Illinois labs ran 19,417 coronavirus tests during a 24-hour period from Saturday to Sunday – a state record that nearly doubles the 10,000 per day goal Gov. J.B. Pritzker set in early April that took nearly all of last month to reach.
The governor has said more testing is key to reopening Illinois’ economy.
The tests show that another 2,994 people are confirmed to have COVID-19, bringing Illinois’ total number of cases to 61,499.
A total of 2,618 people have died in Illinois from the virus, including 63 in the past day, the governor said.
Pritzker has also said that contract tracing – a method that aims to reduce the virus’s spread by tracking with whom carriers have been in the physical presence of – must be employed in order to ease the stay-at-home order.
The governor said the state may hire as many as 3,000 people to call individuals who were near someone who tested positive.
“The idea here is simply to let them know they need to self-isolate, to make sure that they get tested themselves,” he said. “We want to contact everybody so that we can slow the spread here so that people aren’t just walked around thinking that they have never come in contact with somebody and probably don’t have it, when in fact they may have been in close contact with someone.”
Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have been upfront about the fact that revelers of any age could face consequences if they breach rules set up to curb the spread of the virus.
Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown on Saturday warned party planners that police would be forceful in breaking up gatherings.
But the CPD said Sunday that while there was “dispersals” of events over the weekend, no citations were made nor was anyone arrested on Saturday for offenses relating to breaking the stay-at-home order.
On Friday, the CPD also made no arrests but officers did issue six citations.
“The fact is, people need to follow the rules. People will get sick if they don’t follow the rules. We need local government and local police to make sure that people are following these rules,” Pritzker said. “We’re not looking to have police crack down on people, arrest people, that is not the intent here. But it is true that police can break up a party.”
During his briefing Sunday, Pritzker also reminded Illinois residents who are not regular bank customers that through an arrangement with the state, they can cash stimulus checks without having to pay a fee at select banks.
The governor also cautioned people to be on guard for scams, and called it “reprehensible” that “bad actors” have used a public health emergency to prey on victims.
Sunday marks the third day of Pritzker’s modified executive order, which requires hair salons to remain closed but which does allow for pets to be professionally groomed.
Asked about the difference, Pritzker said “it would be nearly impossible” for a barber or hair stylist to not come within 6 feet of someone, while a pet groomer can cut a dog’s hair or trim a cat’s nails without getting close to a human.
“I do ask the epidemiologists and experts about these things,” the governor said.
But the governor said he is not involved in negotiations as Congress looks toward the next stimulus package.
“We’ve asked for help and that’s why virtually every state in the United States is going to the federal government to look for a replacement of lost revenues,” he said.
Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky
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