SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois is ready to ramp up testing for COVID-19. Governor JB Pritzker says expansion is underway at state labs to run more tests each day and support for hospitals and private labs is ramping up. In a few weeks the state should be able to double the number of tests they can currently do.
However, with more tests, that likely means more cases of the virus. The state has done a full assessment of the number of hospital beds currently open. Pritzker says that a worst-case scenario of an unchecked spread of COVID-19 would overwhelm the hospital system in a few weeks.
Pritzker says even more tests are needed than what they will be able to run in two weeks but he says they don’t anticipate a worst case because of the steps already taken including social distancing and the stay at home order.
Although the order has helped prevent more of a spread, an economic toll is being felt across Illinois and the US as stiff measures are being taken. As the state’s stay at home order runs into its first week people are beginning to wonder when enough will be enough.
Gov. Pritzker says he’s aware of the pain being felt by workers and business owners but he has to be able to see real change in the curve of infections before he’s ready to commit to lifting restrictions on April 7th or thereafter.
The state reported 250 new COVID-19 cases yesterday bringing the total number to 1,285 along with four more deaths.