Durbin Receives Update From Illinois Director of Public Health on COVID-19 Case Surge

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across Illinois with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. On a call with Dr. Ezike, Durbin asked what Illinois will need as COVID-19 cases increase and how the federal government can support state efforts to keep people healthy and safe. Durbin also received a briefing about the state’s testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) capacity, plans for the eventual distribution of a vaccine once it is proven to be safe and effective, and how we can address the disproportionate cases and deaths among Black and Latinx communities in Illinois. 

“Dr. Ezike is an incredible public servant and health leader who has done amazing work fighting this pandemic in Illinois. Our number one goal is to keep Illinoisans safe as cases continue to rise. Simple acts like wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing your hands are essential in keeping yourself, your neighbors, your loved ones, and our health care heroes in good health. I also promised Dr. Ezike that I would continue to urge Senate Republicans to finally join Democrats in crafting a comprehensive, bipartisan relief package that supports our public health agencies, hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, businesses, and front line workers,” said Durbin.

Illinois recorded its highest number of new cases (6,161) on Saturday, the third time in ten days that the state has set a new case record.  On Sunday, Illinois also recorded its highest number of hospitalized patients (2,605) since June 5.  As of Sunday, IDPH has reported 374,256 cases and 9,505 deaths from COVID-19.  In the last week, Illinois has averaged 70,000 tests per day, and the state’s test positivity rate is 6.1 percent—a 50 percent increase in just two weeks.  Additional mitigation measures, such as gathering limits and restaurant restrictions, have been implemented in the Northwest counties along Iowa and Wisconsin border, the collar counties of Will, Kankakee, Kane, and DuPage, and the southern-most counties.