In Illinois, there are now 7,695 cases of COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Thursday, and 157 deaths from the virus.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he’s taken every action possible to stop the spread of the virus, from closing bars, restaurants and schools, to issuing a stay-at-home order through the end of the month.
“Now the rest is up to you. Our strongest weapon against COVID-19 is you. … For a little while longer we must all commit to staying home, staying safe and practicing social distancing to stay healthy,” he said Thursday afternoon. “Every one of us must abide by this to get through this difficult time, so to honor you and to bring us together in our commitment to doing what’s right I’m introducing a new statewide initiative to participate in and it’s called ‘All in Illinois.’”
Pritzker called on all residents to join the initiative by updating their Facebook profile pictures with an “All in Illinois” image, sharing messages and videos on social media and displaying “All in Illinois” signs in their yards and windows. (Download signs here.)
“‘All in’ is our anthem and point of pride. Illinoisans staying home for the good of each other and the good of our state,” Pritzker said. “Be all in. ‘All in Illinois’ means we care about one another, we care about our communities. We are one Illinois, and we’re all in this together.”
With the vast majority of the state’s COVID-19 cases in Cook County, Pritzker on Thursday also announced Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park will become an alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients, with up to 230 beds.
Earlier this week, Pritzker announced McCormick Place Convention Center, MetroSouth Hospital in Blue Island and Advocate Sherman in Elgin would treat COVID-19 patients. All four of the facilities should be up and running by the end of the month, according to Pritzker. Officials are also working on establishing an alternate care facility in central Illinois.
“As a reminder, these temporary facilities are meant to support existing medical infrastructure. Patients will first be directed to existing hospitals and if they’re lower acuity, they’ll be transferred to the alternate care sites,” Pritzker said. “We’re also adding beds at existing institutions.”
Coronavirus Prevention Tips and Resources
Officials advise taking preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus, including:
—Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
—Using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
—Sneezing or coughing into a tissue and then disposing of the tissue
—Limiting contact with people regardless of how you feel
—Staying home when you are sick
Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:
—New onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath
—Congestion in the nasal sinuses or lungs
—Sore throat, body aches or unusual fatigue
If you think you have COVID-19:
Call you doctor before showing up at their office. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, tell the operator that you think you have COVID-19. If possible, wear a mask before medical help arrives or presenting at a doctor’s office. More advice for those who think they have COVID-19.
—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
—Illinois’ COVID-19 website
—Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website
—IDPH COVID-19 hotline: 800-889-3931
—IPDH COVID-19 email link
—City of Chicago COVID-19 website
—City of Chicago COVID-19 hotline: 312-746-4835
—City of Chicago COVID-19 email link