Illinois COVID-19: IL reports 2,630 new coronavirus cases, 42 deaths; Gov. Pritzker says Metro East region could see mitigations removed

Pritzker tests negative twice for COVID-19 after aide's positive test
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker gave an update on the state's COVID-19 response as public health officials announced 2,630 new cases of COVID-19 and 42 additional deaths Wednesday.

Pritzker, who has been in quarantine for more than a week after an aide tested positive for COVID-19, said his health is "great" and that his two COVID-19 tests have come back negative.

"My quarantine health is great," the governor said. "My family hasn't seen me this much in quite some time."

Pritzker said he's enjoying family time and being home immediately after work. He's also being tested for COVID-19.

"I've been tested twice during that time period. Both tests came back negative," he said.

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Governor JB Pritzker gives an update on Illinois' COVID-19 response.



The total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois now stands at 307,641 with 8,878 deaths, the IDPH reported.

As of Tuesday night, 1,679 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 372 patients in the ICU and 165 on ventilators.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 58,820 specimens for a total of more than six million tests. The seven-day positivity rate from Sept. 30 - Oct. 6 is at 3.5%.

At his update, Pritzker said Region 4, the Metro East Region, has seen its positivity rates decline to 6.3%. The region saw its seven-day positivity rate peak at more than 10% and has had mitigations in place since August.

"That's enormous progress, and if the region sustains an average below the 6.5% threshold, Region 4 could see a return to the looser mitigations enacted in most of the state as soon as Friday," Pritzker said.

The governor also addressed the fact that the pandemic will affect the elections this year.

He wants people to vote early, whether that's in-person or by mail. He said this will help ease crowds on Election Day.

And he's pushing Illinoisans to register to vote.

"If you want to register to vote right now. You can do it on your mobile phone," he said.

You can register to vote on your phone or any device. The website is ova.elections.il.gov.

The governor is asking people to get involved, especially healthy people who could work on Election Day.

"I encourage young and middle age people who are not immune-compromised to step up and volunteer as election judges in your community," he said. "A role that your elderly neighbors have embraced as part of their civic service."

COVID-19 also continues to impact schools across the state. Although the governor said he wants in-person learning, he wants leaders to decide on the local level.

"We're going to continue to make testing more available, to make contact tracing more robust and leave it up to local schools and school districts at what pace they want to return kids back into the classroom," he said.
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