Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said much of the state is seeing the worst surge of the coronavirus since the pandemic started earlier this year. Pritzker also said residents want this outbreak to be over but warned them to prepare for the winter.
Pritzker said hospitalizations are spiking, with 4,200 patients on average admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19. The governor said he has been in touch with hospital leaders and front line workers.
"We're listening closely to them and we will do everything to protect them," Pritzker said. He urged everyone to wear a mask and to not hold large gatherings.
"They need your help," Pritzker said. "The nation is in a precarious place right now in this pandemic."
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported a record 12,623 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, topping the old daily case record of 12,438 reported on Saturday. The department also reported 79 additional deaths, the second most reported in one day since mid-June.
The state has now surpassed 500,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The statewide seven-day average case positivity rate stands at 12%, three times higher than it was one month ago.
Pritzker also addressed Monday's announcement about a COVID-19 vaccine and said the state is preparing for when it becomes available.