Illinois Reaches 79,007 COVID-19 Cases With 3,459 Deaths as Pritzker Self Isolates From Home

Courtesy of U.S. Department of StateContact tracing is a vital tool to fight COVID-19 and Gov. Pritzker said he’s working to expand it as more than 2,000 new cases of the virus are announced Monday.

Officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 1,266 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 54 additional deaths May 11, pushing the state’s total to 79,007 cases and 3,459 deaths.

This follows an increase of 3,981 new cases and 168 more deaths over the weekend from May 9 and 10, according to data from the IDPH website

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike gave the May 11 press conference update via video call in self isolation, following reports someone in the governor’s office tested positive for the virus while asymptomatic. Pritzker said he was notified on Saturday of the test result and has been isolating in his Chicago house since then. 

During the press confernce, Ezike said Illinois got its first allocation of remdesivir — an antiviral drug which may prove to be useful in the treatment for COVID-19. 

The drug has been shipped to 14 hospitals across the state, with each hospital having enough to treat about five patients. 

Pritzker also said that based on current models, Illinois hasn’t passed its peak, a result of flattening the curve of infections. The R-nought value — a metric telling how many new infections come from a single infection — has also improved. 

In March, the R-nought value was at around 3.6, meaning each new infection caused more than three additional infections. That value has dropped to 1.0, with the goal to get it to less than one, Pritzker said. 

The Northeast Region — which includes Chicago — is currently in phase two Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan. Some restrictions on non-essential businesses have been eased, but Ezike stressed face mask use and social distancing need to be followed or else regions risk an increase in cases.

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