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Pritzker ‘cautiously optimistic’ Illinois has started to bend COVID-19 curve

Pritzker ‘cautiously optimistic’ Illinois has started to bend COVID-19 curve

Gov. JB Pritzker said Sunday he was “cautiously optimistic” that the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Illinois has started to plateau.

The percentage of residents who have tested positive for the virus has remained steady for about two weeks, he said. The 43 deaths reported Sunday was also the lowest it has been in six days.

“I pray as we move forward that these trends continue, and if they do, it will be because of all of you adhering to our stay-at-home order,” Pritzker said.

Officials reported 124 more deaths over the weekend, bringing the state’s total to 720. There were 2,965 new cases over the weekend, bringing the state’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 20,852 in 86 counties.

There have been 100,735 total tests.

Pritzker also announced this weekend some new initiatives aimed at extending telehealth and mental health services for those struggling during the pandemic.

The state has partnered with OSF HealthCare and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine on a program to offer telehealth services to those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but who do not need hospitalization in central and southern Illinois.

Patients will be connected with a healthcare worker to establish “daily virtual visits,” as well as sent a thermometer, blood pressure cuff and alcohol wipes. The services will be available to anyone, regardless of insurance.

A partnership to cover the northern region of the state will be finalized this week, according to a statement from Pritzker’s office.

The Illinois Department of Human Services will offer an emotional support service, which will connect any resident, free-of-charge, to a counselor in their region.

“We recognize that the mental well-being of Illinois is strained as a result of the pandemic,” said Kia Coleman, assistant secretary of the department.

Additionally, Pritzker announced Sunday the state is now up to nearly 8,000 daily tests for COVID-19. He previously said the goal for this past week was to get to 10,000 daily tests. He also announced that Apple and its CEO Tim Cook have provided Illinois with 100,000 N95 masks for healthcare workers and first responders.


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