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Pritzker warns that regions are worsening, Dr. Ezike begs Illinoisans to do their part

Friday, Oct 23, 2020

* Gov. Pritzker said today that several IDPH regions are becoming more worrisome this week. The Metro East’s Region 4 is back up above an 8 percent positivity rate as of today, for instance. Three days of sustained 8 percent positivity triggers mediation measures, and Region 4 only recently emerged from a long ordeal with those regulations.

Region 9, which encompasses Lake and McHenry counties, has seen its average positivity rate hover in the upper 7’s for the past few days and is now at 7.7 percent. Region 8 is now at 9.4 percent, with available hospital beds down to 25 percent. A 20 percent surge capability for hospital beds triggers mitigation.

Region 1, in northern and northwestern Illinois, cannot get its act together and is at 11.7 percent today. Region 7, which is Will and Kankakee counties is at 9.2 percent. Suburban Cook is at 7.3 with its hospital bed availability down to 23 percent. And Chicago is at 7 and hospital bed availability is down to 22 percent, just two points above the danger zone.

It’s just bad pretty much everywhere. Click here to see for yourself.

* IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike cried for several minutes at the podium today as she literally begged Illinoisans to take this virus seriously. “Let’s please think beyond ourselves,” she said. “For those seven, eight days that you may be shedding the virus, you’re unknowingly, unwittingly infecting people in your path.”

“The people of Illinois are her patients,” Gov. Pritzker explained after Dr. Ezike finished speaking. He also said the director has been subjected to “verbal attacks” and that protesters have shown up at her home.

…Adding… Good advice

“I’m desperate to find a message that will work,” Ezike said. “The virus has caused this and instead of pitting one group against another, we need to get that and fight against the virus. We have a mask and we’re asking people to use that and I don’t know what else to say.”

…Adding… Got busy and forgot to post this…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 51 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

Fifty-one counties are currently reported at a warning level – Adams, Bond, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Edwards, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Henderson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Macon, Macoupin, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rock Island, Saline, Shelby, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago.

Although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with gatherings in people’s homes, weddings and funerals, bars and clubs, university and college parties as well as college sports teams, family gatherings, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, schools, and cases among the community at large, especially people in their 20s.

Public health officials are observing businesses blatantly disregarding mitigation measures, people not social distancing, gathering in large groups, and not using face coverings. Mayors, local law enforcement, state’s attorneys, and other community leaders can be influential in ensuring citizens and businesses follow best practices.

Several counties are taking swift action to help slow spread of the virus, including increasing testing opportunities, stressing the importance of testing to providers, hiring additional contact tracers, working with schools, and meeting with local leaders.

IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county. A county is considered at the warning level when at least two of the following metrics triggers a warning.

    New cases per 100,000 people. If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
    Number of deaths. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
    Weekly test positivity. This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
    ICU availability. If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
    Weekly emergency department visits. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
    Weekly hospital admissions. A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
    Tests performed. This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
    Clusters. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

These metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do. The metrics are updated weekly, from the Sunday-Saturday of the prior week.

A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

39 Comments
  1. - wildcat12 - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 2:55 pm:

    Dr. Ezike crying did me in. I was sitting there crying myself. I can’t imagine the kind of pressure she’s under and the strain of seeing this all get worse while she begs people to take even basic preventative measures. Please. Wear the masks, keep your distance.


  2. - Someone you Should Know - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 2:55 pm:

    The governor showed his true mettle today. He was very kind to Dr. Ezike.

    I think as it has been said, we are in for a long cold dark winter.


  3. - Roadrager - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 2:55 pm:

    And so we await Bailey, Skillicorn, and those who would support them to start mocking Dr. Ezike for caring.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 2:57 pm:

    First.

    Dr. Ezike is a real hero.

    Full stop.

    Bless you, Dr. Ezike.


  5. - HelloFriend - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    Not saying that restaurants and/or bars shouldn’t have restrictions but I do think that hizzoner isn’t looking at gas stations and other retail outlets that either have customers or employees not wearing masks or wearing them incorrectly. The former gets the bum rap while the latter should be sharing some of the blame.


  6. - Back to the Future - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:01 pm:

    We are lucky to have Dr. Ezike heading up IDPH.
    She has been steady, compassionate and professional.


  7. - lake county democrat - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:04 pm:

    No cliche: my heart goes out to Dr. Ezike - her sincerity shines through. But I have to repeat my comment about Governor Pritzker from this morning: actions speak louder than words. Enough of these endless sermons - start shutting down the most flagrant and egregious violators. Maybe that will get the message out where these press conferences haven’t. You’ll also provide cover for those businesses who want to enforce some of these regulations but are afraid of offending their customers - at least the customers will know why they feel compelled to do it. He says he hasn’t enforced your COVID rules because he feels for the businesses who might not recover, but what does that tell those who followed the rules - that they were fools who should have waited at a minimum for the initial warning?


  8. - Lt Guv - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:05 pm:

    For all of those who have not been infected and are complaining about “CORONA fatigue” (which is real, I’m not belittling the idea), Dr. Ezike is experience the worst case of it, with cause. Thank you Doctor.


