Pritzker says coronavirus cases trending up in Illinois, as new restrictions take effect in Metro East

Coronavirus Watch
WATCH ABOVE: Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and health officials speak about the spread of COVID-19 in the state and the latest mitigation measures

CHICAGO — Officials expressed new concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus in Illinois Wednesday, warning the state is trending upwards as new restrictions take effect in the Metro East region.

Governor JB Pritzker said Wednesday the state is imposing additional coronavirus mitigation measures in the region outside St. Louis, including shutting down indoor service at bars and restaurants, as the 7-day positivity rate remains above the state’s limit of 8 percent. As of August 30, the rate in the region came in at 9.6 percent.

“Let me be clear: these are not decisions I make lightly, nor would I impose these restrictions if there wasn’t evidence of increasing spread of the virus in these areas; I want our businesses to be open, and I want our hospitality scenes to thrive,” Pritzker said.

Illinois health officials reported 2,128 new COVID-19 cases and 27 additional coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed over the past day Wednesday.

This was not at all the update that businesses across Illinois wanted to hear. The governor says getting the economy going again while fighting the virus is like having one hand tied behind your back.    

“It’s time to mask up, Illinois. If we all do our parts, masks, distance, hand washing, getting tested, we can get through this and we can come out stronger on the other side,” Pritzker said.

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