New data suggest fewer people are abiding by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, a trend the governor called concerning.
Pritzker was asked about the data on Monday and whether it could lead to a surge in new cases of COVID-19 this summer or fall.
“I’m concerned about it, I don’t know if I expect it exactly, but I am deeply concerned about it. It’s the reason why we’re following this very gradual plan, it makes sure we have health care capacity to deal with any kind of surges,” Pritzker said during a video news conference from his home. “But yeah, if people don’t follow the plan, or if people don’t wear face coverings when they’re out in public as directed, more people are going to get coronavirus.”
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus, which emerged in late 2019.
Pritzker said that especially with warmer weather on the way in the coming months, more people would likely be tempted to gather throughout the state.
“We just want them to do everything they can to keep themselves safe,” he said. “We’ll keep monitoring. We hope people will follow the rules and I think we’ll be able to make it through to the fall. And then, I must say, I’m concerned about all the warnings that have been given by epidemiologists about the potential for a surge in the fall. Because if people don’t learn the lessons over the summer that we’ve learned over the last couple of months and then we hit a fall surge, we’re going to be in big trouble.”
The governor also said he doesn’t know if he is personally profiting from any of the companies owned by the Pritzker Group that offer COVID-19 testing.
“Three years ago when I decided to run for governor, I put all assets in a blind trust form and they continue to be in that form and so I’m not involved, I don’t even know the engagement of those businesses in anything that has to do with this,” Pritzker said. “I’m three years from having had any knowledge about any of those.”
Also on Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,294 new cases COVID-19 in Illinois, including 59 additional deaths.
Statewide, the department has reported a total of 96,485 cases, including 4,234 deaths. Cases have been reported in 100 of the state’s 102 counties.
In the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 21,297 specimens for a total of 603,241 tests. The statewide 7-day rolling positivity rate – from May 9-15 – was 14%, the department said.