Pritzker, officials urge Illinois residents to ‘stay in your own immediate household’ for Thanksgiving

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said the state would borrow less than the federal government has offered to cover short-term budget losses caused by COVID-19, in an effort to be responsible about paying it back.

Pritzker said the state has taken two hits to government finances due to the coronavirus pandemic: First, the state’s need to provide PPE for frontline workers, small businesses and healthcare workers, ventilators, rental assistance programs; second, a massive loss of tax revenue to state and local governments.

Although the federal CARES Act gave funds to reimburse some of those losses, Illinois has suffered job losses, fewer purchases of goods, and complete shutdown of travel and tourism industry, to the cost of more than $5 billion, Pritzker said.

He said, “As we wait for Congress to act, governments must work with the tools we have.”

The governor said the state government will work to address long-term problems created by the pandemic in the next legislative session, saying that President-elect Joe Biden and the U.S. House have pledged to provide state and local stimulus funding to assist with short-term deficits.

Pritzker said the state will borrow only $2 billion of the $5 billion offered by the federal government, in order to shorten the term necessary to pay it back, saying he is “very reluctant to saddle our state with that much short-term debt.”

Pritzker also made a plea for residents not to get together with family for Thanksgiving tomorrow, saying, “This is not the year to have everyone over at grandma’s house.”

“Any day we throw caution to the wind is a day we set back progress for healthcare workers, who may not see their family on holidays anyways,” he said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 11,378 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 155 additional deaths.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 685,467 cases, including 11,832 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 114,233 specimens for a total 10,104,537. As of last night, 6,133 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,208 patients were in the ICU and 679 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said, “Please be a part of the solution and not part of the problem,” and urged residents to stay within their immediate households for Thanksgiving, and get a test after the holiday if they do travel.

She indicated that the IDPH is bracing for a new spike two weeks from now, as residents spread COVID-19 this weekend.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from November 18 – November 24, 2020 is 10.6%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from November 18 – November 24, 2020 is 12.2%.

Region 1’s 7-day rolling positivity average: 15.8% (16.3% yesterday)

Boone: 22.2% (22.8% yesterday)
Carroll: 13.6% (17.8 % yesterday)
DeKalb: 11.5% (12.1% yesterday)
Jo Daviess: 13.5% (16.1% yesterday)
Lee: 16% (15.4% yesterday)
Ogle: 16.2% (17.4% yesterday)
Stephenson: 17% (15.4 % yesterday)
Whiteside: 19.2% (19.4% yesterday)
Winnebago: 15.8% (16.1% yesterday)

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