Governor Pritzker announced there are 8 new cases, including the first outside Chicago: one in Kane County and one in McHenry County. Information is included below in the IDPH press release.

Yesterday, the governor cautioned that more cases are anticipated. Today, he repeated that and said we are to the point where we will likely see additional cases each day forward.

The state’s emergency operations center (EOC) is up and running to coordinate efforts.

The governor expressed growing frustration with the federal government’s inability to provide resources, specifically the promised testing capacity through commercial labs that he keeps getting told day after day is about to come on line but hasn’t. He also criticized the federal government’s decision to not utilize the test widely used in Europe and Asia.

The governor and public health officials urged the general public to take steps now to limit the spread. Specifically, they said wash hands frequently, clean shared surfaces, stay home if you feel sick and reconsider attending large gatherings. The more that is done now, the greater the chance of limiting future spread of the virus.

State-controlled senior and nursing homes will screen visitors for illness and restrict access.

Health officials repeated that senior are most at risk and the risk increases with age.

It was also recommended that people with underlying health conditions take the necessary steps to make sure they have the prescriptions and supplies needed to be healthy. The goal is to minimize interaction with health care facilities so they can deal with the virus.

Asked about the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the governor said there are ongoing conversations with the mayor’s office and an announcement regarding a decision could come tomorrow (Wednesday).

The state’s total for confirmed cases is 19, but several of the initial cases have recovered and gone home.