CHICAGO — Gov. JB Pritzker said he will end his weekday coronavirus updates Friday.
Pritzker has provided updates Monday-Friday during the fall and early winter as Illinois was hit by a second wave of COVID-19 that’s left thousands more dead. That wave has continued, with more than 3,000 reported dead in the past three weeks, though the number of new cases and the state’s positivity rate have fallen recently.
But starting next week, those news conferences will only be held on as-needed basis, Pritzker said Friday.
“I can promise that you’ll still be hearing from Dr. Ezike and me often as we provide regular updates on vaccine distribution, the status of our regions in the Restore Illinois plan and general statewide COVID-19 trends,” Pritzker said. “It’s important to Dr. Ezike and me that we communicate regularly about” the pandemic.
Pritzker has held 42 updates this fall, and Friday marked his 155th coronavirus update since the pandemic’s start this spring.
In the spring, Pritzker did daily updates, stopping them in the summer as Illinois’ outbreak lulled. The end of daily updates was seen as a positive sign the state had regained control of its COVID-19 outbreak.
Pritzker brought back weekday updates in the fall, when the second wave hit.
And though the state’s numbers remain high as of Friday, it does appear new cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations are headed down, Pritzker said.
Still, the governor said, it’s too soon to lift mitigations in Illinois regions.
“First of all, we’re very glad that things are moving in the right direction. We’re also concerned the numbers have not come down as precipitously as we would have liked to have seen by now, so that’s of great concern to us.”
Pritzker will look at lowering mitigations after the holidays, in January, he said.
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