  9. - illinifan - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    Dr. Ezike’s tears got to me. We need to take it seriously. I still hear people saying when the election is over, you will see the virus ends. All I have to say is you can’t cure stupid.


  10. - very old soil - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:12 pm:

    ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Winnebago County Health Department has issued closure orders for 13 more locally owned businesses for remaining open or refusing to enforce face covering mandates, in defiance of Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest Region 1 COVID-19 restrictions.


  11. - JoanP - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:13 pm:

    =hizzoner isn’t looking at gas stations and other retail outlets=

    How much time to you spend interacting with folks in gas stations? And how much time do you spend in a restaurant?


  12. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:16 pm:

    9,418 of our fellow Illinoisans have died from this pandemic as of this afternoon. Dr. Ezike has very likely reviewed every single patient record.


  13. - Cardinal Fan - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:18 pm:

    The 15:20 mark or so into this presser . . . watch it . . . This should be a requirement for those that choose not to wear a mask, who choose to go about their business like nothing has happened. This is a doctor that is a professional that is genuinely caring for the people of this state, imploring us all . . . wear the mask, follow social distancing, stay home as you can. Geez, c’mon people, we are all better than what our state is seemingly falling into.


  14. - Cardinal Fan - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    sorry . . . Dr. Ezike is on about the 10:30 mark this most recent time I watched it again.


  15. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:25 pm:

    That was the most powerful thing I’ve ever seen at a government press conference. Pure raw emotion and exhaustion. People need to remember that behind these jobs are real human being who suffer through the same experiences as the rest of us, only more so. The pressure these people have been under from the governor on down is simply unimaginable to the rest of us. And it’s all about to get a hell of a lot worse. Cases and hospitalizations are exploding. Deaths will follow. I beg people like Darren Bailey, DeVore and others who are out there posturing for their own self-aggrandizement to stop. Try and get in touch with your humanity. Have a seance if that would help. But stop. You are part of the problem. You are prolonging and deepening the impact of this virus. It’s time to become part of the solution. Please.

    In the meantime, God bless Dr. Ezike, JB, his entire staff and all the first responders for doing what they’re doing for the rest of us. You are our heroes.


  16. - SouthSide Markie - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    Think of it this way. Every day, you get a list of people who have died as a result of the pandemic. You think about the fact that each one had a life to live and a family and friends that will suffer without that person. Each one. And you wonder what you might have done that would have maybe saved just one. And while you’re thinking that, people are not only thumbing their nose at your efforts by openly defying your efforts, they’re coming to your house to protest you. I’d cry too.


  17. - harp5339 - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    Was that science expert Amy Jacobson claiming that everybody is wearing their masks and they don’t work?


  18. - BTO2 - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    It does grow old hearing how one’s rights are violated having to wear a mask. Our family friend, who is 25 was air lifted to Stl last night. We pray she makes it.

    In 7 days, went from positive with cough to ventilator. Thank you Director, many of us support you and your efforts.


  19. - thoughts matter - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    There’s a new study out showing that if we don’t wear masks at a higher rate than now and we continue to eliminate social distancing … the USA will lose an accumulative total of a million people by March 1st. If we shut down and don’t increase mask wearing, it will be 500,000.

    Only by 95% of us wearing masks and social distancing and appropriate restrictions can we get the number below 400,000.

    I tried to get the link, but it wasn’t working for me. It was in CNN website.


  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    ===Was that science expert Amy Jacobson===

    Yes. A real genius that one.


  21. - Moe Berg - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    Belligerent ignorance and Covid denialism is bringing many of us to tears.

    Dr. Ezike and Gov. Pritzker are up against this mentality (which could just as easily be many places in IL):

    “The majority of health board members in Idaho’s third-most populous county voted to repeal a mask mandate Thursday, even after doctors from a hospital explained that facilities were being overwhelmed by patients infected with the coronavirus.

    “The hospital in Coeur d’Alene reached nearly 100 percent capacity the day before the vote, even after the hospital bought more beds and doubled up patients in rooms, the Associated Press reports.”


  22. - DownSouth - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:36 pm:

    === That was the most powerful thing I’ve ever seen at a government press conference. ===
    I whole heartedly concur.
    I too found myself weeping with her. Incredible display of leadership, compassion, and caring today on all fronts


  23. - JS Mill - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    @BTO2- I hope your friend makes it. I will be sending positive thoughts her way.

    What happened to the America that pulled together during a crisis? Now we have people running around in a bus attacking people who are only trying to save lives.

    I am thankful that Dr, Ezike is there looking out for us.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    - BTO2 -

    My prayers for your friend.

    Amy Jacobson “allows herself” to speak, and by doing so allows us all to see what little knowledge she has.


  25. - Anon221 - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:49 pm:

    JoanP - “How much time to you spend interacting with folks in gas stations? And how much time do you spend in a restaurant?”

