LIVE: Gov. Pritzker holds daily Illinois coronavirus briefing for Tuesday, May 19th


>>>HELLO THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. WE START TODAY’S CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING WITH GOVERNOR PRITZKER. GOVERNOR THANKS VERY MUCH JORDAN AND GOOD AFTERNOON TO EVERYONE. WELCOME TO OUR TUESDAY, MAY 19, DAILY UPDATE. WE ARE GOING TO START IT OFF AS USUAL WITH THE MEDICAL UPDATE FROM DR. NGOZI EZIKE. DOCTOR?>>Dr. Ezike: THANK YOU, GOVERNOR. GOOD AFTERNOON. I WILL GET RIGHT TO THE MEDICAL UPDATE. SINCE YESTERDAY WE ARE REPORTING 1,545 ADDITIONAL INDIVIDUALS WITH COVID-19. WE NOW HAVE 98,030 TOTAL CASES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS DOES INCLUDE 146 ADDITIONAL PEOPLE WITH COVID-19 WHO HAVE BEEN REPORTED TO HAVE DIED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS FOR A TOTAL OF 4,379 FATALITIES. A TOTAL OF 621,684 TOTAL TESTS HAVE BEEN RUN IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS WITH 18,443 TESTS REPORTED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS. WE HAVE AN ACTIVITY RATE OF 8% FOR THE LAST 24 HOURS. AS OF LAST NIGHT 4,002 INDIVIDUALS WERE IN THE HOSPITAL WITH COVID-19 AND OF THOSE, 993 PATIENTS WERE IN THE ICU AND 576 PATIENTS WERE ON VENTILATORS. THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THE STAY-AT-HOME PLANS ARE WORKING. PEOPLE ARE ASKING WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CASES AND WHY ARE PEOPLE CONTINUING TO DIE? WE KNOW THAT THE NUMBER OF CASES IS A BIG FUNCTION OF HOW MANY TESTS WE ARE DOING, AND WE KNOW THAT THE DEATHS WOULD HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED IF WE HAD NOT IMPLEMENTED A STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. WE COULD HAVE BEEN SEEING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DEATHS. SO AS WE MOVE TO REOPEN, WE MUST DO IT SAFELY AND DELIBERATELY. THE DECISION TO CHANGE OUR DAILY LIVES WAS NOT MADE LIGHTLY. I’M VERY THANKFUL TO GOVERNOR PRITZKER FOR FIRMLY DECIDING TO PROTECT ALL ILLINOISANS BY ENACTING THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER BACK IN MARCH. IF HE DID NOT COMMIT TO OUR SAFETY SO EARLY ON, ILLINOIS WOULD NOT BE READY TO BE ADVANCING TO THE NEXT PHASES OF OUR RESTORE ILLINOIS PLAN. HEAR ME CLEARLY. THE VIRUS IS STILL OUT THERE, SO STAY AT HOME WHENEVER YOU CAN AND KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE FROM OTHER PEOPLE IS STILL THE WAY TO STOP AND MINIMIZE THE SPREAD. PICTURE, IF YOU WILL, DOMINOES LINED UP. IF YOU KNOCK OVER THE FIRST DOMINOES AND THE OTHER DOMINOES ARE CLOSELY BEHIND IT, THE REST WILL FALL IN SUCCESSION. HOWEVER, IF YOU TAKE SOME OF THOSE DOMINOES OUT OF THE LINE OR YOU SPACE THEM FURTHER APART AND THEN KNOCK OVER THE FIRST DOMINO, THE REST OF THE LINE DOES NOT FALL BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ENOUGH DOMINO TO CONTACT. SO THINK OF THAT AS SOME OF THE DOMINOES STAYED AT HOME. OR IF THE NEXT DOMINO IS TOO FAR AWAY TO BE KNOCKED OVER, THINK OF THAT AS SOCIAL DISTANCING. WE MUST CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE DATA WHICH WILL HELP INFORM HOW WE CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD AND GET TO OUR NEW NORMAL. WE CAN’T UNDO ALL THAT WE’VE DONE. WE ARE GOING FORWARD. WE WANT TO GET INTO PHASE THREE AND THEN BEYOND. WE WILL BE ALL IN FOR ILLINOIS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO STAY HOME, WEAR OUR MASKS, WASH OUR HANDS, AND CLEAN FREQUENTLY-TOUCHED SURFACES. LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER. AND WITH THAT I WILL TRANSLATE COMMENTS INTO SPANISH. [SUMMARIZING IN SPANISH]>>Dr. Ezike: AND WITH THAT I WILL TURN IT BACK OVER TO GOVERNOR PRITZKER.>>Governor Pritzker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DR. EZIKE. I WANT TO BEGIN MY PORTION OF TODAY’S BRIEFING WITH SOME, FRANKLY, VERY EXCITING NEWS. OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS WE’VE SEEN ILLINOIS MAKE SIGNIFICANT MEASURABLE PROGRESS, AND I’VE BEEN REPORTING ON IT TO YOU IN GROWING OUR DAILY TESTING NUMBERS. AND TODAY WE REACHED ANOTHER MAJOR MILESTONE. AMONG THE MOST POPULOUS STATES IN THE UNITED STATES, ILLINOIS HAS NOW OVERTAKEN NEW YORK TO BECOME THE NUMBER ONE STATE IN THE NATION FOR TESTING PER CAPITA OVER THE PAST SEVEN DAYS. THERE IS MUCH MORE WORK TO DO TO ADVANCE TESTING TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE BUT I DO WANT TO RECOGNIZE AT THIS JUNCTURE THE FOLKS WHO MADE THIS HAPPEN. OF COURSE, IDPH AND ITS LAB PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE WORKING DAY AND NIGHT TO PROCESS THE TESTS THAT ARE GIVEN TO THEM. OUR RAW MATERIALS PROCUREMENT TEAMS, OUR IN-STATE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY PARTNER, OUR PARTNER HOSPITALS, HEALTH CENTERS, AND CLINICS WHO ARE ADMINISTERING SWABS AND TESTS, COMMERCIAL LABORATORIES, THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD AND, OF COURSE, THE COUNTLESS HEALTH CARE WORKERS DOING THE PATIENT CARE RIGHT THERE ON THE GROUND. AND I WILL TAKE THIS MOMENT TO REMIND EVERYONE WHO CAN GET A FREE TEST AT ANY OF OUR COVID TESTING LOCATIONS. ANYONE WHO HAS COVID-19 SYMPTOMS, A COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, A FEVER, FOR EXAMPLE. ANYONE WHO HAS A RISK FACTOR SUCH AS A CONTACT WITH SOMEONE CONFIRMED TO HAVE COVID-19 OR A COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEM OR A SERIOUS CHRONIC MEDICAL CONDITION. ANYONE WHO WORKS IN A HEALTH CARE FACILITY. ANYONE WHO WORKS IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES SUCH AS JAILS OR PRISONS. ANYONE WHO WORKS AS A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AT ANY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT. ANYONE WHO SERVES AS A FIRST RESPONDER SUCH AS A PARAMEDIC OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL DEGREE TECHNI, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICE OR FIREFIGHTER ANYONE WHO SUPPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE SUCH AS WORKERS IN GROCERY STORES AND PHARMACIES AND RESTAURANTS AND GAS STATIONS, PUBLIC UTILITIES, FACTORIES, CHILD CARE, AND SANITATION. AS TESTING EXPEND SO, TOO, WILL THE CRITERIA ALLOWING MORE PEOPLE TO GET A TEST. OF FULL LIST OF OUR MORE THAN 250 PUBLIC TESTING SITES IS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE AT CORONAVIRUS.ILLINOIS.GOV. I ALSO WANT TO UPDATE YOU BY LETTING YOU KNOW THAT ALL FOUR REGIONS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS REMAIN ON TRACK TO MEET THE METRICS TO MOVE INTO PHASE THREE OF RESTORE ILLINOIS. THAT’S TERRIFIC NEWS. PHASE TWO OF THE PLAN BEGAN 18 DAYS AGO ON MAY 1 WITH THE REOPENING OF STATE PARKS, GOLF AND OTHER OUTDOOR RECREATION FACILITIES, THE OPENING OF GARDEN CENTERS, PICK-UP SHOPPING OPTIONS AT RETAIL STORES, THE BEGINNING OF SCHOOLS ALLOWING STUDENTS BACK IN TO RETRIEVE PERSONAL BELONGINGS, AND SOME ADDITIONAL SECTORS OF MANUFACTURING RETURNING TO WORK. AND, OF COURSE, IT HAS BEEN IN PHASE TWO THAT NON-EMERGENCY SURGERIES RESTARTED WHICH INCLUDED EVERYTHING FROM BIOPSIES TO CHRONIC PAIN PROCEDURES TO ORTHOPEDIC SURGERIES. THESE REOPENINGS HAPPENED FOR ALL OF ILLINOIS OVER TWO WEEKS AGO, AND THEY ARE ONLY NOW COMING TO SOME OTHER STATES. LIKE IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AND CALIFORNIA WHERE CURBSIDE PICK-UP AT RETAILERS ONLY BECAME AVAILABLE IN JUST THE LAST FEW DAYS. OR GOLF IN MASSACHUSETTS WHICH OPENED ABOUT A WEEK AFTER ILLINOIS. I KNOW THAT MONITORING THE VARIOUS MEASUREMENTS, RULES AND REGULATIONS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES IS HARD TO DO, ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN THE BORDER CITY AND YOU SEE A LOWER LEVEL OF PRECAUTION JUST DOWN THE ROAD. BELIEVE ME, I WISH THERE WASN’T SUCH A PATCHWORK OF DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS FROM STATE-TO-STATE. