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Pritzker: Illinois now at R1.25, which is just below Germany’s peak

Thursday, Apr 30, 2020

* As I told you yesterday, Germany was able to get its R-Naught value down to 0.7 from its peak of 1.3 when it started opening up its economy a bit this month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a scientist by trade, allowed small retailers with stores up to 8,600 square feet to reopen. Larger stores were also allowed to reopen if they cordoned off everything beyond the 8,600 square feet limit. Auto and bike dealers, bookstores and other businesses were also allowed to reopen. Some schools reopened.

The whole world was watching in the hope that Germany’s so far successful experiment would work.

But then the government announced that the R value had moved almost back up to 1 and Merkel warned the country could start closing down again

“If we get to a point where each patient is infecting 1.1 people, then by October we will be back at the limits of our health system in terms of intensive care beds,” Mrs Merkel added.

“If we get to 1.2… then we will hit the full capacity of our health system as early as July.

“And if it’s 1.3, we hit the full capacity of our health system in June. So you can see how little room for manoeuvre we have.”

* A quick look at the R0 value

Pronounced “R-naught,” it represents the number of new infections estimated to stem from a single case.

In other words, if R0 is 2.5, then one person with the disease is expected to infect, on average, 2.5 others.

An R0 below 1 suggests that the number of cases is shrinking, possibly allowing societies to open back up. An R0 above 1 indicates that the number of cases is growing, perhaps necessitating renewed lockdowns or other measures.

But R0 is messier than it might look. It is built on hard science, forensic investigation, complex mathematical models — and often a good deal of guesswork. It can vary radically from place to place and day to day, pushed up or down by local conditions and human behavior.

That last paragraph is something to keep in mind.

* Hannah Meisel at the Daily Line has reported that the IDPH Director claimed on Monday Illinois’ most recent R0 figure was 1.4.

Gov. JB Pritzker was on WJPF Radio yesterday and broke a little news

At the beginning of this, there was an estimate by the scientists that for every one person that was infected, 3.5 other people were going to get infected. And that’s what it was when we had no stay at home order and this was just a free for all and nobody knew what was going on.

Because of our stay at home order, that number now came down to about 1.25.

So, can you imagine how many people have been kept safe and healthy, out of the hospital out of an ICU bed, out of a ventilator and kept from dying as a result of what the people of Illinois, not me, what the people of Illinois have done for each other, wearing masks, or face coverings staying at home or, you know, staying out of large groups and so on. We’ve really made a lot of progress.

So having said that, it is time for us to begin to turn the dial up a little bit to allow people to do more, we want to make sure the economy gets better for people more people get to go back to work and that’s the the future here. But we just have to be extremely careful.

That’s good news, but we’re nowhere near where Germany was when it started reopening. And we’re still above a level that Germany dreads and not far below the country’s original peak.

* Also, as the governor also noted yesterday, hospitalizations are perhaps the most accurate number we have

Our hospitalizations are somewhat stable. And that, to me, says something really good about the future because, unfortunately, fatality numbers are lagging indicators. Hospitalizations are somewhat a leading indicator, or at least the best tell for how are we doing, are we actually getting this under control or not.

* Back to Hannah Meisel

- Posted by Rich Miller        

46 Comments
  1. - efudd - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:17 am:

    Science, math, research, please.
    What is with you poindexters?

    Bailey and Halbrook told me I have constitutional rights.


  2. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    One notable thing in the linked-story on the original reopening: there wasn’t a requirement to wear masks, not even staff. Recommended distance was also less than 6 feet (4.9). The former seems important given that respitory transmission seems to be the primary way the virus spreads.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:19 am:

    NBC Chicago has an important article out on Rep. Cabello’s county, where cases and deaths are rising, there’s insufficient testing and federal guidelines for reopening are not met. It screams out the need to proceed thoughtfully and carefully.


