CHICAGO — Faced with 20,000 new cases of coronavirus illness in the last two days, a stay-at-home order is possible if the spread is not slowed, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday just before his office announced that he was self-isolating after he had been exposed to the virus.
With a record 10,374 new infections reported Friday, and the 10,000-death mark passed this week, Pritzker was asked if he would order people to stay in their homes as was required by Illinois and many other states during the spring onslaught of COVID-19.
“We’re in a bad situation (but) I’m not looking at the broader mitigation of stay-at-home ... as in something I would do in the coming days or a week. But I can’t guarantee you what it looks like two weeks from now or three weeks,” he said. “I just don’t know.”
About an hour after his daily COVID-19 briefing, Pritzker’s office announced that the governor was self-isolating after learning that an infected person attended a meeting with Pritzker last Monday. He is awaiting test results.
It is the third time during the pandemic that Pritzker has been exposed to the virus — twice previously it was the result of a staff member getting sick.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.