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A NATIONAL PLAN. IN FACT, THERE WAS REAL POTENTIAL FOR ONE. IN MID-APRIL THE PRESIDENT UNVEILED THE WHITE HOUSE GUIDANCE FOR REOPENING WITH EXPLICIT PUBLIC HEALTH FACTORS WEIGHED IN THE MIX. UNDER THE PRESIDENT’S OWN PLAN, ILLINOIS WOULD NOT REACH THE NEXT PHASE UNTIL AFTER OUR CURRENT ILLINOIS PLAN HAS BEGUN PHASE THREE. BUT PRESIDENT TRUMP DECIDED TO INJECT POLITICS IN WHERE SCIENCE AND DATA SHOULD HAVE GONE OUT LEAVING THE STATE’S TO CREATE A PATCHWORK THAT EXISTS TODAY. SOME STATES HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO LISTEN TO THE ADVICE OF MEDICAL EXPERTS. THERE ARE EVEN POLITICIANS IN ILLINOIS WHO IGNORE SCIENCE AND INSTEAD ARE PLAYING TO A SMALL MINORITY TO PROTEST AT OUR STATE CAPITOL. MOST OF THE STATES WITH THE LARGEST ECONOMIES HAVE CHOSEN TO LISTEN TO THE SCIENCE AND ANALYZE THE DATA AND ACT ACCORDING TO WHAT WILL RESTART JOBS AND BUSINESSES SAFELY. I CAN SAY WITH CONFIDENCE THAT HERE IN ILLINOIS WE’VE COMMITTED TO OPERATING WITH A FOCUS ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND TRANSPARENT MEASURABLE BENCHMARKS TO MOVE TO EACH NEW PHASE. FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN SEEING THE DATA AND THE METRICS, THEY ARE UPDATED EACH AFTERNOON AND POSTED ONLINE AT DPH.ILLINOIS.GOV/RESTORE. JOINING US TODAY ARE TWO EXPERTS IN INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONTROL TO PROVIDE THEIR PERSPECTIVES. DR. RICK NOVAK HEAD OF THE DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS HEALTH SYSTEM. AND DR. EMILY LANDON THE EXECUTIVE MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR INFECTION AND PREVENTION CONTROL AT UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE WHO FIRST JOINED US IN MARCH AND INSPIRED SO MANY ILLINOISANS TO HELP KEEP EACH OTHER SAFE. THESE TWO DOCTORS HAVE GRACIOUSLY OFFERED THEIR TIME TO UPDATE YOU ON THE BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19 WHICH IS STILL VERY MUCH ALIVE IN THE HALLS OF OUR HOSPITALS AND AMONG THE POPULATION AT LARGE. BEFORE I TURN THE MIC OVER TO THEM, I WANT TO SAY THAT I KNOW THERE ARE SOME OF OUR FELLOW ILLINOISANS WHO FEEL THAT THEIR LIVES DIDN’T CHANGE MUCH BETWEEN PHASPHASE ONE AND PHASE TWO ANDE ARE ALL ITCHING TO MOVE AHEAD. SO WHY CAN’T WE JUST DO IT NOW? WELL, THERE’S NO DOUBT THIS IS HARD. BUT PUBLIC HEALTH MEANS THAT EACH OF US IS WORKING TO PROTECT ALL OF US. IT IS ABOUT OUR COLLECTIVE IMPACT ON EACH OTHER, AND BECAUSE MANY ILLINOISANS ARE ENGAGED WITH THE REOPENINGS THAT HAVE OCCURRED IN PHASE TWO, IT IS CRITICAL THAT WE OBSERVE THE FULL 28-DAY MEASUREMENT PERIOD BEFORE MOVING FORWARD TO PHASE THREE. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE ARE JUST TEN DAYS FROM THAT POINT, AND AS OF NOW ALL FOUR REGIONS OF ILLINOIS ARE ON TRACK AND MOVING FORWARD INTO PHASE THREE BEFORE THE END OF MAY. AS RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES, AND EMPLOYEES GEAR UP FOR PHASE THREE, WE WILL BE PROVIDING SPECIFIC SAFETY AND MITIGATION GUIDELINES FOR WORKPLACES AND ACTIVITIES THAT ARE REOPENING. THESE GUIDELINES HAVE BEEN IN DEVELOPMENT WITH BUSINESS OWNERS, EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATIVES, AND INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS INCLUDING MANY WOMEN AND MINORITY-OWNED OPERATIONS. AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THAT IN THE COMING DAYS. UNTIL THEN, I’M DELIGHTED TO HAND THIS CONVERSATION OVER TO DR. EMILY LANDON, EXECUTIVE MEDICAL DIRECTOR INFECTION AND PREVENTION CONTROL AT UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE. DOCTOR?>>Dr. Landon: THANK YOU, GOVERNOR PRITZKER, FOR INVITE ME GO TO JOIN YOU TODAY. FIRST OF ALL I WANT TO THANK ALL YOU ILLINOISANS FOR BEING SENSIBLE, CAUTION, AND SELFLESS IN THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED THIS PANDEMIC. SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN SICK. SOME OF YOU HAVE LOST LOVED ONES, AND MANY OF YOU HAVE LOST JOBS. BUT I KNOW A LOT OF YOU WILL ALL LOOK BACK ON THIS AND WONDER WHY WE HAD TO STAY AT HOME SINCE NOTHING AWFUL HAPPENED. BUT LIKE I SAID IN MARCH, THIS EXACTLY IS THE MARK OF SUCCESS. IT IS WHAT A FLAT CURVE LOOKS LIKE. IT IS NOT PERFECT. STILL EVERY PERSON WITH COVID PASSES IT ALONG TO SOMEONE ELSE WHO WILL GET COVID. THAT MEANS OUR CASE COUNTS AND HOSPITAL LOADS STAY STABLE AND SOMEWHAT PREDICABLE. WE WOULD LOVE EVEN LESS TRANSMISSIONS BUT THIS VIRUS IS TRICKY AND EVEN KEEPING THINGS FLAT HAS REQUIRED HUGE SACRIFICES. NOW WE ALL REALIZE THERE WILL BE NO SWIFT RESCUE, NO KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR IN THE F FORM OF A VACCINE AARON ROSSI ANTI-VIRAL THAT WILL SLEEP IN AND RETURN OUR LIVES TO NORMAL BEFORE THE SUMMER COMES. I’M PRETTY DISAPPOINTED NOT SITTING BY A POOL, GOING TO BLOCK PARTIES, AND TAKING A VACATION. BUT WE NEED TO BEGIN TO REVIVE SOME OF OUR WORKPLACES AND IT IS NOT WITHOUT RISK THAT WE DO THIS. OUR TRANSMISSION BALANCE IS TENUOUS AND BUSINESS AS USUAL COULD SET OFF ANOTHER WAVE OF INFECTION THAT THREATEN OUR LIVES AND OUR LIVELIHOODS. WE NEED MASKS. WE NEED HAND HYGIENE, AND WE NEED DISTANCE TO MAKE THIS WORK. AND WE DO NEED TO BE ALL IN IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THESE CLOTH MASKS LIKE THE ONE I HAVE HERE IS OUR LIFELINE. AS YOU KNOW, PEOPLE CAN SPREAD COVID FOR DAYS BEFORE THEY GET SICK OR SOME PEOPLE MAY NEVER GET SYMPTOMS AT ALL WHICH MEANS THAT ANYONE COULD BE CONTAGIOUS WITH CO COVID AT ANY TIME AND TE CLOTH MASKS DON’T JUST HELP PROTECT YOU FROM OTHER PEOPLE WHO MAY BE SICK WHICH IT TURNS OUT SOME NEW EVIDENCE SHOWS THEY MAY BE BETTER THAN WE THOUGHT THEY WERE, BUT THEY ALSO HELP TO KEEP YOUR OWN RESPIRATORY DROPLETS INSIDE THE MASK SO YOU CAN’T GET THEM ON GROCERY STORE BOXES OR ATM SCREENS. BUT THEY’RE NOT PERFECT AND YOU CAN’T WEAR THEM WHEN YOU ARE EATING AND DRINKING. THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO PAIR THEM WITH KEEPING OUR DISTANCE AND STAYING HOME WHEN WE CAN AND KEEPING OUR HANDS CLEAN IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THAT TENUOUS TRANSMISSION BALANCE THAT WE HAVE. SO PLEASE, NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT YOUR FACE COVERING. AND ALWAYS PUT IT ON WHEN YOU GO INSIDE ANOTHER BUILDING OR ANOTHER OTHER PEOPLE OUTSIDE. SOON I PROMISE IT WILL BE AS NATURAL AS WEARING PANTS, WHICH MOST OF US ARE PRETTY GOOD ABOUT. I STILL SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGH THAT DON’T HAVE FACE COVERINGS ON OUTSIDE, AND IT MAKES ME WONDER IF WE’RE GOING TO BE AS SUCCESSFUL IN THIS NEXT PHASE AS WE HAVE BEEN IN MARCH AND APRIL. I THINK WE CAN DO IT. THIS IS A FIGHT AGAINST A VIRUS NOT AN IDEOLOGY. AND I KNOW MANY OF YOU UNDERSTAND THAT. A LOT OF YOU, ALMOST ALL OF YOU, AND YOU WILL TAKE MY MESSAGE TO HEART AND YOU WILL LEAD YOUR FAMILIES, YOUR COMMUNITIES, YOUR NEIGHBORHOODS IN WEARING YOUR MASKS, IN STAYING HOME WHEN YOU DON’T NEED TO BE OUT IN ORDER TO MAKE SPACE FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS TO BE ABLE TO GET TO THEIR ESSENTIAL JOBS AND FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO DO IMPORTANT TASKS. AND WHEN YOU DO GO OUT, YOU’LL WEAR YOUR MASK PROUDLY BECAUSE IT SAYS TO OTHERS THAT YOU ARE NOT GIVING UP AND YOU ARE NOT GIVING IN BECAUSE YOU ARE IN THIS FIGHT TO WIN.