Evanston reported 11 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the city’s total to 318. Statewide there were 1,980 new cases, raising the statewide count to 45,883.

Chicago reported 817 new cases today for a total of 18,682. Skokie reported 11 new cases today for a total of 419.

Evanston’s coronavirus death toll remained at 10 today. Skokie’s toll remained at 16. Chicago reported 32 new deaths for a total of 772. Statewide there were 50 additional deaths for a total of 1,983.

The state reported that results of 12,676 tests for COVID-19 were received within the last 24 hours. That marks the fourth day in a row that tests have exceeded Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s goal of conducting 10,000 tests a day. But the state’s health director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, said officials hope eventually to be able to conduct many times that number of tests to aid in bringing the disease under control.

Positive results were returned in 15.6% of the tests reported today. That’s the lowest rate of positive tests in several weeks.

Pritzker said the state will immediately appeal an order issued by Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney this afternoon that thegovernor’s stay-at-home order will be invalid after Friday because it will then have extended beyond 30 days.

The suit was filed by State Rep. Darren Bailey, a Republican from Zenia. He says he and his constituents “are ready to go back to work and resume a normal life.”

But Pritzker said the ruling was “a danger to millions of people who may get ill” because “of what Darren Bailey has done.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Pritzker is speaking unwisely

    Pritzker is speaking unwisely when he claims that Bailey’s lawsuit is “a danger to millions of people who may get ill.” COVID-19 is the danger – not Darren Bailey. I read the complaint, and it has merit. Apparently, a judge thinks so too. We’ll see what happens on appeal.

    What’s going to be different in four weeks than it is now? Or in 8 weeks? Sooner or later, people have to start living. Yes, living with COVID-19 (and all viruses) is risky. But most people who contract COVID do NOT die or require hospitalization. Continuing to quanantine healthy people is not the answer. Even with more robust testing – or a vaccine – there is no way of motivating everyone to get a test, see a doctor, or be vaccinated. (Flu, anyone?)

    Government at all levels took the necessary steps to give hospitals and the medical infrastructure more time to prepare. That was the goal of “stay-at-home” – not virus eradication. There are many illnesses and accidents we could prevent or reduce if we extended this shutdown through August or beyond. But that’s not feasible or healthy.

    I’m also concerned about what the staying home and hyper-cleaning/shielding may do to our immune systems overall. To what extent are we seemingly solving one problem while creating many others?

    As the weather warms, it’ll be harder and harder to contain the restlessness. Summer + high unemployment + continued shutdown is a recipe for disaster in large cities. Let’s go, Governor. 

    1. Covid

      Well said. Maybe Cook County isn’t ready to open, but to lock down the whole state is non-sensical.

      Anyone been to Cairo illinois lately?

      1. Cook County OFFICIALS aren’t

        Cook County OFFICIALS aren’t ready for the county aren’t ready to open. Residents vary — which is fine. Relax restricitions, and then business & people can make their own decisions, i.e., open/don’t open, go out/don’t go out, wear a mask/don’t wear a mask. 

        What we’re seeing is an attempt to keep Cook Co/Chicago area residents from traveling elsewhere in the state. That’s the reason for the regional coalitions as well.Governor Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, and Mayor Hagerty are not being realistic if they think they can keep the stay home order in place thru the end of May without folks getting extremely ornery – especially as the weather warms. 

        Illinois citizens have differential fears related to this virus that are doubtless influenced by geography, age, health conditions, family/economic situation, and political views. But Rep. Bailey’s complaint, which is about what Illinois LAW permits the Governor to do/not to in this situation. Pritizker is revealing that he doesn’t like his unilateral exercise of power being challenged. Bad sign. 

    2. Communicating about COVID-19

      It’s unclear to me how frequently is has to be repeated: asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers can pass the disease on to those who may, in fact, develop very serious symptoms, strain our finite healthcare resources, and die. If the author is suggesting that testing will allow healthy people back into the workplace then s/he must also allow that testing is far from where it needs to be. As a health communication researcher I sometimes am forced to conclude that many people simply don’t understand disease transmission or refuse to learn from history. Relaxing “shelter at home” now — in Cook County, at least — is almost certain to lead to second spikes in both cases and deaths.

      1. On the contrary, I understand

        On the contrary, I understand the realities of asymptomatic carriers. Scientists and medical professionals disagree about the best course of action, so let’s not pretend there’s one unified perspective on the next best-steps (cf Sweden). For Cook Co., what will be/should be different on May 30 than it is now? Let’s say cases and death go down for two consecutive weeks. No matter what, both WILL go up when restrictions are relaxed. The “second spike” is inevitable because that’s how these viruses work.

        Here’s what Illinois residents and leaders need to understand: COVID-19 is what gets people sick and (in a small number of cases) kills them, not mayors, governors, or Presidents. Thank you to the various levels of government for taking steps to mitigate the transmission and ensure our hospitals were not overwhelmed. The shutdown was necessary, especially given our nation’s woeful unpreparedness. We also appreciate you equipping the public with the information and data they need to take calculated risks and make informed decisions. Now, please release your hold on our liberties and livelihoods.

        1. Covid

          Well stated!

          We have to learn how to ive with this virus like we live with accidents, drug overdoses, cancer, suicide, etc.  We already can see the potential damage to our city in a $20 million budget shortfall–with our underfunded pensions, do we want to drive Evanston to bankruptcy due to the virus?  Do we want to shut down Northwestern–they are a tough neighbor, but there is no denyng Northwestern contributes to economic activity that generates revenue for the city.

          We have to learn to live with the virus and get back to business.  The cure can not be worse than the disease

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