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Pritzker says ‘every region’ of Illinois is trending the wrong way with COVID-19

Bloomington (WSIL) -- Hours after the health department released yet another day's worth of COVID-19 case numbers closer to 2,000 than 1,000, Gov. JB Pritzker said Illinois regions are going the wrong way.

"Every region is, frankly," Pritzker said during a visit to Bloomington Thursday.

The state announced 1,834 new cases Thursday. It's the third straight day with more than 1,500 new cases. The state's 7-day rolling average of new cases now sits at 1,714.

Pritzker says the next few weeks will be particularly important as schools reopen. He says the state will step in if an outbreak occurs. He acknowledged in-person learning is ideal for kids, but he says the virus cannot be ignored.

"We're going to do everything we can to make the state a place where schools can open properly with hopefully a hybrid offering in some locations if they haven't already gone e-learning," he said. "It's very important that we get this right."

None of Illinois' 11 regions have triggered state intervention based on the regional metrics Pritzker recently announced. Only Peoria's region, Region 2, has a red light on their web site for too many increases in test positivity rate in a 10 day span.

The plan only calls for intervention if that is met with another metric, like increases in hospitalizations or low ICU or ventilator availability.

However, restrictions would come back in any region if the test positivity rate is at 8% for three straight days. Two regions, East St. Louis and Southern Illinois, have positivity rates of at least 7.6%.

Pritzker says wearing a mask is paramount to keep schools open. "We have to do this folks. This could be the most important thing we do to bring down the spread of COVID-19 across the state."

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