>>Governor Pritzker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DR. LANDON. TERRIFIC. JUST A MESSAGE THAT I KNOW PEOPLE WILL TAKE TO HEART. SO VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR TIME AND WILLINGNESS TO SHARE. I NEXT WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE DR. RICK NOVAK, THE HEAD OF THE DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS HEALTH SYSTEM. DR. NOVAK?>>Dr. Novak: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, GOVERNOR. I’M VERY PLEASED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONFERENCE TODAY TO GIVE YOU BOTH CON TENNICAL AND RESEAH ON THE PANDEMIC. ILLINOIS IS MEETING ITS GOALS IN EXPANDING NUMBER OF COVID-19 TESTS AND THE PERCENTAGE OF POSITIVE TESTS ARE STEADILY DECLINING AS YOU POINTED OUT EARLIER. IN THE HOSPITAL SETTING, THIS IS REFLECTED BY SLOW BUT MEASURABLE DECLINE IN NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS AND FEWER PATIENTS IN INTENSIVE CARE AS WE ARE SEEING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS. THE FLATTENING OF THE CURVE HAS PREVENTED THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM FROM BEING OVERWHELMED AND THE DEATH RATE PER CAPITA HERE IN ILLINOIS WAS MUCH LOWER THAN IN OTHER STATES LIKE NEW YORK DESPITE THE NUMBER OF CASES THAT WE’VE SEEN. THIS IS ALL A RESULT OF THESE CAREFUL MEASURES THAT WE HAVE BEEN TAKING. WE ARE NOW RECEIVING SHIPMENTS OF THE DRUG REMDESIVIR WHICH HAS BEEN PROVEN TO BE EFFECTIVE AT REDUCING THE SEVERITY OF THE ILLNESS, PARTICULARLY IF IT IS GIVEN BEFORE THE SEVERITY OF THE ILLNESS GETS WORSE. WE’RE NOT DONE WITH THIS, HOWEVER. WE HAVE LAUNCHED NEXT PHASE STUDY COMBINING BOTH THE REMDESIVIR WITH A SECOND DRUG TO HELP FURTHER IMPROVE THE OUTCOMES ON PEOPLE THAT WE TREAT. BY ALL MEASURES IT APPEARS WE ARE MAKING SLOW BUT STUDY PROGRESS IN CONTROLLING THE PANDEMIC HERE IN ILLINOIS. THIS HAS BEEN THROUGH CAREFUL EXAMINATION OF AND RESPONSE TO THE DATA. I KNOW PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF WEARING MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING AS DR. LANDON POINTED OUT. YOU MAY ASK WHY DO WE STILL HAVE TO DO THIS? MASKS ARE VERY EFFECTIVE AT CAPTURING THE DROPLETS WITH VICE IN THEM. SURGICAL MASKS MAY BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN THE HOMEMADE MASKS BUT THEY BOTH WORK. WE CALL THIS SOURCE CONTROL. YOU ARE THE SOURCE AND YOUR DROPLETS IS BEING CAPTURED IN YOUR MASK. SOUTH KOREA WAS VERY RAPIDLY TO CONTROL THEIR LOCAL EPIDEMIC BY UNIVERSAL MASKING, SOCIAL DISTANCING, AND LARGE SCALE TESTING JUST AS WE ARE DOING HERE, AND WE ARE SEEING THE AFFECT OF THOSE MEASURES. SOCIETY BEGINS TO OPEN UP IN THE COMING WEEKS, WE WILL NEED TO CONTINUE PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WEARING MASKS. I LIKE THE ANALOGY DR. EZIKE DID WITH THE DOMINOES. WE DO THESE THINGS BECAUSE IT PROTECTS THOSE AROUND US. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, AND I WEAR A MASK SO I WON’T SPREAD THE VIRUS TO YOU, YOU THEN WON’T SPREAD IT TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. IN TURN, I HOPE YOU WILL DO THE SAME FOR ME AND EVENTUALLY THIS PANDEMIC WILL FADE TO THE POINT WHERE WE WON’T NEED TO DO IT ANYMORE. WE’RE NOT THERE YET. LASTLY, THE SEARCH FOR NEW TREATMENTS AND PREVENTION STRATEGIES IS MOVING IN AN UNPRECEDENTED RATE. VACCINE TRIALS WILL BE STARTING THIS SUMMER HERE IN ILLINOIS AND ELSEWHERE. I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO VOLUNTEER AND PARTICIPATE IN THESE IMPORTANT STUDIES. THE WHOLE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE RESULTS OF THESE TRIALS. I DON MY MASK AND TURN IT BACK OVER TO YOU, GOVERNOR. GO CUBBIES.>>Governor Pritzker: GO CUBBIES. TERRIFIC. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DR. NOVAK. AND NOW I WOULD BE HAPPY TO TAKE ANY QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA AND PERHAPS THE DOCTORS WHO HAVE JOINED US MIGHT BE WILLING TO TAKE QUESTIONS AS WELL.>>WE ARE GOING TO START WITH ONLINE QUESTIONS TODAY AND MOVE TO OUR POOL REPORTERS AND TRY TO KEEP IT TIGHT HERE AND EVEN BETWEEN ALL THREE OF US. SO WE WILL START WITH CHRISTINE HERMAN AT NPR. CAN DR. EZIKE PLEASE ELABORATE WHAT EXACTLY IT MEANS THAT PHASE THREE ARE ALLOW LIMITED CHILD CARE AND SUMMER PROGRAM OPENED WITH IDPH APPROVED SAFETY GUIDANCE. HAS THAT GUIDANCE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE YET?>>Dr. Ezike: WE WILL HAVE MORE INFORMATION TO COME BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK. WE KNOW THERE ARE CHILD CARE ESTABLISHMENTS THAT ARE ALREADY OPEN NOW AND WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THAT AVAILABLE AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE WILL BE RETURNING TO WORK. SO, OBVIOUSLY, THAT NEED IS PRESSING AND MORE PRESSING AS PEOPLE ARE GETTING READY TO RETURN TO WORK. SO WE WILL LAY OUT THAT GUIDANCE IN JUST A FEW DAYS AND WE WILL HAVE MORE CHILD CARE OPPORTUNITIES TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITIES AS THEY START RETURNING TO WORK.>>CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS THE HOSPITALIZATION NUMBERS ALL APPEAR TO BE THE LOWEST SINCE YOU BEGAN REPORTING DAILY DATA ON APRIL 12 BY A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT. SHOULD WE TAKE ANYTHING FROM THIS OR ARE WE STILL EXPECTING MORE VOLATILITY IN THOSE METRICS?>>Governor Pritzker: I THINK I WOULD LIKE TO CALL ON ANY ONE OF THE THREE DOCTORS, HONESTLY, TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION, BUT PERHAPS START WITH DR. EZIKE AND PLEASE CHIME IN ANYBODY ELSE.>>Dr. Ezike: SO IT IS GREAT NEWS, AND I’M GLAD THAT YOU NOTICED THAT TO FALL UNDER THE 4,000 FOR THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE HOSPITALIZED. OBVIOBVIOUSLY, IT IS ACONTINUUM. PEOPLE GET INFECTED, THEN THEY GET SICK. THEN IF THEY GET HOSPITALIZED THEN THE ICUs AND MAY BE PASSED ON. SO IT IS A GOOD SIGN THERE’S FEWER PEOPLE IN THE HOSPITAL. BUT WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT HINGS ARE GOING TO START CHANGING. SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THESE NUMBERS AND IT IS WHY WE NEED A HARD RESET AND CAN’T JUST JUMP FROM PHASE TWO TO PHASE FOUR. WITH EACH PHASE WE’VE MADE CHANGES IN LOOSENING THINGS UP. SO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THESE NEW THINGS THAT ARE COMING ON BOARD, THAT THEY ARE NOT RESULTING IN A NEW ACUTE SPIKE OR INCREASE. SO THAT’S WHY WE WILL CONTINUE TO WATCH CLOSELY AND OVER THE NEXT PHASE ANOTHER 28 DAYS MAKE SURE THAT THESE MEASURES THAT HAVE LOOSENED DON’T HAVE A SPIKE THAT WILL MAKE US WANT TO TAP THE BRAKES A LITTLE BIT. SO WE WILL BE WATCHING THAT CLOSELY. YES, THIS IS GOOD NEWS. THIS JUST SOLIDIFIES THE MEASURES HAVE BEEN WORKING BOTH THE STAY AT HOME, BOTH THE MASKING, BOTH THE SOCIAL DISTANCING, ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE EFFECTIVE AND THAT’S WHY WE’VE GOT NUMBERS THAT ARE IMPROVING.>>I.>>Dr. Landon: DR. EZIKE HAS SAID EVERYTHING IMPORTANT THERE IS TO SAY ABOUT THIS BUT I WOULD ADD THE VOLATILITY IN THESE NUMBERS IS UP TO US. IT IS WHATEVER WE MAKE IT WITH THE WAY WE TAKE ON AND ADAPT TO THE CHANGES THAT WE HAVE TO MAKE IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE THIS VIRUS IN OUR DAILY LIVES. SO I HOPE AND I KNOW ILLINOIS CAN DO IT.>>HANNAH AT THE DAILY LINE. GOVERNOR, LAWMAKERS WILL RETURN TO SPRINGFIELD THIS WEEK AND VOTE ON A BUDGET BASED ON REVENUE ESTIMATES FROM GAMBI AND COGFA ABOUT A MONTH OLD. ARE THERE UPDATED ESTIMATES FROM YOUR OFFICE AND YOU ARE ASKING FOR A LUMP SUM BUDGETS TO MAKE SPENDING DECISIONS YOURSELF? IF SO WHAT CAN BE CUT?