IL could need 38K more beds if virus isn't contained

Illinois officials and Governor J.B. Pritzker speak at a press conference Tuesday afternoon

Just a few weeks ago, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker offered up a spending blueprint for Illinois.

On Tuesday, his administration laid out a series of worst-case scenario projections demonstrating the effect taking no mitigation steps would have had on the state's rapidly growing COVID-19 caseload.

IL has seen a total of 2,538 confirmed cases, 26 deaths and has tested 16,631 people. In other words, it's hard to look ahead when the state's current situation is pressing. To date, 16 people in IL have now died.

"We must continue to do all that we can to protect our older adults", Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

The state would need nearly 38,000 additional hospital beds, including more than 9,000 in intensive-care units, by April 6, in a worst-case scenario, the Democrat said at his daily briefing.

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"What's the steepness of the downturn in revenues?" "We can't revive the people that are lost to this virus". "We also must make sure there are enough medical professionals to care for those who do endure the more severe illness and attending complications". "There's no question about that", said the governor. Pritzker ordered IL residents to stay in their homes, though they can leave to buy essentials, like food and gas, or seek medical care. He highlighted a significant chunk of money as contingent on voters approving a change in the Illinois Constitution this fall.

"Even if you happen to live in a county that does not have a case right now, you should absolutely take precautions and follow all of the same guidance, as if you knew the virus was circulating within your community - because it is", Ezike said. "You're also putting strangers in danger as you come in contact with them", Pritzker said.

It's too soon to determine if any other line items could wind up in that contingency category, or be changed altogether, due to COVID-19.

That tiny measure of optimism, however, was tempered by the announcement of yet four more COVID-19 deaths in IL and 250 more confirmed cases, pushing the total number of people sickened by the pneumonia-like illness to more than 1,500 since January.

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