Aug. 22, there were were 77 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Winnebago County. That number was 47 on Aug. 19 and 25 on July 25.

As of Aug. 20, the region’s seven-day positivity rate was 7%, the highest since April 16. On July 22, the region’s positivity rate was 4.2%.

“I want to remind you we’ve already implemented a number of significant mitigations and we’re always looking if we need to impose more,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker also urged Illinoisans to get vaccinated, namely those who have been leery of the shots before they were approved by the FDA.

“If you’ve been on the fence about getting the shot, please talk to your doctor or your vaccinated friends and family. It’s not too late to save your life,” Pritzker said.

Centers for Disease Control officials continue to stand by recommendations that everyone must wear a mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Pritzker has since mandated masks inside all K-12 schools.

As of this report, around 60% of eligible adults in Illinois have been vaccinated. The unvaccinated, however, continue to comprise almost all recent hospitalizations and COVID-related deaths.

U.S. regulators gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

According to numbers reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health, there have been 1,482,369 confirmed and probably cases of COVID-19, and 23,717 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.


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