At the governor’s daily Friday’s COVID-19 update, March 13, 2020, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recognized that President Donald Trump declared a National Emergency, but stated that the time has “long since past the moment when we thought we could count on the federal government to lead in the face of this unprecedented situation.”
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
in Illinois Test Results (3/13/2020)
Positive (Confirmed Cases) 46
Negative Results 316
Under Investigation 82
At the press conference, an additional 14 cases were confirmed following a declaration about school closings. The news cases were announced by IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
Thirteen of the new cases are in Cook County and one new case is located in Lake County.
Approximately 30% of COVID-19 cases in Illinois are travel-related, about 41% are a contact-related, 29% of the cases are considered local community spread or local community transmission because there is no known cause of transmission.
“The State is taking aggressive measures to help limit the spread of the virus as the number of positive cases we report each day is increasing. The situation continues to evolve rapidly, and we want to get ahead of widespread community transmission to reduce the number of people affected. We would rather be over-cautious than put the health of our most vulnerable populations at risk.”
— IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike
Preceding the new IDPH statistics, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that all schools will be closed from March 17 through March 29, 2020. Schools are tentatively scheduled to re-open on Tuesday, March 30, 2020.
The governor’s Friday declaration followed no-school decisions of other states, such as Ohio, Maryland and Michigan, that were announced Thursday. Initially on Friday, March 13, 2020, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) would not close. The initial Chicago decision affected both public and private schools. However, the Chicago Teachers Union demanded Friday afternoon that the district should close. Then about two hours after the governor’s Illinois school closing declaration, Dr. Janice Jackson, EdD, CEO of Chicago Public Schools announced at a separate press conference, that Chicago Public Schools would be closed from Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through Monday, March 30, 2020 with classes resuming Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
Gov. Pritzker explained that school closures were an important part of the social distancing strategy to “flatten the curve” … referring to reducing the spike of coronavirus infections that would presumably occur if social distancing methods were not implemented as strategy to avoid new infections. Gov. Pritzer said he believed Illinois is the eighth state to announce statewide school closures.
Dr. Carmen Ayala, State Superintendent of Education, Illinois State Board of Education explained school closure guidance resources available on the Illinois State Board of Education official website — www.isbe.net website.
Dan Cronin, County Board Chair DuPage County also spoke briefly, recognizing the work of officials and health care workers, and emphasizing the importance of working together for the next phase of the coronavirus outbreak.