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Illinois Gov. Pritzker says curve is bending, announces 'ramped up' testing at nursing homes

"We've, so far, prevented our worst-case scenarios"
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 30, 2020 file photo, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at the Thompson Center in Chicago during the daily update on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP File)

CHICAGO — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said the state has not yet reached its peak, but he is seeing positive outcomes due to social distancing practices.

Pritzker said there are 1,239 patients in the ICU, occupying about 40% of the beds. 

"To be clear, we are still seeing too many Illinoisans hospitalized with this virus," Pritzker said during his daily briefing on Monday. "We've, so far, prevented our worst-case scenarios."

The state reported 59 people have recently died due to the virus, bring the total to 1,349 deaths. There are also 1,151 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 31,508.

“Our curve is bending the right way,” Pritzker said. "Real progress has been made and while we never know the exact impact of the efforts all of you have made, all of the projections indicate you’ve saved thousands of lives."

Pritzker said he is working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at nursing home and long-term care facilities, saying anyone living or working at the facilities who have symptoms associated with COVID-19 should be assumed to have the virus and treated as such.

He said there will be "ramped up" testing on all staff, even if they are not symptomatic. He also said his administration will not hesitate to take action against the management of nursing homes if they are not takin the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

The state is currently under a stay-at-home order. Pritzker announced last week that Illinois school buildings will remain closed through the end of the school year.

He also announced he is collaborating with other governors in the Midwest on how and when to reopen the economy. Missouri Gov. Parson said he is not part of the alliance.

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