>>Governor Pritzker: THE ANSWER TO THE LATTER QUESTION IS NO. THE ANSWER TO THE FORMER QUESTIONS THERE HAVE BEEN SOME ADJUSTMENTS, NOT MAJOR REVENUE ADJUSTMENTS BUT AS I MENTIONED THE OTHER DAY THERE IS ADDITIONAL SPENDING REQUIRED RELATED TO MEDICAID. NOW WE BELIEVE THAT SOME OF THE FEDERAL FUNDING THAT WILL COME WILL ALLEVIATE A LITTLE BIT OF THAT BUT TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, WE ARE INCLUDING IT IN THE BUDGET BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW. AND SO THAT ADDITIONAL SPENDING WILL HAVE TO BE IN THE BUDGET AND, THEREFORE, YOU KNOW, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE ROOM FOR IT BECAUSE WE HAVE TO COVER HEALTH CARE ESPECIALLY FOR COVID.>>CHRIS CARTER WAND NEWS IN DECATUR. SEVERAL MALLS AND BUSINESSES ARE SET TO OPEN NEXT WEEK. WHAT RESOURCES ASIDE FROM GUIDANCE IS THE STATE OFFERING THEM? FINANCIAL, ET CETERA, TO REOPEN AND ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY?>>Governor Pritzker: WE’RE SIMPLY PROVIDING GUIDANCE AND, OF COURSE, THEY CAN GET INDIVIDUALIZED GUIDANCE IF THEY NEED TO WITH IDPH. BUT WE’VE BASICALLY SET OUT A SET OF SAFETY RULES FOR THEM TO FOLLOW AS WE HAVE FOR A NUMBER OF INDUSTRIES. WE WILL BE ROLLING THAT OUT OVER THE NEXT COMING DAYS.>>DENISE IN PEORIA FROM THE ABC AFFILIATE THERE. MANY ILLINOISANS ARE ASKING FOR ME RECOVERY INFORMATION. CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT RECOVERY DATA AND THE CHALLENGES INVOLVED WITH TRYING TO COLLECT IT?>>Governor Pritzker: MAYBE DR. EZIKE COULD ANSWER THAT FOR US.>>Dr. Ezike: SO I GUESS, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE INTERACTION WITH THE PATIENTS KIND OF FALLS OFF ONCE THEY ARE NOT IN THE HOSPITAL. OBVIOUSLY, THERE IS A GOOD OUTCOME IF THEY HAVEN’T, YOU KNOW, SUCCUMB TO THE DISEASE. SO WE CAN DEDUCE A LOT OF RECOVERY DATA IN TERMS OF JUST SEEING PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT IN THE HOSPITAL AND, OBVIOUSLY, SUBTRACTING THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE, UNFORTUNATELY, SUCCUMBED TO THE DISEASE. BUT IN TERMS OF ACTUALLY TALKING TO ALL THE PEOPLE, IT HAS JUST BEEN, YOU KNOW, A CHALLENGE FOR THE TEAMS AND STAFF WHO ARE SO BUSY WITH THE RESPONSE. BUT WE ARE TRYING TO GET AS MUCH INFORMATION FOR YOU. WE ARE DEFINITELY GOING TO SEE HOW WE CAN PUT THAT INFORMATION ON THE WEBSITE GOING FORWARD. WE HAVE BEEN VERY DILIGENT ABOUT DOING THESE EMAIL SURVEYS FOLLOWED UP WITH TELEPHONE SURVEYS WHERE WE WERE TALKING TO PEOPLE 14 DAYS AFTER A POSITIVE TEST, 21 DAYS AND 28 DAYS. AND WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY SEEN 70% TO 74% OF INDIVIDUALS AFTER 28 DAYS FOLLOWING THEIR POSITIVE TEST HAVE REPORTED THEY WERE FULLY RECOVERED. SO WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE RECOVER. WE KNOW THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE RECOVER. BUT I KNOW THAT THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME EXTRA SATISFACTION IF ILLINOISANS ACTUALLY SEE RAW NUMBERS. SO OUR TEAM IS WORKING HARD TO GET THAT FOR THE PEOPLE OF ILLINOIS.>>JOHN HANSON AT WICS IN SPRINGFIELD. WHAT IS THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED FROM COVID-19 COMPARED TO THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED WITH COVID-19.>>Dr. Ezike: THAT’S A WONDERFUL QUESTION AND I KNOW THAT HAS CAUSED A LOT OF CONTROVERSY WHERE PEOPLE THINK WELL, THEY HAD A HEART ATTACK AND THEY HAD HEART DISEASE, WHY ARE YOU CALLING WITH COVID? AGAIN, THE WAY THIS VIRUS WORKS, IT IS WORKING ON MULTIPLE FRONTS CAUSING MULTIPLE MANIFESTATIONS. SO EVEN IF SOMEONE HAD HEART DISEASE WHICH WE HAVE ESTABLISHED — GLOBAL DATA HAS ESTABLISHED THERE ARE SOME KEY CONDITIONS THAT RESULT IN MORE SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS, AND WE HAVE SEEN THAT FOR HEART DISEASE. CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE. WE KNOW THAT THAT’S A FACTOR. SO THOSE CARDIAC EVENTS MAY HAVE BEEN PRECIPITATED BY THE FACT COVID WAS INVOLVED. WE KNOW THAT COVID-19 INFECTION IS ASSOCIATED WITH CAUSING EMBOLIC PHENOMENON. THESE CLOTS THAT ARE FORMED IN ASSOCIATION WITH COVID CAN RESULT IN STROKES, CAN RESULT IN HEART ATTACKS. SO IT IS VERY HARD TO SEPARATE THE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS FROM SOME OF THESE OTHER MANIFESTATIONS THAT ALSO COULD BE LINKED TO COVID. SO AGAIN, THERE IS A REASON TO PUT THEM TOGETHER. I KNOW SOME PEOPLE FEEL THAT IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE, BUT EVEN IF SOMEONE — I KNOW THERE WAS A LOT OF QUESTIONS AROUND WELL, IF SOMEBODY WAS VERY ELDERLY AND THEY WERE ALREADY MAYBE IN HOSPICE, WE STILL CAN’T SAY THAT THAT COVID INFECTION DIDN’T HASTEN THE DEATH. SO IT IS PROBABLY RELEVANT, DEFINITELY, THAT THAT COVID MAYBE HAD A CHANCE TO ACCELERATE A PROCESS. SO ALL OF THAT WHETHER IT IS WITH COVID OR DIRECTLY BECAUSE OF COVID WE HAVE BOTH OF THOSE FACTORS LUMPED TOGETHER IN TERMS OF OUR COVID DEATHS.>>OKAY. JAKE GRIFFIN AT THE DAILY HERALD. THE ILLINOIS COMPTROLLER IS REPORTING MORE THAN $240 MILLION HAS BEEN SPENT BY THE STATE ON COVID-RELATED PURCHASES. CAN YOU DESCRIBE STEPS TAKEN TO ENSURE THE STATE WASN’T TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF AND WHAT KIND OF OVERSIGHT THERE IS FOR SPENDING?>>Governor Pritzker: SURE. THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE BEEN DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT. WE HAVE BEEN IN CONSULTATION CONSISTENTLY NOT ONLY WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE IN THE STATE — AND THE STATE POLICE BUT ALSO WITH FEDERAL AUTHORITIES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE FOLLOWING ALL THE PROTOCOLS THAT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO TRY TO PREVENT FRAUD AGAINST THE STATE. BECAUSE AS YOU KNOW, WHEN THIS FIRST CAME UP IN MARCH, I THINK EVERYBODY KNEW WE HAD TO MOVE QUICKLY. WE DID NOT HAVE THE PPE THAT WAS NECESSARY. IN FACT, ALMOST NO STATE IN THE UNITED STATES THAT I’M AWARE OF HAD THE PPE. AND IN CONSULTATION WITH MANY OF THE OTHER GOVERNORS, I DISCOVERED THAT, BOY, THERE WERE A LOT OF FOLKS OUT THERE THAT WERE TRYING TO PUT ONE OVER ON STATES AND THEIR PROCUREMENT TEAMS. SO WE PUT IN PLACE A NUMBER OF MEASURES. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THOSE ARE. SUFFICE TO SAY THAT WE HAVE A VARIETY OF MEASURES. I GUESS I WILL JUST GIVE ONE WHICH IS WE ASK PEOPLE TO FILL OUT A FORM TO GIVE US A LOT OF THEIR PRIOR EXISTENT INFORMATION SO THAT WE CAN THEN GO DOUBLE-CHECK AND TRIPLE-CHECK AND THE VERACITY OF THAT. SO LOTS OF OTHER THINGS THAT WE ARE DOING. BUT I WILL TELL YOU THAT THERE ARE DEFINITELY A LOT OF PEOPLE FRAUDS TERS TRYING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE NOT JUST OF STATES AND PROCUREMENT TEAMS BUT INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES OUT THERE ALL OF US TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING IN AN EMERGENCY, IN A PANDEMIC, YOU CAN IMAGINE THE PEOPLE TRYING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE. THEY ARE PRETTY AWFUL PEOPLE.>>GOVERNOR, YOU HAVE TALKED BEFORE ABOUT MOVING TOWARD MAIL-IN BALLOTS FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION. WHAT ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS OF GETTING COLLEGE STUDENTS TO VOTE GIVEN THEY MIGHT NOT BE ON CAMPUS IN NOVEMBER?>>Governor Pritzker: THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IMCONTAINERRED ABOUT, AND, OF COURSE, WE’RE GOING TO BE SENDING MAIL BALLOTS IF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES, WE WILL SEND MAIL BALLOTS TO THE ADDRESSES THAT WE HAVE FOR EXISTING REGISTRATIONS. SO WE ARE GOING TO BE WORKING TO MAKE SURE THAT COLLEGES FORWARD ANY MAIL THAT COMES FOR ANY STUDENT, YOU KNOW, INAPPROPRIATELY IF THE COLLEGE DOESN’T HAPPEN TO HAVE THOSE STUDENTS ON CAMPUS. BUT WE ALSO WANT TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO MAKE SURE THAT THEIR REGISTRATION IS PROPER IN THE FALL BEFORE THEY — THE ELECTION COMES ALONG SO THAT THEY HAVE IT MAILED TO THE RIGHT PLACE.