Gov. Pritzker Talks Security, COVID Mitigations and Vaccines at Monday Briefing

Jan 11, 2021

Ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week, the FBI says it has information indicating armed protests are planned at the U.S. Capitol and all 50 state capitols.

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker Monday didn't go into specific security measures going on at the Illinois capitol in Springfield, but says Illinois State Police is getting prepared.

"The ISP is quite well aware of the challenges that may crop up. They've seen them even leading into the session days here."

Pritzker says he is confident in the State of Illinois security team featuring the ISP, Illinois National Guard and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Pritzker Monday indicated there is the potential for some parts of the State to move to lower tiers of COVID-19 mitigations as soon as this Friday. 

He says the three metrics needed are test positivity rates below 12-percent for three consecutive days, greater than 20 percent staffed ICU and general hospital beds available for three consecutive days and a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations for seven out of ten days.

As of Monday, Regions 2, 3 and 7 are meeting the metrics to move to lower mitigations. Regions 5 -- which covers much of southern Illinois -- is not meeting the 20 percent ICU bed availability metric. It currently stands at 17.5 percent.

Some Illinois communities are starting to transition their COVID-19 vaccination plan into Phase 1-B, which includes those 65 and older and frontline workers.

Governor Pritzker says some hospitals found they had fewer people in Phase 1-A sign up to get vaccinated than they anticipated, leaving them with excess doses.

"We don't want any vaccine sitting on a shelf anywhere. What we've said to the local health departments where those hospitals reside is let's get those out to 1-B, the people who are in this next phase, even though we haven't moved everybody into the next phase. We don't want any of these vaccines sitting around."

Pritzker says Phase 1-B will take some time to complete since there are 3.2 million people in that group compared to around 850,000 in Phase 1-A.

The governor says he will make an announcement later this week on the timeline for transitioning to 1-B.

Illinois leaders have been criticized by some for a slow roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Governor Pritzker says how the data is reported can be misleading.

"What you're getting is lagging data about vaccines administered. But, you're getting timely data about vaccines distributed because those get announced immediately. The administration of those vaccines have three days -- 72 hours --  after they're administered to be reported."

Pritzker says as of Sunday, right at 335,000 vaccines have been administered in Illinois.

He says vaccination statistics will be available on the Illinois Department of Public Health website starting on Tuesday.