Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced new restrictions Monday for a region of southern Illinois and raised concerns about the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
Pritzker said Region 5, which includes Carbondale, Marion, and Harrisburg, had reported a 7-day positivity rate of 8% or more for 3 straight days. The region will have additional restrictions put into place on Thursday, including a ban on indoor service at bars and restaurants. Gatherings of more than 25 people also are restricted.
Dr. Craig Davis, system director of hospitalist medicine at Southern Illinois Healthcare, said some people aren’t taking the virus seriously.
“What remains most alarming to me as a physician and a father is the complacency I see in some of our community members,” Davis said.
The governor said there have been alarming trends throughout the state.
“Every region of the state has started to move in the wrong direction,” Pritzker said. “Cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths are rising statewide.”
Two other areas could be close to getting additional restrictions. Region 7, which is Will and Kankakee counties, and Region 8, comprised of Kane and DuPage counties, have reported an 8% positivity rate the last two days.
Region 1, located in northwestern Illinois, has already been under additional restrictions. The positivity rate in the region has climbed above 11% in recent days.
State Sen. Paul Schimpf, who represents a part of Region 5, said the governor is putting too much emphasis on positivity rates.
“I think it really is the wrong metric to be using when we are making a decision on whether or not to close businesses that are already struggling,” he said.