Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker anticipates delay in COVID-19 peak, Illinois announces arrival of COVID-19 trial drug
May 11, 2020
Illinois health officials announced Monday the arrival of 140 cases of the investigative anti-viral drug Remdesivir, a treatment used to combat the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
According to Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the 140 cases of Remdesivir received by Illinois were distributed across 14 state hospitals. Illinois officials prioritized allocating the drug to medical centers experiencing the highest number of critical COVID-19 hospitalizations, safety net hospitals and hospitals treating vulnerable demographics.
Ezike cited research conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, which discovered patients treated with Remdesivir experienced “a statistically significant short time to recovery compared to those receiving a placebo.”
“Each case contains approximately enough vials to treat five or so patients depending on if the five-day or 10-day protocol is employed,” said Ezike.
Ezike also announced that Illinois experienced 54 additional deaths over the past 24 hours, raising the state total to 3,459. Illinois medical experts also reported an additional 1,266 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 79,007 cases statewide.
Speaking from his Springfield home after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the delay of Illinois’ peak in COVID-19 cases as a “natural consequence of flattening the curve.”
“Compared to the forecast that I shared with you on April 23, which predicted peaking between late April and early May, that timeframe of plateauing near a peak has been expanded from mid-May to mid-June,” said Pritzker. “In many ways, this news is disheartening.”
Pritzker also stated that while Illinois continues reporting steady numbers, the state has not experienced declines in “key metrics,” including hospitalizations. “We have made great progress but it’s forced us to remain at a moderated yet high level of key metrics for this extended period,” said Pritzker.
The Illinois governor restated the importance of gradually reopening Illinois, despite vocal pushback from factions opposing his stay at home mandates. According to Pritzker, prematurely reopening the state places Illinois residents at risk of a second wave of COVID-19.
“Lifting all of our mitigations at the end of May would likely lead to a second wave of outbreak in each and every one of our four regions,” said Pritzker. “That’s why the Restore Illinois plan gradually loosens mitigations in each phase while introducing the face covering requirement, which is one of the best public health measures to keep the transmission rate low.”
Three of Illinois’ four regions remain on pace to satisfy the requirements to progress to stage three of Restore Illinois. Pritzker announced Illinois’ Northeast region as the lone exception after the positivity rate among tested residents climbed to 22.3%, 2.3 points higher than the 20% threshold required to advance to the next phase.
The North Central region reported a 9.1% positivity rate. Illinois’ Central region reported the lowest positivity rate at 6.0% while the Southern region experienced a 10.5% positivity rate.
However, all four regions experienced decreases in hospitalizations since May 1, with the Southern region pacing all regions with a 54.3% reduction in hospitalizations. The Northeast region experienced the lowest rate of decrease, reporting 16% less hospitalizations relative to May 1.