Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Monday stop in the county seat of Quincy was no social call. Appearing at the Adams County Department of Public Health, he pointed out the numbers there are going in the wrong direction.
“What’s happening here is alarming,” he said. “And if these trends continue in a negative direction, the state will need to take immediate action to impose additional mitigations to slow the spread and keep more people from getting sick.”
Pritzker said his visit to western Illinois was to provide support and urge everyone to follow guidelines such as wearing a mask in public, frequent hand washing and social distancing.
Adams County Public Health Administrator Jerrod Welch said there have been 340 positive rests for COVID-19, with 236 still active. The Illinois Department of Public Health is closely watching indicators to determine if a mitigation is needed. Those indicators include three days in a row of more than 8% of people tested getting a positive result, a sustained rise in the positivity rate, and more hospital admissions.
The county’s spike in cases is being blamed on large social gatherings and people traveling to hotspots in neighboring Missouri and Iowa. Other courses of infection appear to be in places of worship and with participation in youth sports.
Adams is among four counties in Illinois deemed to be a warning list, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Peoria, LaSalle and Randolph are also included.
Pritzker has spent the past several days urging people to follow public health advice, targeting those who have pushed back against the directives.
“And so obviously, our message to those folks is this is not a political virus. It’s not a Red State virus or a Blue State virus. It’s not something made up by somebody for political purposes. This virus attacks anybody,” the governor said.
Pritzker also pointed out the larger regions that include these counties are also at risk of more restrictions. The state is broken down into regions, under a plan the governor’s administration unveiled earlier this month.
Adams County is in what is known as Region 3. That includes Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler and Scott counties. Data trends in part of the region could result in restrictions throughout the area.
Those indicators include three days in a row of more than 8% of people tested getting a positive result, a sustained rise in the positivity rate, and more hospital admissions.
“We don’t have to do this forever,” Pritzker said. “You’ve seen there’s progress on vaccines and treatments. And you know, we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet. And frankly, we’re not going to be there until 2021, in my humble opinion. I’m not a doctor, but that’s what my observation is, that we’re not going to be able to take off the mask and go about everything we were doing seven, eight months ago for a few more months, maybe six plus months.”