>>DAVE DAHL AT WTAX THE LAST QUESTION ONLINE AND THEN GO TO MARY ANN AFTER THIS ANSWER. GOVERNOR, WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU WANT JCAR TO DO TOMORROW? I AM HEARING A COUPLE OF CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR ORDER LASTING, QUOTE, FIVE MONTHS. CAN YOU CLEAR THAT UP? THANKS.>>Governor Pritzker: ACTUALLY, THE ORDER IS INTENDED — THE RULE, RATHER, IS INTENDED SIMPLY TO LAST THROUGH THE END OF THIS PHASE AND THEN WE WOULD ISSUE A NEW EMERGENCY RULE TO FIT THE NEXT PHASE JUST TO BE CLEAR. SO WE ARE NOT ASKING JCAR SPECIFICALLY TO PUT IN PLACE. [AUDIO DIFFICULTY]>>WHY DON’T YOU GIVE US THAT ANSWER AGAIN, GOVERNOR.>>Governor Pritzker: SORRY ABOUT THAT IF MY CONNECTION CUT OUT ON EVERYBODY. TO BE CLEAR, WE ARE — THE RULE THAT WE’VE PUT IN PLACE, AN EMERGENCY RULE ONLY WOULD LAST UNTIL THE END OF THIS PHASE, PHASE TWO, THAT’S ABOUT TEN MORE DAYS. AND THEN IN PHASE THREE A NEW RULE WOULD NEED TO BE ISSUED. SO THAT’S THE WAY IT WOULD WORK. IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT WOULD LAST FIVE MONTHS.>>MARY ANN, YOU’RE UP.>>Reporter: THANK YOU SO MUCH, GOVERNOR. APPRECIATE IT. THERE ARE STILL DESPITE WHAT WE ARE HEARING TODAY FROM YOU AS WELL AS YOUR MEDICAL EXPERTS, THERE ARE SEVERAL SUBURBAN MAYORS WHO ARE ASKING YOU TO BE MORE FLEXIBLE. THE MAYOR OF ELMHURST ISSUED ANOTHER LATER TODAY, WE ARE HEARING THE NAPERVILLE PARK DISTRICT IS GOING TO FILE A LAWSUIT, WINNEBAGO COUNTY SAYS THEY ARE GOING TO OPEN UP NEXT WEEK. IS IT POSSIBLE YOU MIGHT BE MORE FLEXIBLE BECAUSE DAYS MEAN A LOT TO FOLKS RATHER THAN EVEN WAITING UNTIL THE 29th OF MAY.>>Governor Pritzker: WELL, TO BE CLEAR, I AM FLEXIBLE AND HAVE BEEN IN A VARIETY OF WAYS. WHAT’S IMPORTANT HERE THOUGH, MARY ANN, IS WE’VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE RUN THIS FULL COURSE IN THIS NEW PHASE. LITERALLY, IT IS TEN DAYS. SO, YOU KNOW, MY VIEW IS THAT THE FLEXIBILITY COMES IN THE WAY THAT, YOU KNOW, AT THE EDGES OF THE VARIETY OF BUSINESSES THAT WILL BE REOPENING, ARE THERE MORE THINGS THAT THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO DO. THOSE ARE THINGS THAT ARE BEING CONSIDERED BY THE INDUSTRY GROUPS THAT WE PUT TOGETHER WITH ADVICE FROM THE EMPLOYEES, FROM THE OWNERS, FROM THE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS, BECAUSE THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING AT THE EDGE THAT, YOU KNOW, AS GOVERNOR I MAY NOT UNDERSTAND ABOUT A PARTICULAR INDUSTRY BUT THE EXPERTS IN THE INDUSTRY DO. SO WE WANT TO TAKE CALL OF THAT INTO ACCOUNT. BUT THOSE ARE THE CHANGES OR THE FLEXIBILITY THAT CAN TAKE PLACE. WE REALLY DO NEED TO STICK WITH THE TIMETABLE THAT WE HAVE AND TO FOLLOW THE METRICS. IT IS ABOUT FOLLOWING THOSE METRICS FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. WE ARE ON TRACK. EVERYBODY SHOULD BE, I THINK, OPTIMISTIC ABOUT TEN DAYS FROM NOW, YOU KNOW, HAIRCUTS AND MANUFACTURING AND OFFICES AND WAREHOUSING. LOTS OF INDUSTRIES AND JOBS COMING BACK ONLINE. FRANKLY, I THINK EVERYBODY IS PRETTY EXCITED ABOUT IT.>>Reporter: FROM BEN BRADLEY A QUESTION FOR DR. EZIKE. BEN BRADLEY SAYS FROM WGN, WE AM ICED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS IF IN ILL JANUARY TO APRIL FOR THREE YEARS THERE HAVE BEEN 3,496 MORE DEATHS THAN THE AVERAGE. GIVEN THE STATE IS REPORTING A LITTLE MORE THAN 4,000 COVID-RELATED DEATHS, WHAT DOES THAT TELL BUT THE RELATIVE ACCURACY OF THE COVID COUNT?>>Dr. Ezike: SO I HAVE LOOKED AT THAT SIMILAR DATA, I THINK I LOOKED AT ’19 AND ’18 AND SAW THAT THERE WERE EVEN ADDITIONAL DEATHS BEYOND THE COVID DEATHS COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS. SO WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THOSE EXCESS DEATHS? SO THAT COULD SUGGEST THAT THERE IS AN UNDERCOUNTING, THAT WE’VE MISSED SOME COVID DEATHS IF YOU THINK WE SHOULD HAVE IT THE EXACT SAME NUMBERS FROM THE YEAR AND PRIOR YEAR TO THIS YEAR. SO THAT’S POSTULATING IN TERMS OF WHAT WE WOULD GUESS RESULTING IN ADDITIONAL DEATHS THAT WE CAN’T ACCOUNT FOR. AGAIN, WE WILL NOT KNOW EXACTLY BUT WE CAN JUST POSTULATE.>>GOVERNOR PRITZKER FROM SARAH ABC-7. DO YOU PLAN TO BE IN SPRINGFIELD AND CAN YOU RESPOND TO STATE G.O.P. LAWMAKERS WHO SAY YOUR FIVE-PHASE PLAN WITH 28-DAY INTERVALS IS EXTREME AND THAT YOU ARE ABUSING YOUR EXECUTIVE POWERS BY CIRCUMVENTING THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS WHEN IT COMES TO ISSUING CITATIONS TO BUSINESSES WHO CHOOSE NOT TO FOLLOW YOUR PLAN?>>Governor Pritzker: WELL, LET ME START BY SAYING WHAT’S EXTREME ARE LAWMAKERS WHO DON’T CALL OUT THEIR FELLOW LAWMAKERS WHO STAND AT RALLIES AND CALL, YOU KNOW, LEGITIMATE ELECTED LEADERS DOMESTIC ENEMIES OR GIVE THE HOME ADDRESS OF OUR U.S. SENATOR AND TELL PEOPLE TO GO SURROUND THEIR HOME, OR THE MANY PEOPLE WHO HELD NAZI SYMBOLS AT THOSE RALLIES. THAT’S ILLEGITIMATE. FRANKLY, I’M DISGUSTED BY THE FAILURE OF SO MANY PEOPLE TO CALL THAT OUT. MARY ANN, THE FIRST HALF, YOU HAD MY RILED UP ON THE SECOND HALF. WHAT’S THE FIRST HALF OF THE QUESTION?>>Reporter: ONE MORE TIME, SORRY. I BELIEVE BESIDES THE LAWMAKERS FEEL AS IF THEY ARE NOT HAVING A BIG ENOUGH IMPACT IN THE CITATIONS THAT YOU ARE ISSUING, THE NEW CITATION YOU ARE SIR COUPLCIRCUMVENTING THE LEGISLATE PROCESS.>>Governor Pritzker: THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS RAN WHEN THEY PASSED THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ACT AND THAT ACT PROVIDES FOR RULES IF NOT FOLLOWED WOULD RESULT IN THE POTENTIAL FOR A CITATION FOR A MISDEMEANOR. AND SO, YOU KNOW, WE’RE FOLLOWING THE LAW THAT ALREADY EXISTED. I TALKED ABOUT THAT YESTERDAY.>>Reporter: AND ALSO, WILL YOU DEFINITELY BE IN SPRINGFIELD TOMORROW?>>Governor Pritzker: THAT WAS THE FIRST HALF OF YOUR QUESTION. I WILL BE IN SPRINGFIELD, I BELIEVE, BEGINNING MID-DAY ON THURSDAY SO I WON’T BE THERE ON WEDNESDAY WHEN THE LEGISLATURE CALLS ITSELF INTO SESSION. I UNDERSTAND I THINK THE SENATE IS CALLING ITSELF AT 2:00 TOMORROW AFTERNOON. BUT I WILL BE THERE ON THURSDAY.>>Reporter: THANK YOU. AND FROM GREG BISHOP, WHAT SHOULD THE STATE DO TO PREPARE FOR ANY POSSIBLE LAWSUITS THAT COULD SEEK DAMAGES FROM THE STATE FOR BUSINESSES ORDERED CLOSED WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OR JUST COMPENSATION?>>Governor Pritzker: I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY, THOSE ARE — THOSE LAWSUITS PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO GO TO COURT AND SUE BUT THEY WON’T BE SUCCESSFUL. THE LAW CLEARLY ALLOWS US TO PUT IN PLACE THE ORDERS THAT WE PUT IN. BUT LOOK, I UNDERSTAND, LOOK, PEOPLE ARE FILING THESE SUITS BECAUSE THEY ARE HURTING. PEOPLE ARE HURTING ALL OVER THE STATE. ALL OF US ARE BEING ILL-EFFECTED BY COVID-19 AND IT HAS NOT ONLY AFFECTED BUSINESSES AND THE TEMPORARY — HOPEFULLY TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF MANY BUSINESSES, SOMETIMES PERMANENT CLOSURE, THE LOSS OF JOBS. WE ARE SEEING IT ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THERE IS EVERYTHING ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING IN ILLINOIS THAT IS FOCUSED ON KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE. AND I KNOW THAT PEOPLE — SOME PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO HEAR THAT ANYMORE. SOME PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO HEAR — SOME PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE THAT THIS IS ABOUT KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE, BUT IT IS. WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO OPEN UP THE ECONOMY AND DO IT SAFELY. YOU HAVE SEEN A FULL PLAN, IN FACT MANY HAVE CALLED IT THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR OPENING A STATE. WE HAVE BEEN VERY EXPLICIT ABOUT WHAT THE METRICS ARE WE ARE LOOKING FOR. AND AGAIN, I WILL AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE REOPENING BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF PEOPLE’S HEALTH OR SAFETY.