CHICAGO – As Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued the “stay at home” order for all Illinois residents beginng March 21 at 5 p.m., a fifth death due to COVID-19 was announced by the governor, as well as a new total of 585 confirmed cases in the state.
The most recent death was a Cook County resident in her 70s. Thursday the Illinois Department of Public Health announced a total of 422 positive cases.
Pritzker said making the order was difficult, but was done in efforts to avoid “loss of potentially tens of thousands of lives.”
“Left unchecked, cases in Illinois will rise rapidly,” he said during Friday’s press conference. “Hospital systems will become overwhelmed. Protective equipment will become scarce and we will not have enough health care workers or hospital beds or ventilators for the overwhelming influx of sick patients.”
IDPH projected approximately 3,400 cases of coronavirus could be seen in Illinois next week if the current trajectory of confirmations continues.