GOV PREACHES ‘PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY’ AS STATE’S POSITIVITY RATE INCHES UPWARD
Illinois’ coronavirus testing positivity rate crept upward once more with the latest batch of 955 confirmed cases statewide, officials said Tuesday.
The new cases were detected among 29,745 test results, raising the state’s rolling positivity rate over the last week to 3.1%, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Since that number fell to 2.5% two weeks ago, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has warned of a steady uptick in cases that could eventually force some regions of the state to scale back reopening.
Health officials said “increased mitigation and infection control measures” are being taken against an outbreak at a St. Charles juvenile justice facility, where 16 staffers and three young people have tested positive.
Another 32 cases were confirmed this week at the Chester Mental Health Center in downstate Randolph County. That’s in the Metro East region of Pritzker’s redivided reopening plan — a region where the governor’s public health department could soon reintroduce more restrictions if its numbers keep trending in the wrong direction.
The Metro East region has already seen a full week of increasing testing positivity rates, up to 7.1%. Under Pritzker’s revised plan, the state will step in if the region also sees increased hospital admissions or a decrease in available hospital beds — or if that positivity number jumps to 8% or more for three straight days.
“To a large degree, this is about personal responsibility,” Pritzker said at a news conference in Collinsville, part of that same downstate region. “Nobody can be following you all day long and telling you to put on a mask. When you go into a public place, everybody needs to know that that’s what they need to do.”