>>Reporter: FROM JIM WILLIAMS, WE ARE HEARING FROM PEOPLE WHO LEFT A JOB BECAUSE THEY ACCEPTED NEW EMPLOYMENT WITH ANOTHER COMPANY ONLY TO HAVE THE NEW JOB RESCINDED WHEN THE PANDEMIC HIT. NOW THEY CAN’T GET UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS BECAUSE STATE RECORDS SHOW THEY QUIT A JOB. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO FIX THAT GLITCH IN THE SYSTEM?>>Governor Pritzker: WELL, WE WILL CERTAINLY LOOK INTO THAT. I UNDERSTAND WHAT THE CHALLENGE IS AND I APPRECIATE YOU BRINGING IT TO OUR ATTENTION. IT IS SOMETHING WE WANT TO LOOK INTO. I WANT TO CORRECT SOMETHING I SAID A LITTLE BIT EARLIER. I AM ACTUALLY LEAVING TOMORROW TO GO TO SPRINGFIELD JUST SO YOU KNOW. BUT I HAD ORIGINALLY INTENDED TO LEAVE THURSDAY BUT WAS REMINDED I AM LEAVING TOMORROW.>>Reporter: NO PROBLEM. ANOTHER QUESTION HERE FROM ERIC FROM ABC-7. I UNDERSTAND, GOVERNOR, YOU TALKED ABOUT THE REGIONAL METRICS. ACCORDING TO THE IDPH WEBSITE, HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS IN THE NORTHEAST REGION HAVE FALLEN MORE THAN 30% SINCE MAY 1. THE OTHER REGIONS ARE SEEING EVEN STEEPER DECLINES IN HOSPITALIZATIONS. IS THIS NOT EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE FALLEN FROM A PEAK?>>Governor Pritzker: I AM OPTIMISTIC THAT WE ARE FALLING FROM A PEAK, HOWEVER, I WANT TO POINT OUT IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THE METRICS, THEY ARE NOT ALL, YOU KNOW, HEADED STRAIGHT DOWN. SOME OF THEM HAVE SORT OF FLATTENED, THEY’RE FLOATING A LITTLE BIT OFF THEIR PEAK. I MEAN I WOULD RATHER DR. EZIKE GAVE HER VIEW TO ADD ON TOP OF MINE. I WILL JUST SAY, I AM OPTIMISTIC, THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. EVERY DAY I WATCH THOSE NUMBERS LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES. AND, YOU KNOW, WE KEEP THEM IN CHART FORM. YOU CAN FIND IT ONLINE IN CHART FORM. YOU CAN SEE THE LINE GRADUALLY HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. SO, YOU KNOW, IT FEELS GOOD. IT IS THE RIGHT DIRECTION. BUT BE CLEAR THAT WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING AT THESE METRICS, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THEM ARE AFFECTED BY THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED DAYS AGO, WEEKS AGO. AND SO AS YOU WATCH THEM, WHAT YOU ARE REALLY SEEING IS A REFLECTION OF SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED, AN INFECTION, PERHAPS, THAT TOOK PLACE TWO WEEKS AGO. AND SO THAT’S WHY IT IS HARD TO PROJECT FORWARD WHEN YOU LOOK AT A HOSPITALIZATION NUMBER. BUT IT IS THE BEST NUMBER, IN MY OPINION, THE ICUs AND MED/SURGE BED NUMBERS ARE THE BT NUMBERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON IN ADDITION TO THE POSITIVITY RATE AND CAPACITY.>>Reporter: DID DR. EZIKE WANT TO WEIGH IN AS WELL ABOUT THE PEAK?>>Dr. Ezike: SURE. SO WE KEPT SAYING FOR THE LAST WEEK THAT WE THOUGHT WE WERE PLATEAUING, THAT WE WERE FLATTENING AND EVENTUALLY WE WERE HOPING TO BE ON THE OTHER END ACTUALLY GOING DOWN. WE ARE HOPING THAT THE DATA IS SHOWING THAT THAT IS WHERE WE ARE GOING. I WILL HIGHLIGHT THE FACT THAT WHEN PEOPLE COMPLAIN THAT WE’RE NOT MOVING FAST ENOUGH WITH THE PLAN, LET’S REMEMBER THAT WE ADVANCED OURSELVES IN PHASE TWO WHILE WE WERE FLAT. WE CLEARLY WEREN’T GOING DOWN THEN. SO WE JUMPED AHEAD IN GETTING INTO A NEW PHASE BEFORE THE ACTUAL HEADING DOWN. WE MAY BE HEADING D DOWNWARD NOW WITH MORE AND MORE DAYS BEHIND US WE CAN FOLLOW AND SEE IS THIS A BLIP OR DOES IT LOOK LIKE IT IS CONSISTENTLY GOING DOWN? IN ANY CASE THAT’S GREAT. WE ARE HOPING THAT WE ARE THERE. BUT PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WE DID START SOME OF OUR PROGRESSION INTO THESE ADVANCED PHASES INTO PHASE TWO WHILE WE WERE STILL FLAT AS OPPOSED TO GOING DOWN. BUT HOPEFULLY NOW WE ARE GOING DOWN AND FOLLOWING THE NUMBERS EVER SO CLOSELY SO WE CAN SEE IF THAT’S THE CASE. REMEMBER THERE ARE MULTIPLE METRICS. THE DATA DOESN’T FOLLOW RULES AND STAY STRAIGHT A DAY AND GO DOWN 20 DAYS AND CONTINUE. ONE METRIC MIGHT GO UP AND DOWN. ANOTHER METRIC MAY STAY FLAT. SO WE ARE FOLLOWING ALL OF IT TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT. WE DEFINITELY WANT TO SEE THAT WE ARE HEADING DOWN ON THE DOWNWARD SIDE, AND WE WILL KNOW IN A FEW MORE DAYS TO WEEKS IF THAT REALLY IS THE CASE.>>MARY ANN THIS IS YOUR LAST QUESTION.>>Reporter: I HAVE TWO. JUST REALLY QUICK. PHYSICIANS ARE CLAIMING THAT MORE THAN 15,000 MEAT PLANT WORKERS IN THE U.S. ARE INFECTED WITH COVID-19 AND AT LEAST 60 HAVE DIED. WITH WORKERS LINED UP IN CLOSE PROMPT VIRUSES ARE EASILY SPREAD IN THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE ENVIRONMENT. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THESE PLANTS NEED TO BE SHUT DOWN?>>Dr. Ezike: SO I THINK AS WE THINK THROUGH ALL THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF REOPENING OUR STATE, WHEN WE REALLY PUT OUR MINDS TOGETHER AND TRY TO THINK OF WAYS TO BE SAFE, THERE ARE WAYS TO SAFELY DO A LOT OF THINGS THAT WE THINK — INITIALLY MAYBE THOUGHT WE COULDN’T DO. WITH ALL THE AWARENESS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING WITH MASKING BECOMING SOMETHING THAT WE ACCEPT NOW, THE FACE COVERING, THE MASK, WITH PEOPLE UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF HAND SANITIZER HOW IT NEEDS TO BE PUT OUT EVERYWHERE. I HAVE SEEN PLANS WHERE BUSINESSES HAVE SAID YES, WE PLAN TO HAVE SOMETHING SANITIZED, A TOUCH SCREEN OR A SURFACE CLEANED AFTER EVERY USE, AFTER EVERY HOUR. ALL THESE DIFFERENT MITIGATION MEASURES ARE WHAT IS GOING TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO OPEN THINGS THAT MAY BE TWO MONTHS AGO WHEN WE WERE VERY NEW TO THIS WHOLE PROCESS WE COULDN’T FATHOM DOING. SO WE ARE WORKING WITH OUR INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERTS, WITH EPIDEMIOLOGISTS AND BUSINESS INDUSTRY EXPERTS ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE TO PUT THE BEST MINDS TOGETHER AND THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE MOST KNOWLEDGE OF THE INDUSTRY TO COME UP WITH PLANS THAT WILL KEEP PEOPLE SAFE. AS DR. LANDON IS ALWAYS EXPRESSING A LOT OF THE ONUS IS ON INDIVIDUALS NOT JUST PEOPLE MAKING POLICY AND WRITING POLICY. IT IS ACTUALLY WHAT IS WRITTEN THEN HAS TO BE IMPLEMENTED, AND THE IMPLEMENTATION INVOLVES PEOPLE AND MANAGERS OF THE INTERESTS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO WORK IN THE INDIVIDUAL. EVERYBODY HAS A PART TO PLAY, AND IF EVERYBODY PLAYS THAT PART THE RIGHT WAY, WE CAN OPEN MANY BUSINESSES SAFELY.>>Reporter: THANK YOU. MY LOSS QUESTION FROM ELIZABETH MATTHEWS AND MYSELF. WE TALKED YESTERDAY ABOUT YOUR BLIND TRUST BUT THERE ARE COMPANIES WITHIN THE PRITZKER GROUP ONE BEING PATH GROUP THAT HAS A CONTRACT WITH THE STATE FOR TESTING. EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE IN A BLIND TRUST, ARE YOU STILL MAKING MONEY FROM IT IN THE LONG-TERM? THAT MONEY WILL BE THERE FOR YOU AFTER OUR GOVERNORSHIP, CORRECT? IS IT ET ETHICAL FOR IT STILL O HAVE A CONTRACT WITH THE STATE? WHETHER IT IS CORONAVIRUS ORBIT FOR ANY PRITZKER COMPANY TO PROFIT IN ANY WAY FROM A STATE CONTRACT?>>Governor Pritzker: WELL, AS YOU KNOW, THE VERY DEFINITION OF A BLIND TRUST IS THAT IT IS BLIND. SO, YOU KNOW, I AS YOU KNOW STEPPED AWAY FROM ALL OF OUR BUSINESSES THREE YEARS AGO AND EVERYTHING IS IN A BLIND TRUST. ANY DECISIONS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE AT ANY OF THOSE BUSINESSES REALLY UNINVOLVED FOR THREE YEARS. IF THERE IS ANYTHING LIKE THAT I WOULD NOT KNOW ABOUT IT.