    I was actually in line with 10 others, inside with a non-masker behind me, one at the counter taking over 5 minutes to resolve some issue or other with the clerk, and most everyone else had masks on yesterday. Probably not long enough or close enough for me to be impacted, but what about the employees? This particular station already had to close once and several employees were off for two weeks under quarantine. They all mask up. It’s the inconsiderate maskless that come in a bold as can be that are contributing to exposure risks. Those people need to be held to account somehow. They just ignore requests, signs, and comments. It’s going to take some sort of enforcement, but our local sheriff and States Attorney stand by and do nothing, while the Health Department Director wrings his hands and ineffectual. It’s really, really sad when a gas station would need to potentially hire a bouncer in order to get compliance.


  26. - truthteller - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    time to consider daily fines issued and if locals do not do it, start withholding state monies and grants


  27. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    Who wants to tell someone that their loved one passed away? Multiply that by thousands of people in Illinois, and hundreds of thousands in America. That makes my eyes water too.


  28. - Andrea Durbin - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    Thank you, Dr. Ezike, for your compassionate leadership. Your honest and authentic response should call out to the essential humanity in us all. Wearing a mask is really such a small and easy thing to do. It is mystifying why people are not willing to make such a small concession to the common health and well-being of our communities.


  29. - From DaZoo - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    Rich - perhaps the Dr. Ezike line is a lead in to your question of the day? “What message would you propose?”


  30. - Flat Footed - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    “It is mystifying”

    I guess we all aren’t as virtuous as you.

    What is mystifying is the number of people that think masks will make this go away, because it will not. Slow the spread? Sure, and we drag this nonsense out another year or two. Immunity via vaccine or exposure is the only way out.


  31. - Lynn S. - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:08 pm:

    I was listening to this on the radio.

    It was apparent Dr. Ezike was upset.

    I didn’t know she was crying.

    I feel so badly for her.

    DeVore, Bailey, and crew need to grow up, man up, put on masks, stop harassing Gov. Pritzker and Dr. Ezike.

    (And 51 counties already? We’re toast. Humans are awful.)


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    === I guess we all aren’t as virtuous as you.===

    It’s sad to character that you think that this is a good thing. I feel sorry for you.

    I think this is probably why I think this;

    === What is mystifying is the number of people that think masks will make this go away, because it will not. Slow the spread? Sure, and we drag this nonsense out another year or two.===

    The lives you may be saving?

    Your family. Your friends. Your neighbors. People you don’t know. All people.

    It’s pathetic that slowing the spread, and saving lives…

    … is a bridge too far.

    Selfish.


  33. - lake county democrat - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    Flat Footed - actually New Zealand, Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Etc. show that if it won’t make it go away, it sure minimizes the human and economic costs. And while we wait for a vaccine, what good reason is there for not wearing a mask? The “psychological horror” of not being able to see an entire face? Thank goodness your mindset wasn’t around during WWII when civilians had to make real sacrifices.


  34. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:10 pm:

    Seeing Dr. Ezike cry pains me to know end. She is not a politician. She’s a doctor who has committed herself to saving lives regardless of who’s life it is. Republican, Democratic it makes no difference to her.

    What we need is unity amongst our leaders. I applaud Governor Pritzker for the things he’s done to lead here but he’s been forced to go it alone. Instead of having Darren Bailey running around the state yelling that Pritzker “has got to pay the price” we need courageous Republican to come together with their Democratic counterparts and lead by example. Recognize that we have a common enemy - the virus. Our leaders have failed us. But there’s nothing preventing them from doing what now needs to be done to put this behind us once and for all.


  35. - former southerner - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:11 pm:

    =What is mystifying is the number of people that think masks will make this go away, because it will not. Slow the spread? Sure, and we drag this nonsense out another year or two. Immunity via vaccine or exposure is the only way out.=

    Or perhaps those masks will reduce the total number we lose and the total number with lasting impact from COVID while the vaccine is prepared and distributed. One point is true, you have a doctorate in nonsense.


  36. - Anon221 - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:15 pm:

    Flat Footed- Didn’t you forget one category??? I’ll let you think on it, but the word starts with a “D” and is associated with heart rendering grief. Death is not “nonsense”, and neither are potentially life-long permanent and costly health effects. Just stop with the “herd mentality” crap. Vaccines will help, but we are not there yet. Herd Immunity will kill millions worldwide, hundreds of thousands here in the US. Until we get a vaccine, a mask+soap+distancing+a dose of American Ingenuity on how to save businesses would be a much better roadmap.


  37. - Independent - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:16 pm:

    Slowing the spread is important because for the reasons mentioned above, plus it keeps ICUs from being overwhelmed. We used to be a country where people endured rations and saved every piece of scrap metal they could find to support the WW II effort. Now we are asked to undergo the minor inconvenience of wearing masks and it’s viewed as a sinister liberal plot to control us. What a bunch of spoiled brats we’ve become.


  38. - Earnest - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:17 pm:

    What is mystifying is the number of people that think masks will make this go away,

    There are people out there who think that masks will just make this go away? News to me.


  39. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 23, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    =actually New Zealand, Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Etc. show that if it won’t make it go away, it sure minimizes the human and economic costs.=

    New York population = 19M, Covid deaths = 30,000
    Taiwan population = 24M, Covid deaths = 7


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