* Press release…
Sens. Sue Rezin (38th District) and John Curran (41st District), both of whom represent portions of Region 7, have issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s double-standard when it comes to applying COVID-19 mitigation restrictions.
“In making his announcement today, the Governor has decided to place partisan politics above science. As a result, Will and Kankakee Counties will be forced to ban indoor dining while the Metro-East (Region 4) will be given an extra week to improve their numbers. Why the double standard? Because Democrat elected officials from that region pressured the Governor to change this stance. Backroom political deals should not be how public health decisions are made. The same rules should apply to all regions, and they should be based on science, not politics.”
I’ve asked the governor’s office for a response.
…Adding… I’m told that neither Curran nor Rezin were contacted or briefed about this decision.
State health officials reversed a decision to preemptively ban indoor dining in the metro-east after facing pressure from lawmakers and mayors, St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency director Herb Simmons said Monday.
The state was planning to reimpose a ban on indoor dining and drinking at bars and restaurants in the metro-east Wednesday as the region sees a resurgence of coronavirus cases — a week before the original deadline they’d given regional leaders to reduce cases. […]
Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike told mayors in a Monday morning conference call that their communities could see restrictions this week because cases are increasing so rapidly, said Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
But area mayors and county leaders reacted with outrage and frustration at being cut short by a week. […]
Democratic State Reps. Jay Hoffman of Swansea, LaToya Greenwood of East St. Louis, Nathan Reitz of Steeleville, Katie Stuart of Edwardsville and state Sen. Christopher Belt of Cahokia “worked to combat the additional restrictions set to be imposed,” the county emergency management agency posted on social media after the reversal.
…Adding… The latest IDPH numbers show the Metro East’s positivity rate is 9.8 percent, far higher than Region 7’s 8.4 percent. Yet, the mitigation measures are far more restrictive in Region 7.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Gov. Pritzker said today that the mitigation efforts in Region 4 haven’t worked. The mitigations were based on advice from local public health directors who had worked with St. Louis to devise a standard set of guidelines on both sides of the Mississippi River. In retrospect, Pritzker said, bowing to that arrangement “was not a good idea.”
When asked why Region 4 was given another week before mitigation efforts would match Region 7, Pritzker said “We had said when we put the mitigations in place that they would have two weeks under those sets of mitigations and so there’s one week left.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Sen. Hastings, a Democrat, is not pleased…