>>RICK, YOU’RE UP.>>Reporter: GOVERNOR, YESTERDAY YOU SAID THAT YOU SAW NO NEED FOR LAWMAKERS TO REVIEW YOUR ORDERS BUT THE LEGISLATURE IS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT. ISN’T IT FAIR FOR THEM TO PROVIDE THEIR REVIEW OF THE ORDERS OR THE REOPEN PLAN AS THE PEOPLE’S REPRESENTATIVES?>>Governor Pritzker: WELL, I WAS ASKED IF I NEEDED OR WANTED THE LEGISLATURE TO RATIFY THE ORDERS THAT WE PUT IN PLACE, THAT’S WHAT I WAS ASKED ABOUT AND THAT’S WHAT I RESPONDED TO.>>Reporter: SO SHOULD LEGISLATORS REVIEW AS PART OF THEIR PURVIEW WHAT YOU HAVE PUT FORTH?>>Governor Pritzker: THEY ARE A CO-EQUAL BRANCH AS THEY OFTEN LIKE TO SAY AND CERTAINLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHATEVER THEY WOULD LIKE IN THIS REGARD. BUT I WILL JUST SAY THAT I HAVEN’T ASKED FOR ANY SPECIFIC REVIEW.>>Reporter: I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW BACK TO THIS EMERGENCY RULE, OBVIOUSLY, LOTS OF BLOW BACK ON THIS. YOU SAID THIS IS A LIGHTER PUNISHMENT THAN LIFTING A BUSINESS LICENSE OR A SHUTDOWN ORDER. BUT ISN’T THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO INJECTING AN ARREST ELEMENT INTO THIS?>>Governor Pritzker: IT IS NOT INTENDED TO INJECT AN ARREST ELEMENT, AND I THINK YOU WOULD HERE STATE POLICE AND OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT TELL THA YOU THAT TS IS SIMPLY A CITATION THAT CAN BE ISSUED AND A DECISION AT THE LOCAL LEVEL WHETHER A BUSINESS IS IN FACT ENDANGERING PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY REFUSING TO CLOSE WHEN THEY SHOULD ACCORDING TO THE ORDERS THAT ARE IN PLACE. SO THAT’S THE PURPOSE OF IT. IT IS REALLY INTENDED TO BE A LIGHTER VERSION A KIND OF ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM RATHER THAN TAKING AWAY SOMEBODY’S LIQUOR LICENSE OR SHUTTING THE BUSINESS DOWN ENTIRELY.>>GREG HINZ ASKS IF YOU WOULD RESPOND TO A MOODY’S REPORT THE STATEY AND STATE FACE GREATER PENSION THAN IN THE GREAT RECESSION. DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS IN THAT?>>Governor Pritzker: I AM COMMITTED TO MAKING THE STATUTORY COMMITMENT TO THE PLAN. I WOULD LIKE TO SPEED IT UP I PROPOSED DOING THAT IN THE BUDGET I PROPOSED BACK IN FEBRUARY AND WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT FOR THE STATE. BUT AS YOU HAVE SEEN, WE HAVE GOT A PRETTY BIG CHALLENGE AHEAD OF US TO BALANCE THE BUDGET. I KNOW THAT THE LEGISLATURE IS WORKING ON THAT EVEN AS WE SPEAK.>>Reporter: JOSHUA VINCENT AT THE CLINTON HERALD AND WHPF IN THE QUAD CITIES. WITH MORE AND MORE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ACROSS THE STATE AND NORTHWESTERN ILLINOIS SAYING EITHER THEY CANNOT ENFORCE YOUR ORDERS BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE THE MANPOWER OR BECAUSE THEY DON’T AGREE WITH THEM, ARE YOU GETTING TO THE POINT OF JUST GIVING UP ON THE IDEA THAT YOUR PLAN, THROW IT MAY BE GOOD IN INTENT, JUST ISN’T WORKING FOR THE REST OF THE STATE THAT’S NOT CHICAGOLAND?>>Governor Pritzker: WELL, I WILL JUST REMIND YOU THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE ARE, IN FACT, FOLLOWING THE PLANS THAT WE PUT OUT AND THE VAST MAJORITY SUPPORT THE PLANS THAT WE PUT OUT. THEY ARE SUPPORTIVE OF THE STAY STAY-AT-HOME RULE AND SUPPORTIVE OF THE WORK WE ARE DOING TO FIGHT THE COVID-19. I KNOW THERE ARE SOME VOCAL LEADERS ACROSS THE STATE, MAYORS OR SOMETIMES LAW ENFORCEMENT WHO WORK FOR MAYORS WHO SPEAK OUT. BUT, LOOK, I THINK EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS THAT THE ENEMY HERE, THE FIGHT THAT WE ARE IN IS AGAINST COVID-19 AND THAT WE OUGHT TO BE FOLLOWING THE SCIENCE AROUND NOT JUST THE WHIMS OF, YOU KNOW, DESIRED BY A MAYOR HERE OR THERE OR, YOU KNOW, OR A LEADER OF A REOPEN GROUP ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT ARE CARRYING VIAL SIGNS TO MAKE THEIR POINT. AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK INSTEAD WE OUGHT TO BE LISTENING TO LEVEL HEADS. THERE ARE THREE OF THEM ON THE LINE HERE TODAY, THREE DOCTORS WHO LIVE AND BREATHE THIS EVERY DAY. I MEAN THEY HAVE TO WORK AND UNDERSTAND COVID-19. THEY’VE GIVEN YOU THEIR VIEWS AND THAT’S WHY I HAVE BROUGHT THEM FORWARD. I COULD BRING YOU DOZENS AND DOZENS OF OTHERS. THESE HAPPEN TO BE THREE OF THE GREAT LEADERS IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS GIVING YOU THE MESSAGE THAT WE NEED TO STAY THE COURSE.>>Reporter: JIM LEACH FROM WMAY IN SPRINGFIELD HAS A QUESTION FOR DR. EZIKE. YOU SAID THE STATE IS REVIEWING COVID-19 DEATHS AND REMOVING THOSE WHERE THE VIRUS IS NOT SEEN AS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO THE DEATH SUCH AS HOMICIDE OR CAR ACCIDENT. HOW MANY SUCH DEATHS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AND REMOVED FROM THE STATE ROLLS SO FAR?>>Dr. Ezike: THAT IS A SMALL NUMBER, YOU KNOW, LESS THAN A FEW PERCENT. WE CAN GET THAT INFORMATION, BUT THAT IS NOT A LARGE NUMBER OF OUR, UNFORTUNATE, LARGE TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS.>>Reporter: GOVERNOR, YESTERDAY THE REPUBLICAN LEADERS HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE AND HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER JIM DURKIN ALONG WITH SENATE PRESIDENT BILL BRADY WERE SAYING IN LIGHT OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES PEOPLE ARE FACING IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR THAT THERE ARE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHY ISN’T STATE GOVERNMENT LAYING OFF PEOPLE, WHY AREN’T STATE WORKERS TAKING PAY CUTS?>>Governor Pritzker: WELL, THERE ARE TWO THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND. I KNOW THEY WANT TO CUT STATE GOVERNMENT NO MATTER WHAT WHETHER COVID-19 IS HERE OR NOT. HERE WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC IN AN EMERGENCY AND IT IS NOW MORE THAN EVER THAT WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR THE SOCIAL SERVICES THAT PEOPLE NEED, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN FUND THE PROGRAMS THAT HELP THEM REDUCE THEIR RENT. YOU KNOW, THIS IS EXACTLY THE TIME WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO CUT PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS, WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO CUT BACK ON OUR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OR OUR ON DEPARTMENT OF INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY. THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT NOW IN THE PANDEMIC, IN THE EMERGENCY, YOU CAN SEE THAT STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING. IN FACT, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO MORE BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN FINANCIALLY DAMAGED BY THIS DISEASE, BY THIS INFECTION. AND SO I WOULD JUST SUGGEST TO THEM THAT THE THING THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT AS WE THINK ABOUT BALANCING THE BUDGET IS IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO STEP UP FOR ALL OF THE STATES? WE’RE NOT ASKING FOR ANYTHING SPECIAL IN ILLINOIS. ALL OF THE STATES REPUBLICAN-LED STATES AND DEMOCRATIC-LED STATES HAVE THE SAME ISSUE. WE HAVE A FALL OFF OF REVENUES AT A RESULT OF COVID-19. WHETHER YOU TALKING ABOUT FLORIDA, OR TALKING ABOUT GEORGIA OR CALIFORNIA OR NEW YORK OR ILLINOIS. AND SO THEY SHOULD AT LEAST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR FIRST, YOU KNOW, INSTINCT TO CUT EVERYTHING IS WRONG HERE. THAT WHAT WE OUGHT TO ASK IS WHAT DO WE NEED TO PRESERVE IN STATE — WHAT DO WE NEED TO PRESERVE IN STATE GOVERNMENT IN ORDER TO PROVIDE SUPPORTS FOR PEOPLE ALL ACROSS THE STATE.