  4. - Oak Parker - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:19 am:

    Mandatory face covering is key to reopening without reinfection. Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea are culturally used to universal face covering to stop the spread of infection and they have been doing so since January, which is why they have been able to prevent mass casualties.

    Mandatory face covering allows for the benefits of herd immunity without the side effects (lots of deaths).


  5. - Wow - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    I will bet that if you took another poll around May 7th the mood and approvals of this administration would show a nose dive.


  6. - Ok - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:22 am:

    “Rμ(h) - R0″

    - Scooby Do


  7. - Oak Parker - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    Governor Ducey in Arizona extended their stay at home by two weeks, and the far-right people lost it online, but I think his polling shows the same thing as Illinois’ - which is that opposition is just a hypervocal superminority.


  8. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:26 am:

    This is a no-brainer.
    Stay closed, wear masks and social distance at grocery stores, or get sick and possibly die.


  9. - Montrose - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:27 am:

    “I will bet that if you took another poll around May 7th the mood and approvals of this administration would show a nose dive.”

    Maybe I am being slow here, but why?


  10. - Used to be somebody - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:29 am:

    Just want to say that this Pritzker has really met the challenge grace, dignity and effectiveness. The polling shows it, yes. But the guy has handled the public face of this with skill we’ve not seen in Illinois for a long time. Politics is politics and the GOP is begging for relevance, as is the business. They’re drumming up the fools and JB has taken a much-needed, measured approach - being decisive and, when merited, taking the criticisms as a leader should. In this imperfect state, and at an imperfect time, we’re damn lucky to have him.


  11. - Ano - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    It really comes down to personal responsibility and consideration for other humans. If you take precautions, wear masks, avoid large gatherings you are doing your best to stay healthy. But we all know the party-hearties and the ones who have to get up in your face to talk. Unfortunately, because of people like this, we have government stepping in to tell them how to behave because they either don’t know how their behavior affects others, or they don’t care. Most people understand especially now, what needs to be done all by themselves.


  12. - Jibba - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:35 am:

    When Faux News and Republican operatives are shouting the narrative that the economy needs to reopen no matter what, it is certainly understandable that the support numbers will go down a bit, because you can fool some of the people some of the time.


  13. - efudd - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:35 am:

    Wow-

    Rich posts polls often. I’m sure he will have another regarding approval ratings some time next month.
    If said polling does not indicate “a nose dive”, will you concede you’re wrong?
    Rhetorical question. You won’t. You’ll state about “how all the people you talk to” yadda yadda.


  14. - efudd - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:37 am:

    Ano-

    Never understood the close-talker.
    My usual response to them is that what they are sharing isn’t that clever, back off.


  15. - Blue Beard - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Perfect time for the Trumpers to rally about opening back up, and the Berners to cry online for Bernie while organizing rent strikes.


  16. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Staying home.
    Back was planning on some golf, but she who must be obeyed and family were getting really grumpy (and I really don’t feel safe yet).


  17. - Groundhog Day - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:41 am:

    This is what success looks like: those graphs all show a flattened curve–no steep rise at all. But likely to grind on for possibly months, esp at 1.25.


  18. - Groundhog Day - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    Also, there is more and more evidence that a significant part of the problem is airborne spread–not only droplet spread. Face coverings, and even surgical masks, do little to protect against the ultra tiny particles that are airborne. Meaning that staying at home, whenever possible, is still safest.


  19. - MiddleGround - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:46 am:

    It looks to me like in the draft version of the new order it has a whole paragraph near the bottom talking about local enforcement and determination of distancing. That is going to be the basis for a lot of Mayors or Sheriffs approving things contrary to the rest of the order.


  20. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:52 am:

    This is a no-brainer.
    Stay closed, wear masks and social distance at grocery stores, or get sick and possibly die.

    Wait a minute — what about fishing, fishing on a lake? /s


  21. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 10:52 am:

    “which is that opposition is just a hypervocal superminority”

    It’s reassuring to know that most people care about the lives and health of others and themselves. Many want to rely on data to make critical decisions. This is what must prevail, because many want to be reassured that reopening will happen intelligently and not in the rash and thoughtless manner of the free-dummies.


