SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois’ death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 300 on Monday, as state officials reported that some 12,262 people have tested positive.
The state reported 33 more deaths, for a total of 307. It confirmed 1,006 new cases, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his public health director reported at their daily briefing.
Illinois is girding for its worst days in dealing with rising deaths and new infections while schools remain empty and Pritzker’s stay-at-home order remains in effect until April 30 to slow the virus’ spread.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
Pritzker also addressed comments that President Donald Trump made Sunday about Illinois’ efforts to obtain masks and other personal protective equipment for health care workers. Trump, who has defended his administration’s help to states seeking protective gear, singled Pritzker out repeatedly, saying at one point, “Like in Illinois, the governor couldn’t do his job, so we had to help him.”
Pritzker began his Monday appearance by spelling out the discrepancy between what the federal government has provided and what Illinois bought on its own, often competing against other states and foreign countries.
For example, he noted that the federal government had supplied 368,000 specialized N95 masks and 693,000 protective gloves, while the state had procured 10 million N95 masks and 19 million gloves.
Pritzker said experts expect Illinois health care workers will need up 1.5 million N95 masks and 25 million gloves every 10 days to care for infected patients.
“To anyone who wants a response to some of the blame-shifting coming out of the White House, all I have to say is: Look at the numbers,” Pritzker said.
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