>>WBBM NEWS RADIO, GOVERNOR, SOME BUSINESSES IN THE CHICAGO AREA SAY THEY ARE STARTING TO SEE A HANDFUL OF CUSTOMERS ATTEMPT TO COME IN WITHOUT MASKS ON AND WHEN ASKED TO LEAVE, THEY SAY THAT THEY HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION WHICH PREVENTS THEM FROM WEARING A MASK, THAT THEY MUST BE ACCOMMODATED UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ABILITY AND UNDER HI PAA THE STAR CANNOT LEGALLY ASK ABOUT THEIR CONDITION. HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THAT? IS IT LEGAL AND HOW SHOULD A BUSINESS REACT WHEN CONFRONTED WITH SOMETHING LIKE THAT?>>Governor Pritzker: IT IS A GOOD QUESTION AND AS YOU CAN IMAGINE THAT IS SOMETHING NEW TO AMERICA. AND NOW THAT WE HAVE A FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT NEW TO ILLINOIS. OUR DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS IS, IN FACT, RESPONDING TO THIS AND PROVIDING GUIDANCE FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED TO GO INTO A STORE WHO CAN’T WEAR — FOR MEDICAL REASONS CAN’T WEAR A FACE COVERING. LOOK, WHAT WE WANT HERE IS FOR THE MOST NUMBER OF PEOPLE TO BE WEARING FACE COVERINGS. IT IS NOT ABOUT REQUIRING THAT EVERY LAST PERSON, ESPECIALLY SOMEBODY THAT’S MEDICALLY, I KNOW, UNABLE TO WEAR A FACE COVERING. BUT MOST PEOPLE, IF ALMOST EVERYBODY WOULD WEAR A FACE COVERING WHEN THEY GO OUT IN PUBLIC IN A PUBLIC PLACE WITH OTHER PEOPLE AND CAN’T SOCIAL DISTANCE, THAT WILL DO SO MUCH TO REDUCE THE SPREAD HERE. SO WE WILL BE LOOKING INTO WHETHER THERE ARE FEDERAL PROTECTIONS AND HOW WE CAN ENACT THAT, BUT FOR NOW THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS IS PROVIDING GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES AS WELL AS FOR INDIVIDUALS.>>Reporter: KELLEY BOWER AT BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO. WHY IS THE STATE NOT DOING WIDESPREAD TESTING OF RESIDENTS AT ALL NURSING HOMES WITH KNOWN OUTBREAKS? HOW DOES IT DETERMINE WHICH NURSING HOMES GET TO TEST RESIDENTS?>>Governor Pritzker: I WILL TURN THIS OVER TO DR. EZIKE IN A MOMENT BUT JUST TO SAY WE ARE, IN FACT, GOING AFTER WIDESPREAD TESTING AMONG OUR NURSING HOMES AND EVEN AMONG RESIDENTS AT PLACES THAT HAVE OUTBREAKS. BUT AS YOU KNOW AS WE HAVE BEEN RAMPING UP TESTING, THERE HAS BEEN A LIMIT TO THE AMOUNT OF TESTING THAT’S AVAILABLE. AS WE RAMP IT UP EVEN MORE, WE WILL BE TO DO EVEN MORE TESTING. BUT WE HAVE HAD A FOCUS ON NURSING HOMES, AND I WILL LET DR. EZIKE GIVE YOU THE UPDATE ON THAT.>>Dr. Ezike: SO JUST TO FOLLOW UP ON WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID, OUR GOAL IS TO TEST EVERYONE IN EVERY NURSING HOME. THE ONLY REASON THAT WE DON’T DO THAT NOW IS BECAUSE OF THE LIMIT OF OUR SUPPLIES AND OUR CAPACITY. AS WE ARE AGGRESSIVELY AGAIN GOING FROM A FEW HUNDRED TO 5,000 NOW WE HAVE AVERAGED 20,000 FOR THE LAST ABOUT WEEK, SO AS WE INCREASE OUR CAPACITY WE INCREASE THE TESTING. WE ABSOLUTELY WANT TO TEST. WE WERE PROBABLY ONE OF THE FIRST STATES IN THE NATION TO GO IN AND START TESTING AN ENTIRE FACILITY BACK IN MARCH. BUT IT WASN’T SUSTAINABLE BECAUSE OF THE SUPPLIES. BUT THAT IS OUR GOAL. RIGHT NOW SOME OF THE CRITERIA THAT WE ARE USING, BECAUSE WE DO HAVE MANY FAMILIA FACILITIES ARE COUNTRY AND EVEN JUST AN ISSUE OF GETTING INTO ALL THE FACILITIES. BUT WE DO TRY TO IDENTIFY AREAS THAT ALREADY HAVE A HIGH BURDEN OF DISEASE, HOT SPOTS, IF YOU WILL. SO WE USE THAT AS ONE OF THE CRITERIA AS A PLACE TO GO INTO. WE ALSO IDENTIFY PLACES WHERE THERE IS AN ACUTE SPIKE IN THAT AREA. SO AN ACUTE INCREASE IN AN AREA IS ANOTHER REASON THAT WOULD MAKE US TO IDENTIFY A LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY IN THAT REGION. THIRDLY, WE LOOK AT IF THERE ASK A HIGH SOCIAL VULNERABILITY INDEX. THAT IS A CDC METRIC, IF YOU WILL, THAT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT BASICALLY THE HIGHER YOUR SOCIAL VULNERABILITY INDEX SCORED FROM ZERO TO ONE THE HIGHER IT IS, THE CLOSER IT IS TO ONE, THAT MEANS THAT THAT AREA THAT CENSUS TRACK IS — HAS A HIGH RATE — HIGH NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO HAVING BAD THINGS HAPPEN IN ASSOCIATION WITH THIS VIRUS. SO IF THERE ARE MORE IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE, IF THERE ARE MORE UNEDUCATED PEOPLE, IF THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE WITHOUT INSURANCE, IF THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE WITHOUT JOBS, WE KNOW THAT ANY KIND OF DISASTER, A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY OF THIS KIND WILL RAVAGE THAT AREA MORE SO THAN COMMUNITY WHERE EVERYONE HAS INSURANCE, EVERYONE IS EDUCATED, EVERYONE HAS A JOB, EVERYONE HAS TRANSPORTATION, ET CETERA. SO WE ARE USING THOSE THREE PIECES TO PRIORITIZE THE AREAS WE GO IN FIRST. PLEASE KNOW, IF WE HAD WAREHOUSES AND WAREHOUSES FULL OF ALL THE SUPPLIES AND WE HAD ALL THE CAPACITY TO DO 1 MILLION TESTS PER SECOND WE WOULD HIT EVERY NURSING HOME HOME AND WE WOULD HIT THEM REPEATEDLY. NOT JUST ONCE BUT CONSISTENT CADENCE TO KEEP TESTING AND RETESTING AND THAT’S WHAT WE HOPE GET TO.>>Reporter: A RELATED QUESTION, OBVIOUSLY, KNOWING THE ISSUE OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN NURSING HOME AND THESE KIND OF SETTINGS, AT POINT POINT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT FAMILY IN NURSING HOMES? ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR TESTING OR SOCIALLY DISTANCE TO HELP THIS HAPPEN BEFORE A VACCINE IS ESTABLISHED?>>Dr. Ezike: THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION. I WILL TELL YOU THAT THERE HAS JUST BEEN FEDERAL GUIDANCE THAT HAS BEEN PUT OUT ON THIS ISSUE. AND IT SAYS THAT VISITATION SHOULD BE ONE OF THE LAST THINGS THAT WE SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT BECAUSE THIS GROUP IS STILL SO VULNERABLE AND STILL NOT AN EFFECTIVE CURE OR A VACCINE. I MEAN THIS IS A GLOBAL PROBLEM. IF YOU LOOK AT CANADA, 80% OF THEIR DEATHS HAVE BEEN RELATED TO NURSING HOME RESIDENTS. IF YOU TAKE ALL OF EUROPE, OVER 50% OF THEIR DEATHS, AGAIN, IN THE SAME POPULATION. SO THIS IS A GLOBAL CHALLENGE, AND SO VISITATION AND HAVING MORE PEOPLE COME IN WITH THE VIRUS BACK AND FORTH INTO THE SETTING IS NOT THE SOLUTION. AND THE FEDERAL GUIDELINES HAVE SAID THAT JUST RECENTLY. THEY SAID WE SHOULD THINK VERY — BE VERY SLOW ABOUT THINKING EVEN AS PEOPLE CYCLE INTO THEIR NEW PHASES, VISITATION SHOULD BE WAY DOWN ON THE LIST. WHEN WE HAVE HAD PLACES THAT HAVE HAD AN OUTBREAK, WE NEED TO GO IN AND DO A COMPLETE SURVEY OF THE FACILITY BEFORE WE THINK ABOUT LIFTING VISITATION RESTRICTIONS. SO I DON’T — I MEAN VISITATION IS NOT THE WAY WE’RE HEADED NOW. BUT WE DO WANT TO, YOU KNOW, ENCOURAGE A MORE VIRTUAL VISITS. WE DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO BE SOCIALLY ISOLATED IN TERMS OF THEIR CONNECTION TO THEIR LOVED ONES. HOWEVER PEOPLE CAN PROMOTE THAT WHETHER THROUGH iPADS AND SCHOOL AND WEBEX. WE HAVE GOTTEN FOOD WITH VIRTUAL CONNECTION OVER THE LAST TWO MONTHS WE HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THE PANDEMIC AND STAYING AT HOME. AND WE WANT THAT TO BE AVAILABLE TO OUR NURSING HOME RESIDENTS TO TRY TO, YOU KNOW, TAKE SOME OF THE STING OFF THE FACT THAT THEIR LOVED ONES CAN’T COME IN PERSON. SO, NO, VISITATION IS NOT SOMETHING WE ARE RUSHING TO DO. BUT WE DO WANT TO PROMOTE CONNECTION, VIRTUAL CONNECTIONS IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY.>>ALL RIGHT. THAT’S ALL THE TIME FOR TODAY. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. SEE YOU AGAIN TOMORROW. HOPEFULLY NOT VIRTUALLY ANYMORE. . REAL-TIME CLOSED-CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY CINDY JENKINS CERTIFIED REAL-TIME CAPTIONER

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