Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Dr. Ngozi Ezike are holding daily COVID-19 press briefings as cases and hospitalizations in Illinois reach record highs. Read and listen to the latest update from the governor’s office on new cases, phased re-opening and closings of different regions and the state’s ongoing pandemic response. You can watch the most recent press briefings at 2:30pm every day here on Illinois Newsroom.
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Good afternoon, everyone and welcome to the COVID-19 update for Thursday December the third. Before we begin, I want to offer a warm welcome home to 185 soldiers of the second Battalion, 100 and 30th Infantry Regiment of the Illinois national guard who have spent the better part of the last year serving in the Middle East. They along with their counterparts who returned in November together 400 troops strong, have lived apart from their loved ones since January, with the added stress of being an ocean apart during a pandemic. On behalf of the State of Illinois, I wish them a safe and happy reunion during this holiday season. We are very, very glad to have you home.
Yesterday as the nation reached 100,000 hospitalizations from COVID-19 thousands higher than either our spring or summer national peaks. The director of the CDC, Robert Redfield warned that as we wait for mass distribution of a vaccine, the months ahead could amount to the most difficult in the public health history of this nation. That makes our collective action in the coming weeks all the more important. What can we do to support our healthcare systems? How do we make sure that they’re able to care for all the patients who come through their doors, not just the current surge of COVID-19 patients, but also severe flu cases, car crash survivors, those suffering from heart attacks or strokes.
Everyone knows the basics, of course, wash your hands, keep your distance, wear your mask around others to protect yourself and to protect your family. And right now, that includes working extra hard to stay home as much as we can to bring down rates of transmission in our communities. Getting your flu shot will also help more people out of the hospital, easing the burden on our health care workers. One very important thing that you can do to help others right now is to donate blood. It has no effect on your immune system to do so. And hospitals need blood right now more than ever. It’s normally difficult to get blood donations around the holidays, but the pandemic has made it even harder to maintain an adequate blood supply.
On top of COVID patients, there are still patients in need of transfusions all across the hospital, including those who need surgery or undergoing cancer treatments have chronic conditions such as sickle cell or for those who experience accidents or trauma. Additionally, many of our blood donation centers including the Red Cross, are collecting convalescent plasma from people who are healthy, and were fully recovered from COVID-19 as their antibodies may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Research into plasma as a treatment for COVID-19 is ongoing. But since this is a new virus, the more information we have to study, the quicker we can find meaningful answers about its effectiveness. In other words, the more people who have recovered from COVID-19, who donate their antibodies, the better our ability to save lives. across the state, our blood donation centers and our hospitals are making loud and clear their need for more assistance during this holiday season. So I’m very glad today to be joined by someone who has made a career in this work, making it possible for countless lives to be saved, all because someone took the time out of their day to give back by giving blood. And so I’d like to introduce the CEO of the Red Cross Illinois region. Selena Rodan, Solana.
Thank you Governor Pritzker, and thank you Dr. z k for your steadfast leadership at this time. At the Red Cross. We are grateful for the medical professionals, first responders and those providing essential services. This includes the dedicated phlebotomist and individuals who collect life saving blood each day. every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. The covid 19 pandemic does not change the Red Cross mission. During this holiday season. As the weather gets colder and people Shelter in Place the Red Cross must continue to hold blood drives across Illinois and supply hospital partners with life saving blood blood collection is essential service and it’s critical for surgery patients those undergoing cancer treatment, people with conditions such as sickle cell and those who experienced trauma. The Red Cross staff trained, trained staff follows thorough safety protocols and guidance from the CDC and public health authorities and have in place safety precautions such as social distancing temperature checks, wearing masks and enhance cleaning guidelines. healthy individuals are needed to schedule an appointment to donate life saving blood in organizations and businesses are still needed to host blood drives.
If you are fully recovered from covid 19 your donation is also needed. You are needed to donate your plasma to help patients currently battling the virus. convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from those who have recovered from COVID-19 and has antibodies that may help patients actively fighting the virus. As part of this effort, the Red Cross is also testing every blood donation for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, and those donations may also now be processed into a convalescent plasma product to help patients battling this virus. We are asking everyone that is feeling healthy and well to please make an appointment to donate appointments, ensure social distancing, and limit walk in donors.
Blood donations will be needed in the days, weeks and months to come. You can make an appointment to donate by visiting redcross.org or by calling one 800 Red Cross. Two of the most important ways that you can help at this time is by rolling up a sleeve to donate blood or by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Thank you to everyone who answers the call.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike
Good afternoon. I want to touch on the quarantine timeframes. As I know there are questions about the new guidance. The previous guidance from the CDC was for individuals who had been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days. However, in further study and extensive modeling by CDC and other academic institutions, the CDC has now reduced that to 10 days, as long as the individual does not have any symptoms at all. This does not mean that the person can’t develop symptoms on day 12 or 13. But we know from looking at all the data that the risk of that happening is between one and 10%. Alternatively, a person can discontinue quarantine at seven days, if they have no symptoms, and they have a negative test in the preceding 48 hours.
So if you are a close contact of someone with COVID, and on day five, you get tested and that test comes back negative on day seven or day eight, you can end your quarantine at that time. You still have to quarantine between the time you took the test. And when you get that negative results. Remember, you must have no symptoms whatsoever again, the hope is that by reducing the amount of time and quarantine, it will be easier for people to take this critical action without the additional economic hardship of not being able to work for so long.
And better adherence to these quarantine guidelines can help reduce stress on communities by decreasing the number of new infections. For today, we are reporting 10,959 new individuals with COVID-19 for a total of 759,562 total people in Illinois who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. In the last 24 hours, we have received reported idph of 192. Additional lives loss for a total of 12,830 lives lost here in Illinois. overnight. 5653 individuals were in the hospital with COVID-19. And of those 1170 were in the intensive care unit, and 693 were on ventilators. In the last 24 hours, 106,778 tests were reported for a total of 10 point 8 million tests since the beginning of this pandemic.
I would like to remind people that our path forward starts today with what we choose to do and our actions for today. I want to thank everyone who is making the sacrifices who is wearing their mask, who is for going group activities. With continued actions like yours and others following your lead. We can turn this around. Let’s choose to protect and not infect those around us by avoiding the gatherings and wearing our mask and washing our hands. Let’s continue to keep our distance again at least six feet between each other. And if you haven’t obtained your flu shot please do that as well. Thank you.