ILLINOIS — Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that Illinois has yet to reach a peak in COVID-19 cases and the peak could be weeks away.
During his daily news conference, done for the first time online from his home in Chicago after a staffer tested positive COVID-19 over the weekend, Pritzker said the peak could still be weeks away, possibly in mid-June.
“Compared to the forecast that I shared with you on April 23, which predicted peaking between late April and early May, that time frame of plateauing near a peak has been expanded from mid-May into mid-June,” the governor said. “In many ways, this news is disheartening.”
Despite opposition from Republican lawmakers and some business owners, Pritzker said he plans to stick to his five-phase Restore Illinois plan.
Some communities downstate with low numbers of COVID-19 cases would like to open up for business at the end of the month or before. Pritzker said that would be a mistake.
“Lifting all of our mitigation at the end of May would likely lead to a second wave of outbreak in each and every one of our four regions,” he said.
For a second straight day, new cases of the coronavirus were down compared to past weeks. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,266 new cases with 54 additional deaths.
As of Monday, the department reported a total of just over 79,000 cases, including 3,459 COVID-19-related deaths in 98 of the state’s 102 counties.
The Center Square – Kevin Bessler