Pritzker COVID address.JPG

CHICAGO (WAND) - Gov. JB Pritzker announced a sixth death from COVID-19 in the state of Illinois on Saturday. There are 753 confirmed cases in the state. That is 168 new cases from Friday.  

The death was a Cook County man in his 70s. DeKalb County also reported their first case. A total of 26 counties have reported cases. With cases from ages 3 to 99. 

IDPH said they will begin including numbers of people recovering or who are isolating at home. They say the majority of people will recover. 

He also reminded citizens that the statewide stay-at-home order will go into effect at 5 p.m. until April 7. 

The closure of schools will be expanded through April 8.

Interstates, highways, roads, and tolls will remain open.

The governor did stress why manufactures are remaining open. Saying that there is a supply chain in order to keep items on store shelves and items that are necessary for daily life. 

Pritzker said he made the decision after consulting with numerous medical and health experts to understand the progression of COVID-19, and determined that to avoid rapid spread of the virus in Illinois that has occurred in other countries, drastic action must be taken to contain it.

"I don't come to this decision easily," Pritzker said. "I fully recognize that in some cases, I am choosing between saving people's lives and saving people's livelihoods. But ultimately, you can't have a livelihood if you don't have your life."

Illinois health officials said they expect the number of confirmed cases to grow as more patients are able to be tested. There are some 3,151 possible cases in the state currently being investigated.

Counties with positive COVID-19 cases include Champaign, Christian, Clinton, Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DuPage, Jackson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Madison, McHenry, McLean, Peoria, Sangamon, St. Clair, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago, and Woodford.

There are cases in all 50 states.

Gov. Pritzker on Saturday also stressed an emergency stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers, as they are using these items rapidly. 

"To maximize the state’s availability of PPE, IDPH released guidance to limit non-essential adult elective surgery and medical and surgical procedures, including all dental procedures, until further notice. IDPH is now encouraging surgery centers, veterinarians, and anyone with unused PPE that is not immediately needed to donate it to assist health care providers, health care facilities, and first responders who are on the front line actively responding to COVID-19," the governor said. 

For donations, email PPE.donations@illinois.gov

Most cases of COVID-19 have been mild, but people including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are considered most at risk. However, cases reported in Illinois have included all age ranges.

People are being asked to follow social distancing measures, including working from home when possible, limiting the amount of time spent in the community and avoiding public transportation.

The number of cases with no clear connection to travel or a known positive COVID-19 case is rising, IDPH officials said. 

Click here to learn more about how people, their school, workplace and community can prepare for COVID-19.

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