Pritzker says to residents not wearing a mask: ‘the enemy is you,’ as IDPH reports July’s highest daily COVID-19 cases

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker admonished Illinois residents who refuse to wear a mask at his coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, as the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,600 new cases, the highest in the month of July so far.

“It is on all of us to bring these numbers down,” Pritzker said. “This virus is not a blue state or red state virus. The deadly nature of this virus is not a hoax. Going out without a mask is not a political statement. It demonstrates a callous disregard for people in your county, your state, and our nation. You’re endangering everyone around you. The enemy is you.”

The Governor said Illinois’ daily numbers are gradually rising, and said that was very concerning.

“COVID-19 has not gone away and it remains a serious threat,” Pritzker warned on Wednesday. “It doesn’t take long to reverse all of our gains.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced 1,598 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, the highest so far in July, including 23 additional confirmed deaths.

  • Cook County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 50s, 1 male 50s, 3 females 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 female 90s
  • DeKalb County: 1 female 90s
  • DuPage County: 1 female 50s
  • Kane County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s
  • Knox County: 1 female 70s
  • Lake County: 1 female 70s
  • McHenry County: 1 male 50s
  • Montgomery County: 1 female 100+
  • St. Clair County: 1 female 70s
  • Winnebago County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 165,301 cases, including 7,347 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 39,633 specimens for a total of 2,348,487.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 15 –July 21 is 3.2%. As of last night, 1,456 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 337 patients were in the ICU and 132 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

Pritzker said Illinois’ Metro-East region was dangerously close to rolling back into Phase 3 restrictions. The Governor has vowed to take action if a region’s rolling test positivity rate rises above 8%.

“If it sounds like I am taking this extremely seriously, it’s because I am and you should too,” he said.

In addition, the Illinois Department of Employment Security is investigating a widespread fraud scheme being conducted nationwide, which impacts each state’s federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

Pritzker said anyone who has not filed an unemployment claim but has received a debit card or an unemployment insurance finding letter in the mail has most likely been the target of fraud. An individual’s personal identifying information is being used by fraudsters to file an unemployment claim is likely due to a prior cyber hack or data breach, such as the Equifax breach.

Pritzker said anyone who has received the card should not activate it, and anyone who believes they have been the victim of fraud should call IDES at 800-814-0513.

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