Masks removed by the holidays? Pritzker will probably take back his “gift”

New cases of COVID-19 have increased in Illinois, leading some heads of state to question why the only state east of Mississippi with a universal mask warrant is experiencing worse case rates than those without a warrant.

In October, Gov. JB Pritzker teased the Illinois that they could see indoor mask warrants lifted before the holidays, but an increase in the number of new cases makes it unlikely that he will follow.

Six states have mask warrants in effect for residents regardless of vaccination status, with Illinois being the only one east of Mississippi. Some Illinois politicians wonder why Pritzker’s tenure is necessary if the state registers as many or more infections than warrantless states.

Illinois public health officials have reported a surprising resurgence of new COVID-19 cases statewide, peaking with the highest daily total of new cases of the year. On December 2, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike said a mask-less holiday is unlikely to take place.

“As we moved inside, we may not have taken our masks inside with us. So lots of unmasked indoor gatherings are probably part of the problem, ”Ezike said. “Of course, COVID is so complicated. It got us going curve after curve.

The IDPH reported a staggering 11,524 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed on December 2, nearly twice as many as on any other day in the past 10 months. The record comes after families gathered for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The spike pushed up the 7-day average to 5,313 new cases per day this week. A jump of more than 135% from rates reported in the same period the month before.

Likewise, the state has experienced higher coronavirus hospitalization rates than any point since last winter. But Illinois isn’t the only state in the Midwest to see new case rates rise, leading Chicago’s top doctor to designate the region as the “current COVID hot spot.”

Wisconsin reported the highest number of new cases per 100,000 people nationwide on Dec. 3 at 106.3, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Minnesota and Missouri reported rates of 95.39 and 84.89 respectively, with Illinois recording the third highest number of new cases in the Midwest at 90.24.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said more than 97% among these new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.

Even though cases of COVID-19 have increased in recent weeks, some Illinois leaders, including mayors and state lawmakers, have renewed their calls for Pritzker to lift his order to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

They point out that Illinois is now the only state east of Mississippi with a mask warrant, and yet the case positivity trends continue to match those reported by unrestricted Midwestern neighbors.

“Fact: Illinois is the only state in the Midwest that currently requires a mask, and yet to date we are no better off than the surrounding states,” Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said. “In my opinion, based on information from the CDC and the minimal or no impact of COVID mitigation strategies on actual results. “

Others are pushing for more stringent state-wide mitigation measures as officials prepare to tackle the spread of the omicron variant, even calling for another shutdown nationwide. State. Omicron appeared on December 1 in California and has since been detected in four other states: Minnesota, Hawaii, New York, and Colorado.

In early November, Pritzker said he and the IDPH medics were evaluating the masking decision “really every day.”

“We look at the figures, I talk to the doctors of the IDPH, especially [IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike], and what we’re trying to assess is: does the number of hospitalizations, for example, go up, down, stay the same? Said Pritzker. “We want them to decrease. They are not currently, just to be clear.

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