Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during an interview on Sunday that the state is now “getting ready for a point where we can begin to reopen the economy.”
CBS host Margaret Breenan interviewed Pritzker on CBS’ Face The Nation program on Sunday regarding the coronavirus in Illinois.
Pritzker said that hospitalizations are “barely increasing” now and the state has bent the curve significantly. He warned that Illinois is not through the pandemic yet but the numbers are beginning to flatten.
“My great concern at this point is that we make sure we got our contact tracing up and running. We have increased testing significantly, so we are getting ready for a point where we can reopen the economy,” Pritzker said.
Illinois is ranked #2 when it comes to testing in the United States, he said, noting that the state has recently overcome testing challenges.
“We’ve got to get our contact tracing up and going and then as I say, we can reopen the economy as we see our hospitalizations begin to wane,” he said.
Laboratories have processed 19,417 COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The total number of people tested so far in the state is at 319,313.
Pritzker said on Friday that if a certain region of the state sees 14 straight days of a decrease in cases, hospitalization and ICU rates, then they could reopen before the end of the stay-at-home order on May 30.
IDPH reported 2,994 new coronavirus cases and 63 additional deaths on Sunday. Deaths on Thursday reached 140, and there were 102 deaths on both Friday and Saturday.
The state’s COVID-19 total is now 61,499 positive cases and 2,618 deaths.
The number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of late Saturday evening is 4,701 — 1,232 of them are in the ICU and 759 on ventilators, Pritzker said at his daily press briefing. That is a decrease from Friday evening.
Pritzker warned that his office has seen COVID-19 related scams through telephone, text message, internet and door-to-door solicitation.
“The attorney general will not hesitate to use the authority of his office and partnerships with state, local and federal law enforcement to hold accountable anyone seeking to profit off this pandemic,” Pritzker said.