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Pritzker: Data shows Illinois is bending COVID-19 curve

Pritzker: Data shows Illinois is bending COVID-19 curve

Illinois has started to bend its COVID-19 curve, Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday, pointing to a slowed growth of confirmed cases.

As of Sunday, the number of cases in the state was doubling every 8.2 days, compared to a doubling rate of every two days in late March.

The mortality doubling rate has also increased. At the beginning of April, Pritzker said it was at 2.5 days. It’s now every 5.5 days.

“The fact that our doubling rate continues to increase in every metric is a clear demonstration that there is a deceleration of virus transmission,” Pritzker said. “We are, in fact, bending the curve.”

Pritzker’s comments come just two days after he said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the number of Illinois cases was near its plateau.

He credited the state’s stay-at-home order and cautioned that Illinoisans need to continue adhering to it to ensure continued positive results.

“This curve may not flatten and it may go up again if we don’t adhere to the stay-at-home order,” Pritzker said. “We need to stay the course, for now, for our efforts to truly remain effective.”

As of Monday, 4,283 COVID-19 patients and suspected COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. Of that number, 1,189 were in an intensive care unit and 796 patients were using a ventilator.

Two-thirds of the state’s 2,987 ICU beds are occupied and 45 percent of available ventilators were in use.

Bed availability varies by region of the state, with Chicago’s southwest suburban hospitals reporting only 16.6 percent of their ICU beds are available. In the city and its west and northeast suburbs, roughly one-quarter of ICU beds are available.

Pritzker said the numbers have held steady over the past week.

“These numbers are indicators of our growing ability to manage capacity within the healthcare systems across Illinois,” he said. “We need to stay the course for our efforts to remain effective.”

Officials still reported another 74 deaths Tuesday, and 1,222 additional positive tests.

So far 868 people have died from COVID-19. There have been a total of 23,247 confirmed cases in 88 counties.

There have been 110,616 total tests.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said their survey of positive COVID-19 patients indicates that 44 percent of patients recover after seven days. That number increases to 50 percent after 14 days, 61 percent at 21 days and 69 percent at 28 days.

Pritzker also said he and his staff have been in contact with other governors, both in the Midwest and the East Coast, about coordinating decisions on when states can start to reopen sectors of the economy.

However, he said preconditions for the loosening of current restrictions would include improvements in the number of people who can be tested, better tracing of those who have contacted people with confirmed cases and improved treatment for COVID-19 patients, in addition to easier access of personal protective equipment for the general population.

Officials also announced Tuesday that 3,600 retired and out-of-state healthcare professionals have applied to re-enter the field during the pandemic.


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