Governor J.B. Pritzker takes action to save lives

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Media Contacts
Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Rolling back COVID-19 reopening prioritizes public health

Illinois PIRG

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today that he will be expanding Illinois’ restrictions designed to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Those measures include encouraging people to stay home, placing limits on operating hours of restaurants and bars, and capping the number of people allowed in businesses offering personal care services, such as barber shops or manicurists.

According to the COVID Exit Strategy Map, the coronavirus is spreading “uncontrolled” across Illinois. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all up across the state. 

Since July, Illinois PIRG, along with 1,400 health professionals, has called on national and state leaders to implement a more effective shutdown to control the virus and save lives. IllinoisPIRG Public Health Campaigns Director Matt Wellington’s recently asked, “How many lives will we choose to save?

In response to the governor’s announcement, IllinoisPIRG director Abe Scarr released the following statement:

“The past few weeks have seen COVID-19 surge across the country, with Illinois and the Midwest among the hardest hit areas. As the weather gets colder and people spend more time inside, we are at a critical point. The decisions made by our leaders today will determine how many lives we can save and help us get through the winter as safely as we can. By rolling back some of the most high-risk activities where people gather indoors, Governor Pritzker is protecting public health.

“While the governor’s action is welcome, given how quickly and widely the virus is spreading, more action is needed right away. The quickest way to lower cases dramatically is to issue a temporary stay-at-home order and close non-essential businesses until we effectively curb transmission. 

“Two things are as clear as they’ve been for months: It’s in our power to save lives, and taking measures to do so quickly will help, not hurt the economy long-term.”