State officials warn of post-holiday COVID-19 surge

(The Center Square) – Don’t look for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to loosen COVID-19 restrictions anytime soon.

During his daily briefing on Monday, Pritzker said Tier 3 restrictions will remain in place for the next few weeks, even if some regions meet the requirements to have the restrictions removed. The governor did not say when restrictions would be lifted.

“We have got to take the time to evaluate any Thanksgiving effect before making any premature adjustments,” Pritzker said.

The governor said a significant number of indoor gatherings will most likely create a post-holiday surge, and it was not the time to pull back on any mitigations.

The director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, said people who got together with extended family over the holiday should get tested for the virus.

“It is recommended to wait about 6 or 7 days after exposure to be tested, but if you have symptoms get tested right away,” Ezike said.

Under Tier 3 restrictions, indoor service at bars and restaurants is prohibited, and retail spaces have capacity limits. Theaters, casinos, banquet halls and museums are ordered closed, and indoor fitness classes and group sporting activities are not allowed.

Positive case numbers are trending down, but that could be the result of slow reporting over the holiday weekend. On Monday, the IDPH reported 6,190 new COVID-19 cases with 85 additional deaths.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of the total tests from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29 was 10.2%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity during that same time period was 12.2%

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