* Illinois Radio Network…
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced new restrictions Monday for a region of southern Illinois and raised concerns about the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
Pritzker said Region 5, which includes Carbondale, Marion, and Harrisburg, had reported a 7-day positivity rate of 8% or more for 3 straight days. The region will have additional restrictions put into place on Thursday, including a ban on indoor service at bars and restaurants. Gatherings of more than 25 people also are restricted. […]
State Sen. Paul Schimpf, who represents a part of Region 5, said the governor is putting too much emphasis on positivity rates.
“I think it really is the wrong metric to be using when we are making a decision on whether or not to close businesses that are already struggling,” he said.
* So, I followed up and asked Sen. Schimpf (R-Waterloo) what metric the governor should be using…
I continue to be frustrated by Governor Pritzker’s misguided focus on an arbitrary positivity rate threshold that is neither meaningful nor reliable as an assessment of the actual local situation. These mitigations, which will close businesses and destroy livelihoods, should only be used when the hospitalization rates and ICU bed capacity data clearly show that it is absolutely necessary.
* And then I asked for a react from Jordan Abudayyeh…
Waiting for hospitalization rates to increase means there is more serious illness spreading, long term health consequences and unnecessary death. The Governor is committed to keeping people health and safe.
The resurgence mitigation plan put in place by the state does rely on both positivity rates and hospitalization rates. But, when a region’s positivity rate reaches 8 percent the region automatically triggers increased mitigations because that high of a positivity rate can quickly lead to uncontrolled spread without additional mitigation in place. We also know that hospitalization rates are a lagging indicator and often increase in the days and weeks after increased positivity rates are identified.
Right now, hospitalization rates are trending upward across the state. Waiting until hospitalization rates “clearly show that it is absolutely necessary” is not a measurable metric.
* COVID-19 ‘Long-Haulers’: Symptoms Persist for Some Patients