SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health Director are pleading with residents to take precautions and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike says some people have created an idea that COVID-19 has gone away and there's nothing to worry about. However, the positivity rate is rising in several counties and the virus "is still dangerous."
While the rates are better than they were at the start of the pandemic, Ezike says people need to take proper steps to reduce the spread of the virus. She feels events like the White Trash Bash in East Peoria, which brought about 500 people together over the weekend, are a step in the wrong direction.
"Anyone who thinks that wearing a mask or keeping their distance doesn't help, you are just wrong," Ezike said Wednesday. "Both of those incredibly simple actions have been shown to slow the spread of the virus and decrease the number of cases."
Ezike notes everyone needs to take personal responsibility and no one should be gathering in large groups where people can't social distance. She said that includes family reunions, sporting events, and protests.
"This is not about trying to take away peoples' freedom. It's about stopping the spread of a deadly virus," Ezike emphasized.
Illinois reported 1,759 new cases and 30 deaths Wednesday. 186,471 people have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. While 95% of those individuals have recovered, 7,573 Illinoisans have died. IDPH is reporting 46,668 tests were conducted over the last 24 hours. The 7-day rolling positivity rate is 3.9%.