5 more COVID-19 deaths in Illinois; Pritzker outlines worst-case scenarios

IL Gov giving Tuesday update

News IL Gov giving Tuesday update COVID-19

For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

Officials also announced that three more people have died.

Presiding over a third straight week of daily briefings on the disease, of which he's attended every one, Pritzker condemned President Trump's push to ease restrictions and restart the nation's economy by April 12, predicting such a move could lead to "millions of deaths".

Increasing capacity is a goal of Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Two correctional officers and one man incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center have tested positive, as well as a contractual worker at Sheridan Correctional Center, officials said Wednesday.

Asked if his statewide "stay-at-home" order could extend past its current April 7 deadline, Pritzker indicated that it's a possibility. We have to start to see some movement in the numbers in the right direction. And it's early. I just can't tell you anything quite yet. Pritzker said. "The honest answer is we don't yet know". He said that honestly it is not known yet.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news, stories and insider events.

State officials announced on Tuesday that coronavirus cases in IL have increased to 1,535 and 16 deaths.

On March 30, IDPH projected that hospitals across the state would need an additional 2,511 non-ICU beds, 837 ICU beds and 419 ventilators compared to current capacity if the state took no action to combat the virus.

Demand for intensive care unit beds and ventilators would also surpass supply. Hospital beds are already over half filled. And about 4,700 additional ventilators to help the most critically-ill breathe.

"This is untenable", Pritzker said.

"We are not immune", he said. But again, those are worst-case scenario projections with no interventions.

"We're using a two-pronged approach to make sure a worst-case scenario does not become our reality", said Pritzker.

IL was among the first states to test for COVID-19 in state-managed labs, beginning with the capacity to run 50 tests a day in February and since expanding to three state labs running 600 tests a day. Restaurants are carry-out and delivery only.

On Monday, Pritzker announced the creation of a task force to secure essential medical supplies.

Nevertheless, hospitals are racing to scale up after years of keeping scores of patient beds empty because fewer people needed them for a variety of reasons. In a worst-case scenario surge, the State would dedicate several dozen existing hospitals nearly entirely to COVID-19 patients, moving non-COVID patients to other hospitals, including these re-outfitted locations. The state has 26,000 non-ICU hospital beds, with 13,000 now available.

Those efforts include temporarily reopening old hospitals and expanding capacity in existing hospitals by acquiring critical equipment, such as N95 masks and ventilators.

Pritzker said the difference between a regular ICU bed and a COVID-19 bed is a ventilator.

"What we need to do is to ensure that our health care system can fully support and care for those who won't easily recover", Pritzker said. "We believe it's coming". The President promised assistance, and yesterday afternoon, the White House notified IDPH that IL will be receiving 300 ventilators and 300,000 N95 masks from FEMA in the coming days.

Latest News