UPDATED: Pritzker has ‘mild symptoms’ after positive COVID-19 test, receives anti-viral treatment

UPDATED: Pritzker has ‘mild symptoms’ after positive COVID-19 test, receives anti-viral treatment

By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home, his office announced Tuesday, three days after he spoke at a gathering of Democrats in Tampa, Florida.

Pritzker’s press office said he is experiencing mild symptoms and has received the anti-viral medication Paxlovid, a drug that received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December for individuals at high risk to the effects of COVID-19.

The drug, according to clinical trials, reduced by 89 percent the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. It is manufactured by Pfizer.

Pritzker is also vaccinated against the virus and has received two booster shots, according to his office. 

The governor tested positive during “routine” testing after he arrived home from Florida, having had several close contacts with other COVID-19-positive individuals at the gathering of Democrats.

Pritzker’s office said he will work from home and follow the current U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which call for at least five days of isolation after the positive COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status.

“He urges all Illinoisans to continue following CDC guidance, utilize anti-viral treatments, and get all available boosters,” his office said in a statement.

The governor’s first positive test came more than two years into the pandemic which first led him to issue a disaster declaration in March 2020.

It also came as the entire state was located in a “high transmission” COVID-19 area, and 50 counties were considered to have high COVID-19 community levels in Illinois. Community levels factor in hospital admissions and available hospital beds, as well as transmission rates.

Another 44 Illinois counties were at medium community levels as of Friday, while eight counties were considered at low levels, according to CDC.

Despite the rising transmission rates, mask mandates in Illinois and across the nation have largely been lifted.

While the number of deaths and hospitalizations are well below pandemic highs, still 63 deaths were recorded in COVID-19-positive individuals in Illinois last week for an average of nine per day.

As well, 1,412 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois as of Monday night, with 152 of those individuals in intensive care unit beds and 48 on ventilators. About 84.8 percent of Illinoisans age 12 and older had received at least one vaccine dose as of Tuesday while 76.9 percent were fully vaccinated, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Hospitalizations numbers are well below pandemic highs of more than 7,000 in January, but they have been trending upward since April when they dipped below 500.  

The positive test also came after Pritzker announced recent changes to his COVID-19 executive orders which he has issued along with consecutive 30-day disaster declarations since March 2020. They loosened vaccine mandates for health care workers and eliminated them for higher education students and staff.

Pritzker’s positive test also comes amid a reelection campaign in which he faces state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, who has sharply criticized his pandemic response.

The Pritzker campaign has touted his pandemic response, running advertisements with the tagline “strong leadership in tough times.”

On Tuesday, Bailey posted to Twitter that he was praying for Pritzker’s speedy recovery.

In Florida, meanwhile, where the governor spoke over the weekend at the Leadership Blue gala of Florida Democrats, COVID-19 community levels were considered high in all but nine of the state’s 67 counties.

At that gathering, Pritzker said Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was “Trump with a mask on,” criticizing the leader’s response to COVID-19.

The Florida speaking engagement was one stop on a recent east coast trip that included two days in Augusta, Maine, attending a series of meetings hosted by the National Governors Association. He also spent time at the White House early last week to celebrate the passage of bipartisan gun law reforms.

The Florida speech and a recent speaking engagement in New Hampshire have in recent weeks led to speculation that Pritzker could be considering a run for president in 2024 if Joe Biden does not seek reelection.

In recent interviews he has not denied interest, but he has said Illinois remains his focus.

“I’m not talking about running for President. I’m talking about running for governor,” Pritzker told Capitol News Illinois late last month. “I really do believe that, you know, I love this state. And I love the job that I have. I believe there’s a lot more to get done.”

Bailey, meanwhile, has criticized Pritzker’s trip out of state, calling out the governor for “hobnobbing” with “wealthy liberals” amid concerns about crime levels in Chicago.

This story has been updated with more information.

 

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

Leave a Comment





Local News

The Worth Public Library, 6917 W. 111th St., has a free Seed Library available to patrons. (Supplied photo)

Worth Library offers seeds for free

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White A seed library collects and stores seeds and shares them with members of the community for free. Similar to a normal library, gardeners borrow seeds from the seed library at planting time. At the end of the growing seasons, they save seeds from the plants and return a portion of…

Oak Lawn Mayor Terry Vorderer joins Girl Scout Gold Award winners (from left) Maddie DeBleyzer, Aine Kelly and Lilly O'Dea during the village board meeting on Tuesday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizza eyes May opening in Oak Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Paisans Pizzeria is a step closer to opening in Oak Lawn with the approval of a liquor license for the establishment that will be part of the Stony Creek Promenade. Plans for the restaurant were originally approved at an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting in March of 2022. Tom Phelan,…

Palos Park resident Nick Hoffman said his patience is wearing out with noise and parking problems caused by the Palos Islamic Center.

Palos Park residents, mosque reps discuss noise issues at council meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva What could have been an explosive situation was actually quite civil. Some Palos Park residents were angry about loud activity and behavior of some members of the Palos Islamic Center the past two years and sounded off at the April 8 village council meeting. Fresh on their minds was noise…

The Obbie’s Pizza sign will remain a familiar sight on Archer Avenue. Taking time out for a photo are new owner John Caputi; his son, Giovanni; and Obbie’s longtime managers, Jim Triak and Jeff Twaragowski. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Comings & Goings: Obbie’s Pizza to stay ‘unique and delicious’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Archer Avenue’s long-time king of pizzerias will continue to rule. Same recipes at Obbie’s Pizza, 6654 W. Archer. Same pizza and ingredients. Same pasta, broasted chicken, shrimp, perch, Italian beef/sausage/meatball sandwiches, sides and pop. Same seasoned, Middleby Marshall pizza oven built in 1947—the type of pizza oven every restaurant owner…

stickney health district logo

Stickney Public Health confirms measles case in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Public Health District has confirmed that a person with measles related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago was at the Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. in Bedford Park on Friday, March 22, roughly between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. Anybody who…

