The head of Illinois' Department of Public Health is again warning residents about the dangers of rising COVID-19 cases in the state.
Director Dr. Ngoze Ezike says she's not concerned about numbers for number's sake. She says remember numbers increasing represents people infected with the new virus.
"Those people infected with the new virus can go on to get sick and those people who are sick can go on to be hospitalized and those people who are hospitalized can go on to have very severe complications, including and up to death."
Ezike says she's not implying every new diagnosis leads to death, in fact, most people see their mild to moderate symptoms clear within a few weeks, but we don't know about long-term effects from COVID-19.
Governor JB Pritzker calls this "a make or break" moment for the state as COVID-19 cases have increased in recent weeks.
Pritzker stresses he doesn't want the state to go back to stricter mitigation requirements, but the trend in numbers are headed that way in parts of the state...including southern Illinois.
"Local officials should pay close attention to the data for their communities, and where necessary, step up and impose greater mitigations on a targeted basis to bring down the number of infections or the positivity rate."
Otherwise, Pritzker says it will only be a matter of time before the state will be forced to step in and roll things back on a regional basis.
Pritzker says the biggest impact on lowering transmission rates is wearing a face covering.