Based on rolling 14-day reporting, each of Illinois’ four regions currently satisfies the positivity rate threshold required to advance to stage three of Restore Illinois, according to Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker.
Despite Illinois state officials reporting Friday an additional 2,432 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 atop 130 new deaths, Pritzker says Illinois’ statewide positivity rate over the past 24 hours is 9.2%. The current statewide average is 12%, down from the peak statewide positivity rate of 23.6% reported on April 4.
“The great news is that the positivity rate in Illinois is coming down,” said Pritzker. “Every region is meeting our positivity rate standard to move to stage three.”
However, Pritzker cautioned against optimism, stating that lowered positivity rates are a natural result of increased testing.
In order to advance to stage three, each region must report a positivity rate lower than 20%. Regions must also experience a decrease in hospitalizations over a 28-day period, achieve an available surge capacity of 14% in medical beds, intensive care unit beds and ventilators and meet specified testing and tracing criteria.
A few days ago, White House representatives asked state officials to increases testing to 2% of all state residents. According to Pritzker, Illinois doubled that amount, already testing 4.7% on a seven-day average. “We won’t stop testing until this pandemic is over,” said Pritzker.
Illinois expanded testing eligibility to a wider range of groups, including all front line and essential workers. As of Friday, Illinois opened 251 free testing sites across the state, including six new testing sites located in Little Village, Englewood, Bridgeport, Pullman, Hansen Park and Gage Park. A testing site located in the Chatham neighborhood begins testing tomorrow.
The tested site nearest Northeastern Illinois University is located in Harwood Heights at the intersection of Harlem Ave. and Forest Preserve Drive.