Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced changes in the way health officials will monitor the spread of the coronavirus and warned that restrictions could be re-implemented if cases increase.
According to the latest state figures, over a 14-day period the average number of new cases experienced a slight increase since Illinois entered Phase 4 of its reopening plan.
The governor said that the number of tests administered also increased significantly and that despite the July 8-14, the state recorded a slight increase in the infection rate (3.1%), compared to neighboring states, Illinois has the lowest infection rate in the region.
Despite this, Pritzker says it is time to act and continue to adhere to sanitation protocols, wear face masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said that during the summer some areas of the state are registering an increase in cases, particularly among young people.
“This virus has not disappeared, it is still making people sick and it will probably continue to do so in the coming months,” said the governor.
Pritzker said that from now on health officials will increase the number of regions established in the “Restore Illinois” plan to be able to more precisely monitor the spread of the virus, act quickly and establish restrictions and closings if necessary.
Originally the state was divided into five major regions, but now there will be 11 different regions, and the city of Chicago and Cook County will be part of an independent region.
The 11 new regions, and the counties they include, are as follows:
NORTH: Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago NORTH-CENTRAL: Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, WoodfordWEST-CENTRAL: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon , Schuyler, Scott METRO EAST: Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington SOUTHERN: Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, WilliamsonEAST-CENTRAL: Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Iroquois, Jasper, Lawrence, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt , Richland, Shelby, Vermillion SOUTH SUBURBAN: Kankakee, WillWEST SUBURBAN: DuPage, KaneNORTH SUBURBAN: Lake, McHenrySUBURBAN CO OK: Suburban CooKCHICAGO: City of Chicago
This Wednesday, Illinois registered 1,187 new cases of COVID-19 and 8 additional deaths, bringing the total number of positive cases to 156, 693 and 7,226 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
HERE: Additional information and map of the new regions and the government.