  22. - Froganon - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    @Wow
    I’ll bet you the poll numbers won’t take a dive. The death toll is 60K and rising. The smart money is on taking care of ourselves and others. The haters will just keep hating.


  23. - Just Sayin' - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 11:12 am:

    Well, JB’s wife went to their mansion in Florida despite his “stay at home” order for Illinois designed to lower infection rates. There is one rule for all people in Illinois, not a special rule for Mrs. Pritzker. However, now I will follow their lead and visit my grandchildren in Florida. His leadership on this one is sorely lacking.


  24. - Smalls - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    Does anyone know where Pritzker got that current value of 1.25? Doesn’t seem to be referenced anywhere, unless I just missed it. It would be interesting to track.


  25. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    “There is one rule for all people in Illinois, not a special rule for Mrs. Pritzker.“

    I think Pritzker said to a reporter yesterday that he’s not going to try to stop people from traveling to/from states like Iowa and Missouri.


  26. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    Can we please stop attacking MK Pritzker? I know plenty of people who have left Chicago to spend the stay-at-home order in their vacation houses in Lake Geneva, Michigan, etc. There is nothing wrong nor illegal about it. The borders have not been closed, anyone is free to shelter in whatever home they have. Please stick to the issues that matter. There is plenty of legitimate criticism of the Governor’s actions, but his family is not a legitimate target.

    Be better.


  27. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    Sorry, I am 11:20.

    And in five hours, I will be 4:20.


  28. - ZC - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 11:28 am:

    If we are going to get this thing partly under control, not only do we need more tests, we are going to have a massive need for an uptick in people on the ground, willing to do testing-and-tracing throughout 2020. We’re talking like people not only phone calling but going door to door.

    We also have a massive number of unemployed or underemployed Americans looking for work today, including tons of relatively healthy younger Americans who don’t seem to get as sick from this thing.

    Someone in DC should start connecting these dots soon.


  29. - Former Candidate on the Ballot - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    ZC - Why don’t we do CV-19 Testing and Census taking at the same time - win/win/s

    To the Post:

    The R-naught number is very interesting - what makes is more interesting is comparing it to hospitalization capacity like Merkel is doing.

    I would like to see the administration do this.


  30. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:00 pm:

    @Just Sayin - Leave JB’s wife out of it pal. If you want to go to Florida, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, and, do us in Illinois a favor, stay there as long as you can.


  31. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===Well, JB’s wife went to their mansion in Florida despite his “stay at home” order===

    And you know the timing of the trip how, exactly?


  32. - Southern IL - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:14 pm:

    Well, since JB refused to answer the question, we don’t know the timing of the trip. Would be nice to know, right? If it was all on the up and up, seems as though it’d pretty easy thing to put to rest.

    I believe I remember Mr. Rauner having to answer questions about his daughter and Payton Prep. The rich and powerful should answer for their rule breaking - whether Rauner or JB - just like the rest of us.


  33. - CapnCrunch - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:19 pm:

    ===Face coverings, and even surgical masks, do little to protect against the ultra tiny particles that are airborne. Meaning that staying at home, whenever possible, is still safest.===

    Right.
    Wearing a face mask, other than a fitted N95 or equivalent respirator, is largely a symbolic weapon against the transmission of the virus.


  34. - Michelle - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:23 pm:

    “Does anyone know where Pritzker got that current value of 1.25? Doesn’t seem to be referenced anywhere, unless I just missed it. It would be interesting to track.”

    This ^^^


  35. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    LA just opened testing to any resident of the city. Maybe, just maybe when we can do that here, and then start doing it here daily, can we start to discuss opening up the state. We may be able to do it in specific locales before others, but not until we can test everyone, and preferably often, and hopefully daily, and with quick testing turnaround. Until then, if the “liberate” protesters gather in large groups without masks, jail them.


