Kathy Karagiannis – Staff Writer
As the holiday season soon approaches, cases continue to arise throughout all of Illinois as the anticipated resurgence heads nationwide. Due to the newly effective mitigations upon us, typical holiday festivities celebrated need to be done differently this year.
Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker warns Illinoisans of another stay-at-home order if the Tier 3 mitigations taken into effect do not go as planned. Despite the frustrations many have due to this setback, health officials continue to stress the importance on taking proper precautions to stop the spread of this virus.
“To stop this spread and preserve some semblance of the holidays, all of us need to do more than just wear our masks now – though masks are mandatory throughout the state. The simple fact is that COVID-19 is spreading so quickly and so widely, and our hospitals are beginning to experience real strain and at the current infection rate they will be overwhelmed. So whenever possible, we need you to stay home,” Pritzker said.
The exponential growth of cases from every region of the state have shown a record high positivity rate that surpasses the peak from early Spring.
In a statement Pritzker adds, “I’m hopeful that by limiting our in-person interactions, we will succeed at avoiding a stay-at-home order like what we had in the spring — when the choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods was even more stark. Tier 3 may allow us to do both. Like in other states like Michigan and California and Washington, it’s our best effort to avoid a stay-at-home order and save lives.”
“Any time there is a gathering, there is an opportunity for transmission,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
The Tier 3 Mitigation Plan originally released in July, now reinstated in order to suppress the spread of the virus and to also prevent hospitals from becoming overrun. Illinois residents are urged to stay at home as much as possible and to celebrate the upcoming holidays with members of their own household.