ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — On the sixth straight day that Illinois officials reported more than 1,000 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday again urged residents to wear face coverings to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus.
State public health officials announced 1,231 new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, with 18 new deaths, bringing the total number who’ve died in the state to 7,416 out of 172,655 confirmed infections, most involving people who have recovered.
After the state recorded fewer than 1,000 new cases a day for 34 consecutive days during June and July, the number has topped 1,000 on 14 of the past 19 days, according to state statistics.
“Things are not moving in the right direction,” Pritzker said during a stop Rock Island, where, as in Quincy earlier and Rockford later, he met with local health officials. “We have to make sure that people get the message that ... you’re 80% less likely to get COVID-19.”
Althought progress toward developing a vaccine against the virus is moving rapidly, Pritzker predicted during remarks in Quincy that life and social interaction will not return to anything resembling what it was before the pandemic until well into next year.