  36. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:33 pm:

    ===Does anyone know where Pritzker got that current value of 1.25?===

    He was supposed to go over that with everyone else today or tomorrow.


  37. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===The rich and powerful should answer for their rule breaking - whether Rauner or JB - just like the rest of us.===

    Agreed, except in this case, the Pritzkers haven’t broken any rules.


  38. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 12:47 pm:

    === is largely a symbolic weapon against the transmission of the virus. ===

    Wearing any kind of nose/mouth covering will definitely curtail the 6 foot spray that would otherwise ensue from a sneeze or cough, so a covering, even if just a cloth mask, would help prevent the spread of the virus to others and is much more than symbolic.


  39. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 1:25 pm:

    To complicate matter further: the time from infection to becoming infectious also matters. Some reports say the incubation period may be as little as two days. Even with a R0 of 1 that can quickly build the number infected. One case could generate 7 within 14 days.


  40. - efudd - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 1:52 pm:

    “Mr. Rauner answering questions about his daughter and Payton Prep”

    Dude, your high. Rauner never answered one question regarding that. He laughed and evaded it, much like every other issue that wasn’t about union busting, but he did not answer jack squat.


  41. - efudd - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    As far a Pritzker’s wife, Illinoisans are crossing the Bill Emerson bridge to Cape every minute of the day.

    What’s your point..


  42. - JG - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    As for Arizona and Governor Ducey-He’s got a special problem: the land of wannabe cowboys and Geezers. ‘Bough said.


  43. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    to Groundhog Day & CapnCrunch, I’d be very careful about making blanket statements about any of the research coming out. There is NO consensus that there’s airborne transmission of coronavirus. There’s a massive difference between the presence of the virus and the virus infecting people.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/29/studies-leave-question-airborne-coronavirus-transmission-unanswered/

    Wearing a mask (even if it’s only an old t-shirt) is still the best method potential asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers have to reduce the spread of the virus when they have to venture out. Therefore any talk of “it’s not worth it” is potentially very dangerous.


  44. - Groundhog Day - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 4:40 pm:

    wait, I completely agree with face coverings in public–at the very least it reduces viral shedding. Totally worth it and I have been wearing one for over a month. But the point is that face coverings do not eliminate the need to stay home.

    And what you say about consensus about airborne–is totally true. But there are tantalizing suggestions. Some situations suggest to me that airborne transmission will ultimately prove to be a mode of transmisison.

    By the way, I am going to work every day, as an essential employee. But I have not been grocery shopping since March 8.


  45. - Anonanonsir - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 6:45 pm:

    A current Ro for Illinois of 1.25 seems incorrect. That would mean an ongoing rise in current cases. A value around 1 seems more realistic.
    Pritzker would probably prefer to avoid discussing Ro because some people might think that a value of 1 or less is satisfactory, when it actually extends the current situation. To see noticeable improvement you’d probably want to get Ro down to about 0.8 or below for a few weeks. That’s pretty abstract. JB would probably rather focus on things that are more concrete.


  46. - Silvia from Germany - Friday, May 1, 20 @ 6:07 am:

    There are three important rules: * keep distance and observe hygiene (masks) * test sufficiently - the contacts and anyone who wants to be tested. And mass testing in the caring professions and caring staff (educators) * AND BEFORE: the complete tracing, quarantining of contact persons (including care and support).

    And no: you can’t check off any of the points lightly and say “We are America and for that reason alone we do everything right”. Each of the points must be fulfilled 100%. Whoever gives only 50% here has failed.
    Yes, R0 is important. It must of course be comfortably under 1. But even more important is the tracking & tracing & quarantine. And for this the number of new infections must be low, because you need a lot of personnel for this. In Germany 5 administrative persons per 20,000 inhabitants are scheduled for this work. They ask the newly infected person for his contact persons and these are then called and, depending on the contact, asked to test and quarantined.
    IS THAT SO DIFFICULT?


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