CHICAGO — People should start returning for doctor visits now, as the number of new coronavirus cases is dropping, the state’s top health official said Tuesday.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, urged people to get medical checkups and take their children in for physicals and immunizations. She said too many people have put off those practices due to the coronavirus pandemic — but now is a prime time to reschedule them since the state is seeing fewer new cases and deaths from COVID-19.
“Yes, there could be a surge of COVID-19 in the fall or perhaps earlier, but let’s make sure we take this opportunity now to get to our doctors,” Ezike said during a press conference about reopening schools this fall. “Let’s get our immunizations. Let’s get our health screenings.
“Let’s get as healthy as we can. Your baseline health status affects how you fare against this virus.”
That means people should get bloodwork down and get screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies, Ezike said.
Parents should take children in for back-to-school physicals and should get immunization shots done, which have fallen off amid the pandemic, Ezike said.
Illinois has seen five weeks of week-over-week decreases in new cases and deaths related to COVID-19, Ezike said.
Hospitalizations have also fallen dramatically. Early Tuesday, Illinois had 1,648 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 434 people in intensive care units and 236 people on ventilators.
At the peak, the state had more than 5,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 1,290 people in intensive care units, Ezike said.
“The good news is, is Illinois has seen declining cases and declining fatality totals week after week for the past five consecutive weeks,” Ezike said. “I commend every resident of Illinois for thinking of your neighbors across the state during this ongoing battle against COVID-19.
“Lives are in your hands, and you’ve saved so many with your actions. These actions have given Illinois a leg up against this virus.”
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