Death Toll And Infections On The Rise - Steps Taken To Reduce Transmission

Your Ad Could Be Here - For As Little As $25 Weekly! - Call 618-494-2068

STAY AT HOME! Illinois Governor Orders Residents To Shelter In Place

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker just announced a statewide shelter in place order.

This order becomes effective tomorrow evening and and will remain in place until April 7.

Only essential businesses are to remain open. Grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals and other healthcare entities will stay open.

Pritzker said, "You have a right to the truth as difficult as it may be to hear because you can bear it. Over the last few weeks I've reached out to and relied upon some of the best medical experts, epidemiologists, mathematicians, and modelers to help me understand what the progression of this disease will look like in Illinois.

My bedrock has been to rely upon science. Real actual science around infection rates and potential mortalities. In my discussions with these experts I've asked for honesty and hard truths. I asked that choices and consequences of those choices be laid out for me as clearly and starkly as possible. I've asked every one of these experts, what action can I take to save the most lives?

Well, they've come back to me with one inescapable conclusion. To avoid the loss of potentially tens of thousands of lives, we must enact an immediate stay at home order for the state of Illinois. So that is the action that I'm announcing today. We have looked closely at the trajectory of this virus in countries like Italy and China. Left unchecked, cases in Illinois will rise rapidly. Hospital systems will be overwhelmed. 

Protective equipment will become scarce and we will not have enough health care workers or hospital beds or ventilators for the overwhelming influx of sick patients. The only strategy available to us to limit the increase in cases and ensure our healthcare system has capacity to treat those who become ill is to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the most robust manner possible.

I don't come to this decision easily. 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. Of all the obligations that way on me as governor, this is the greatest.

If there are actions that I can take that will save lives in the midst of this pandemic, no matter how difficult, then I have an obligation to take these actions. Therefore starting tomorrow evening. Saturday March 21st at 5pm, until the end of April 7th all our residents will be subject to a stay-at-home order."

This order is in response to the coronavirus pandemic that is beginning to show up in throughout the state. At the time this is written, there are 585 confirmed cases in the state that have resulted in five deaths in 25 counties.

Pritzker made his announcement with Chicago Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago epidemiologist Dr. Emily Landon also making statements.

Chicago epidemiologist Dr. Emily Landon
Chicago epidemiologist Dr. Emily Landon

Dr. Landon said, "This virus is unforgiving. It spreads before you even know you've caught it. And it tricks you into believing that it's nothing more than a little influenza. For many of us it may not be much more than the flu. And so it can be very confusing as to why schools are closed, restaurants are shuttered and now the virus is taking what's left of our precious liberty. 

But the real problem is not the 80% who will get over this in a week. It's the 20% of patients, the older, those that are immunocompromised, those that have other medical problems who are going to need a bit more support. Some oxygen. Or maybe a ventilator. Life support. We do amazing things like this to save patients in our American hospitals and across the world every single day, but we can't take care of everyone at once. 

And we can't keep that low mortality promise if we can't provide the support that our patients need. Our health care system doesn't have any slack. There are no empty wards for waiting for patients or nurses waiting in the wings. We barely even have enough masks for the nurses that we have. 

Looking back to the last time we were limited tools and having a dangerous infection spread quickly was the beginning of the 1918 pandemic. Two cities in America made different choices about how to proceed and when only a few patients were affected.  St. Louis shut itself down and sheltered in place, but Philadelphia went ahead with a huge parade to celebrate those going off to war.

A week later. Philadelphia hospitals were overrun and thousands were dead. Many more than in Saint Louis. This is a cautionary tale for our time. Things are already tough in Illinois hospitals, including mine. There's no vaccine or readily available antiviral to help stem the tide. All we have to slow the spread is distance, social distance. 

And if we let every single patient with this infection infect three more people and then each of them infect two or three more people, there won't be a hospital bed when my mother can't breathe very well. Or when yours is coughing too much."

Both Pritzker and Lightfoot said that many are not following the guidelines but that everyone needs to comply in order to save lives.

Drive up testing facilities and other methods of fighting COVID-19 are currently being planned. Announcements will be made over coming days as plans and programs are implemented.

More information can be found at

Comments powered by Disqus