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Gov. Pritzker says COVID-19 has not reached peak in Illinois as cases top 31K; PPE arrives from China

CHICAGO (WLS) — Governor JB Pritzker said Illinois has not yet reached the peak of COVID-19 infections as health officials announced 1,151 new cases and 59 additional deaths on Monday.

There are now 31,508 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus in Illinois, including 1,349 deaths.

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On Monday, a second charter flight full of personal protective equipment arrived at O’Hare Airport in Chicago from China. Governor Pritzker said the federal government has left him no choice but to seek aid elsewhere.

It’s the second chartered flight in less than a week with millions of masks, gloves and other gear for health care workers and first responders fighting against COVID-19.

“If it strikes you as atypical that in the midst of a national emergency, a state is directly airlifting emergency materials from another country, you would be right,” Pritzker said. “But that’s the landscape that we are operating in competing with other states, other countries even our own federal government for supplies.”

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A chartered FedEx flight from China landed at O’Hare on Thursday, with millions of masks and gloves. The two shipments are costing Illinois taxpayers $888,000 according to state receipts.

Governors in states across the country have been critical of the federal government, demanding the Trump Administration take the lead on ordering supplies including ventilators and PPE. The president has fired back, putting the blame on those governors.

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The White House is also putting pressure on states to ramp up testing in order to open back up the country.

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But Pritzker claimed testing capacity isn’t the issue. He said Illinois and other states don’t have enough of the necessary supplies and equipment for testing.

“Testing capacity is large, but if you don’t all have all the items – by the way none of the states have all the items that they need – you can’t use the testing capacity that is available,” Pritzker said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website and the Chicago Department of Public Health website

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Source: ABC Chicago

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