CHICAGO — Illinois saw 1,298 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 10 more deaths in the past day as the state’s overall positivity rate continued to slowly rise.
One month ago, the statewide positivity rate measuring the percentage of tests revealing confirmed cases of coronavirus was at 2.6 percent. On Monday, the state said it had risen to 4 percent. The rate is a rolling average of positive cases in the past seven days.
There have now been 183,241 confirmed cases and 7,526 deaths in Illinois since the start of the pandemic.
There are now 1,418 people in Illinois hospitals battling COVID-19, including 347 in intensive care units. Of those, 132 are on ventilators.
“If we continue on the track we’re on, we’ll need to look at bringing back some restrictions that we’ve seen over the last few months,” Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. Nobody wants that. We haven’t seen enough people wearing face coverings and following the rule we put in place on May 1.”
On Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new, $5 million public awareness campaign that implores people to wear masks. The campaign using the slogan “It only works if you wear it” will be featured in ads on TV, radio, social media and billboards.
The ads compare wearing masks to seat belts, life jackets, bike helmets and football helmets.
“I believe that just reminding people: Bring the mask with you, make sure you’re wearing it, don’t wear it around your neck when you are in public, wear it over your nose and mouth, is one of the most important things we can do to keep healthy and safe,” the governor said.
Pritzker said he is considering a statewide rule to step up enforcement of his mask mandate, but noted enforcement for now is handled on the local level.
“Look, some people are just never going to get the message, right? They are just never going to want to wear a mask. I’m not sure what we’re going to end up doing,” he said at a press conference. “You can ticket people who drive 100 miles an hour every time they drive 100 miles an hour, I suppose. But what I would say to those people is: You are endangering the health and safety of your own family, of your neighbors your friends and everybody who lives in your community.”
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