Midwest governors urge residents to limit contact over holidays

Entire region seeing dangerous spike in COVID-19 spread



Click the below link to see Illinois Tier 3 guidelines taking effect on Friday, Nov. 20


SPRINGFIELD – A bipartisan group of governors from seven Midwestern states, including Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, issued a joint plea Tuesday for residents of their states to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19 over the upcoming holiday weekend, even if that means avoiding travel and family get-togethers.

“This Thanksgiving is going to look different than others have before, and it’s because it has to,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during a virtual joint news conference. “I know that instead of hosting a big, in-person Thanksgiving like I usually do, I’m going to be setting up a Zoom call with my family members.”

Whitmer was joined by Pritzker, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, all Democrats, in the news conference. Earlier, however, those governors were joined by Republican Govs. Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Mike DeWine of Ohio in releasing a joint video on social media calling on residents throughout the region to take extra precautions this year.

All of those states, as well as others in the region, have seen some of the most rapid growth rates in the nation for COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. And the news conference came on the same day Pritzker announced that, beginning Friday, all of Illinois will be placed under Tier 3 mitigations, which include the closing of certain nonessential businesses and strict capacity limits in retail stores, fitness centers and some other establishments.

“As of our most current data, Illinois today is averaging more than 5,200 patients (per day) fighting COVID-19 in our hospitals – 400 more individuals than at our spring high,” Pritzker said. “And this isn’t just in Chicago or our other cities in Illinois. It’s happening in our suburbs and our rural areas.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, as of Monday, Nov. 15, the most severe hospital resource shortage was in Region 7 of the state’s mitigation plan, made up of Will and Kankakee counties, where only 12 percent of the region’s hospital medical and surgical beds, and 16 percent of intensive care unit beds remained available.

But many of the governors said they were less concerned about the availability of hospital beds than about hospital staff.

“Because every day that you have 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 cases, those include our health care workers too,” Kentucky Gov. Beshear said. “And they're not getting it at the hospital. They're getting it in their communities. So, to make sure that we have enough people and enough staffing, we need people to do their part and to remember, if you don't want to mask and you go out in public, you may be infecting that health care worker that you or your family could later need.”

Wisconsin Gov. Evers said his state is experiencing the same problem.

“Here, we are at capacity or very close to it,” he said. “But it is about the people that do the hard work. We have a severe shortage of people, we’re stealing from other states. And, you know, we're stealing from the states around us for God's sakes. And so the point is absolutely true. They’re getting it from the community. We have to stop the community spread.”

Minnesota Gov. Walz said the health care workforce in his state is likewise affected by community spread of the virus outside of hospital settings.

“One of the things is child care, and schooling for these frontline workers, what they do with that,” he said. “When we start to see that community spread, it has a cascading effect. And what do they do with their own children? What happens when their school goes to distance learning? And that's one of the challenges of looking at this much more holistically.”

All five governors said they plan to spend Thanksgiving at home with their own immediate families.


Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.


DeWitt/Piatt Testing Numbers:

11/10/2020 Tuesday
DeWitt: 10 new cases in Clinton. 5 new cases in Farmer City. 2 new cases in Waynesville. 1 new case in DeWitt. 1 new case in DeLand.
Piatt: 16 new cases in Monticello. 8 new cases in Cerro Gordo. 3 new cases in Mansfield. 2 new cases in White Heath. 2 new cases in La Place. 1 new case in Atwood. 1 new case in Bement.

11/11/2020 Wednesday
DeWitt: 6 new cases in Clinton. 1 new case in Farmer City.
Piatt: 9 new cases in Monticello. 4 new cases in Bement. 4 new cases in Cerro Gordo. 3 new cases in White Heath. 1 new case in Atwood. 1 new case in Hammond. 1 new case in Mansfield.

11/12/2020 Thursday
DeWitt: 14 new cases in Clinton. 1 new case in Weldon. 1 new case in Wapella. 1 new case in DeWitt. 1 new case in Farmer City.
Piatt: 12 new cases in Monticello. 10 new cases in Mansfield. 10 new cases in Cerro Gordo. 5 new cases in Bement. 3 new cases in Cisco. 2 new cases in White Heath. 1 new case in La Place. 1 new case in Hammond. 1 new case in Atwood.

11/13/2020 Friday
DeWitt: 4 new cases in Clinton. 1 new case in De Witt. 1 new case in Kenney.
Piatt: 10 new cases in Bement. 6 new cases in Cerro Gordo. 5 new cases in Monticello. 3 new cases in Atwood. 1 new case in Mansfield. 1 new case in Cisco. 1 new case in Hammond. 1 new case in White Heath.

11/14/2020 Saturday
DeWitt: 1 new case in Clinton. 1 new case in Farmer City. 1 new case in Wapella.
Piatt: 5 new cases in Monticello. 2 new cases in Cerro Gordo. 2 new cases in White Heath. 1 new case in Bement.

With these additional cases, DeWitt Co has had a total of 530 cases; Piatt Co has had a total of 582 cases.  DeWitt Co has 53 new cases and Piatt Co has 139 new cases since 11/9 (our last report).

Remember, cases are spiking locally, statewide, and nationwide.  Please refrain from attending events/parties/gatherings.  Please don't host such gatherings.   Wash your hands frequently, Watch your distance (6 feet or more), Wear a mask when in public.  Protect vulnerable populations.  Please test even when asymptomatic.  We are experiencing the peak number of cases we've seen during this pandemic this week.

All but 4 counties within the State of Illinois are on the State Warning List for COVID-19, including both DeWitt and Piatt.

Two vaccines have been announced for COVID-19 thus far, one from Pfizer and the most recent from Moderna.  These vaccines have tested over 90 percent effective in trials.  It was announced today that 20 million doses should be available by the end of 2020.