NOTE: NBC Chicago will be offering a live broadcast of the press conference starting at 1 p.m. Watch live in the player above.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is expected to provide an update on the latest COVID-19 wave in Illinois on Monday as cases in the state and across the country reach the highest number on record.
The governor is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. from the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. (Watch live in the player above)
The address arrives the same day Chicago and Cook County begin new mitigation measures to reduce the spread of the virus, requiring proof of vaccination for those wishing to dine in restaurants, drink in bars, s train in gyms or attend events in places of entertainment.
The offices of the Illinois Secretary of State will also be closed from Monday due to an upsurge in infections.
Additionally, Illinois General Assembly leaders have announced that two of the three scheduled session days will be canceled this week due to the increase. Leaders said the following week’s session days would also likely be canceled.
Anticipating a wave of COVID-19 patients, Pritzker last week urged hospitals to delay elective surgeries and other elective procedures to keep more beds open.
“We are bracing for a post-vacation raise, and with the hospital staff already working so hard, I appreciate the work hospital management is doing to ensure capacity, including postponing surgeries and procedures not to ensure their ability to manage severe cases of COVID and other emergencies without putting patients at risk, ”the governor said in a statement.
As COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker and hospital officials are urging medical centers to postpone elective surgeries to help keep beds free for COVID patients. NBC’s Natalie Martinez reports 5.
Dr Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, revealed on Thursday that more than 500 patients per day are admitted to hospitals due to severe cases of COVID.
“We want to make sure there is a hospital bed available for anyone for whatever reason,” she said. “(Whether) cancer complications, appendicitis, stroke, heart attack, car accident, or COVID-19.”
In addition to delaying elective procedures, hospital leaders are also implementing other strategies, including scaling up telehealth visits, reallocating staff resources, and building critical care capacity.
Pritzker also extended state waivers to allow out-of-state health care workers to work in Illinois, and encourages all hospitals to implement new CDC guidelines that speed up return-to-work delays for asymptomatic COVID patients.