Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that he is extending the state’s stay-at-home order until April 30 as coronavirus cases increased by over 900 with 26 new deaths.
Pritzker also extended the disaster proclamation and school closures. The stay-at-home order was initially set to end on April 7 before Pritzker extended it by 23 days.
“Each step we have been forced to take by this pandemic has made things more challenging for our residents. The cascading consequences of these steps weigh on me every minute of every day,” Pritzker said at his daily press conference.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 937 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 5,994 confirmed cases and 99 deaths. The number of people tested so far is at 35,225, data shows.
Pritzker said that 41% of ICU adult hospital beds and 68% of ventilators are available in the state.
“But from all the modeling we’ve seen, our greatest risk of hitting capacity isn’t right now but weeks from now. The virus’ spread is growing, so are its risks,” Pritzker noted.
On Monday, Pritzker said that the first phase of the McCormick Place field hospital will be completed this week. It will ultimately have 3,000 beds and be used for those minor symptoms who do not require advanced care.
“Based on science, data, and the guidance of health experts, our approach to fighting this virus is two-pronged: suppress the spread and increase hospital capacity to meet the need,” Pritzker said.
“A critical component of increasing our capacity is identifying and building out additional facilities across the state to support our existing hospitals and healthcare system. In partnership with the City of Chicago and the U.S. Army Corps we are planning to increase capacity, so we’re prepared to treat patients and save lives,” Pritzker added.
The state is also working to create temporary bed capacity at MetroSouth Hospital in Blue Island and at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.
Pritzker said that personal protective equipment is being shipped out from the state’s stockpile to counties throughout the state.
Pritzker was asked during his Monday press conference for the recovery rates of those who contracted COVID-19. He said that state and local health officials are working to collect that data but noted that it is not easy to obtain.
Among the new deaths reported on Monday was an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center, Ezike said. 12 men who were incarcerated at Stateville are now hospitalized, including several requiring ventilators.
There are 77 more incarcerated individuals with symptoms who are isolated at the facility, Ezike said. Eleven staff are also being isolated.
Correctional centers with a confirmed case are placed on lockdown, which means there is no movement around the facility except for medical care, health officials said. Incarcerated individuals who show symptoms are being tested.