SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday the number of new patients being hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state is starting to slow.
Pritzker added the state isn’t past the latest wave just yet.
Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 4,871 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 26 related deaths Tuesday. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Aug. 24-30 is at 5.7%. As of Monday night, 2,266 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 537 patients were in the ICU and 301 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Pritzker mandated that masks be worn by everyone in Illinois, ages 2-and-up, starting this past Monday, regardless of their vaccination status.
The Governor once again urged residents who have not been vaccinated to get immunized.
Pritzker said vaccination is one of the easiest ways to protect against the coronavirus.
Illinois Rep. Tony McCombie (R-71st) pressed Pritzker to show data and studies that prove masks work to slow the spread of the virus. The Governor’s Office responded Tuesday by sending 870 pages to McCombie, via a staffer.
McCombie had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the data, studies, and any letters from parents to the Governor that referred to the mask mandate in schools.
“I think it’s absolutely, positively that it’s become political,” McCombie said. “It’s ridiculous that he’s going to showboat and have his staff showboat around empty offices when we’re all in caucus. I mean, have the guts to do it when we’re siting at our desks.”
Reports have said that many of the letters Pritzker receives are from parents thanking him for enforcing mask rules.