Endless Summerfest in La Grange’s Gordon Park will not be held this year, sponsors have announced. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

La Grange cancels Endless Summerfest over higher costs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It turns out the summer is not endless, at least not in La Grange. Endless Summerfest, a three-day event held the first weekend in August at Gordon Park for many years, will not be held this year. The cancelation was announced Tuesday in a joint new release from the La…

regional orland park police logo

Midlothian man arrested for Orland Park carjacking

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom wire reports The Orland Park Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in a vehicular hijacking that occurred on the evening of April 3. Shawn Flores, a 44-year-old Midlothian resident, faces charges following his apprehension on April 4. The incident began when a male victim was forcibly removed from his vehicle…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…

The Palos South eighth-grade Girls Volleyball Team is: Top row (left to right) Dorian Urquizo, Annika Hock, Maja Pszczola, Elaina Yasin, Hannah Koenig, Makaleigh Terry, Maya Surdel, Brooklyn Parr, Maggie Purtill, Coach Marty Duggan. Bottom row (left to right) are Raliyah Bruce, Sarah Cairo, Sofia Wilson, Katy Zumerchik, Khadija Faisal, Alexa Morales. (Supplied photos)

Palos South eighth-grade girls volleyballers go undefeated

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Palos South’s eighth-grade girls’ volleyball team finished first in the Southwest Interscholastic Conference (SWIC) on March 9, completing an undefeated season with a record of 19-0. This is the fifth straight year that Coach Marty Duggan has led the Cardinals to a first-place finish in the tournament, which was held…

Members of the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team are competing at nationals. (Supplied photo)

Moraine Valley Speech and Debate Team headed to nationals to defend title

Spread the love

Spread the loveWhen the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team heads to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Reno, Nevada, for nine days this month, they’ll have a target on their back as incoming consecutive champions. But they’re ready. “Last year’s team was amazing. Everyone was on their A game. This year…

Neighbors

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound April 10, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Peggy Zabicki

Sip ‘n Paint set for Balzekas Museum

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . The LOS Youth Organization will be hosting a special art event called Sip ‘n Paint for adults over 21. This event will take place on Saturday, April 13 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian…

Mary Stanek

Mural coming close to the Orange Line

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796 . April showers bring May flowers. They will be patient. But it sure has been a rainy start to the month of April. For those of you who take a shortcut walk to the…

Part of the roof collapsed after an attic fire Saturday afternoon at 7613 W. 60th St. in Summit. (Supplied photos)

Summit attic fire displaces 4 families

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong A fire Saturday afternoon in Summit left four families without a home. One firefighter was injured fighting the attic fire at 7613 W. 60th St. He was treated for a shoulder injury at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and released. No other injuries were reported. “We had a…

Teacher aides Julyssa Gaytan (left) and Rebeka Tovar were thrilled to witness the eclipse at Argo High’s football stadium. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

‘Impressive and beautiful’ eclipse wows Argo students

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Argo High School freshman Nicholas Kokarczyk was feeling pretty good after his solar eclipse debut. “I’ve never seen one personally. It looks like a big frowny face now,” Kokarczyk said around 2:15 p.m. Monday. “It’s better than I expected.” Kokarczyk, 14, of Justice, was joined by roughly 1,900 of his…

Bridgeview Village Trustee Kalid Baste said the pro-peace resolution passed by the board sends a message. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Bridgeview condemns wars around globe in new resolution

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch As village officials noted, warring factions in the Middle East and elsewhere probably don’t care much about what happens at the Bridgeview Village Hall. But the village board still took a strong stance against war at its latest meeting. At their April 3 meeting, trustees unanimously approved a resolution that…

Cardinal Blase Cupich presented a nine-minute homily during Mass on Sunday at St. Cletus Church in La Grange. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Cardinal Cupich celebrates Mass on ‘a special day’ at St. Cletus

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch After waiting patiently in line, Indian Head Park resident Tim Kyzivat enjoyed a rare chance to visit with Cardinal Blase J. Cupich. Kyzivat, 77, was among several hundred people who attended the 11 a.m. Mass said by the Archbishop of Chicago at St. Cletus Roman Catholic Church in La Grange…

Sandburg senior starting pitcher Ethan Highfill delivers a pitch during a 5-3 loss to Lincoln-Way West on April 3. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Baseball | LW West stays unbeaten, snaps Sandburg’s seven-game win streak

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Sandburg’s sizzling start to the season was cooled off, at least for a day, by a visit from even hotter SouthWest Suburban Conference foe Lincoln-Way West, which topped the Eagles 5-3 on Monday in Orland Park. The loss snapped Sandburg’s seven-game winning streak and ran the Warriors’ record to…

Sandburg junior Jeremiah Aro sends a ball over the net during a match again Hinsdale South on April 3. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Sandburg runs win streak to three with wins over Hinsdale South, DG North

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After a sub-.500 start to the season, Sandburg returned from spring break with two victories, defeating Hinsdale South in three sets on April 3 and needing two sets to take down Downers Grove North the following day. The Eagles (6-4) ran their win streak to three games by topping…

GSWNH_WhiteCastleCloses_041224

Photo caption: White Castle closes at 79th and Pulaski

Spread the love

Spread the love For more than half its 103-year history–since November 1964, to be exact–White Castle has sold its signature sliders and more from its restaurant at 7912 S. Pulaski. That run ended last weekend, as the restaurant closed for good. A spokesman for the Ohio-based company said staff would be offered employment at other…