Pritzker says Illinois saved lives with holiday mitigations, restrictions could ease this week

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said some regions across the state may be able to move back to Tier 2 mitigations as soon as Friday.

“If things continue to improve in a region, IDPH will re-classify that region according to Tier 2, Tier 1, and back to Phase 4 as they meet the necessary metrics. If we maintain adherence to mask-wearing and social distancing, and getting vaccinated when it’s your time, we will experience a robust recovery that I know we all look forward to,” the governor said.

Having avoided at “post-holiday surge” anticipated by state health officials, Pritzker said regions which show improvement in the following metrics could see an easing of restrictions this week:

*less than 12 percent test positivity rate for three consecutive days
*greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability
*declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 out of the last 10 days

“This fall and winter have brought the United States to new all-time records in hospitalizations and in deaths and Illinois has not been immune to that. But in large part, because we acted before Thanksgiving with Tier 3 mitigations, we in Illinois have seen the number of COVID hospital patients and positivity rates drop over 1/3rd since November 20th as hospital rates across the nation continue to surge,” Pritzker said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported 4,776 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus, including 53 additional deaths.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from January 4–10, 2021 is 7.6%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from January 4–10, 2021 is 8.9%.

Region 1’s 7-day rolling positivity average: 9.4% (10.1% yesterday)

Boone: 15.3 % (15.7% yesterday)
Carroll: 4.8% (4.4% yesterday)
DeKalb: 12.3% (12.8% yesterday)
Jo Daviess: 8.7% (8% yesterday)
Lee: 2.5% (3.2% yesterday)
Ogle: 11.1% (12.1% yesterday)
Stephenson: 5.9% (6.3% yesterday)
Whiteside: 8.7% (9.7% yesterday)
Winnebago: 10.6% (11.3% yesterday)

The governor also gave an update on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, saying the state has administered 334,939 of 587,900 doses delivered to the state, 478,175 of which went to public and private healthcare providers outside of Chicago.

CVS and Walgreens have partnered to provide 231,400 doses to staff and residents of long-term care facilities so far.

Some communities have already completed Phase 1A of the vaccine rollout, which includes frontline healthcare workers and long-term care residents.

“I expect to make a formal announcement later this week on when Illinois will move into Phase 1B on a statewide basis,” Pritzker said today.

“The advancements we have made in science and technology have allowed us to reach this point and we have safe and effective vaccines,” said Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

Ezike also encouraged residents to share photos of their vaccine experiences on social media with the hashtag #VaxUpIL.

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