CHICAGO — Illinois health officials announced 1,209 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 additional deaths.
On Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a total of 8,904 cases, including 210 deaths, in 64 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.
At a press conference Friday afternoon at McCormick Place, Gov. JB Pritkzer FEMA and the construction workers who helped get the the alternate care facility ready for patients with COVID-19. On Friday, 500 of the eventual 3,000 beds were ready.
The governor addressed the issue of wearing masks in public, even if the person is not sick. He said there is a reason people are raised to cover their mouths or use an elbow when they cough and sneeze.
“The most important thing you can do is to stay home,” Pritkzer said. “But when you do go outside…wearing something to cover your face is a good idea based upon what the science says.”
The governor said people can wear homemade fabric masks or manufactured general medical masks, but really just something to cover their nose and mouth. The masks, the governor said, are a courtesy to those around them in the event that someone is asymptomatic or presymptomatic.
The governor said wearing a mask is just one more way to help take care of one another in our state.
DeWitt, Effingham and Jersey counties are now reporting cases.
The governor said the state has not reached the capacity of hospital beds or ICU beds. However, but only 41% of hospital beds and 29% of ICU beds are available statewide and they are filling up fast.
Currently, there is enough staff and equipment to staff the first 500 beds at McCormick Place but there is a concern there will not be enough PPE available.