5/16/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Press Conference Recap

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Dear colleagues:

Please see the updates from the Governor's COVID-19 press conference yesterday.

COVID-19 Updates from the Governor's 05-15-2020 Press Conference

  • Testing Sites: Governor JB Pritzker announced that, as expanding COVID-19 testing capabilities in the State of Illinois is a crucial part of the State's plan to Restore Illinois, new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities will be available in the coming days: on Chicago's southside (May 16th), Champaign (May 19th), Rolling Meadows (May 20th), and Peoria (May 23rd). These free community services will be open seven days a week to test individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and those employees who support critical services.
  • Testing Eligibility: In addition to those showing COVID-19 symptoms, the Governor noted that certain individuals can be tested for free with or without symptoms including healthcare workers, first responders, employees of correctional facilities, individuals exposed to confirmed COVID-19 patients, employees that support critical infrastructure (grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare, and sanitation), all local and state government employees, and individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions.
  • Positivity Rate: Governor Pritzker relayed that our seven day positivity rate average (the percentage of tests that are positive) is 12%. The cumulative statewide positivity rate since back in February is 16.8%. Our peak positivity rate was on April 4th, when 23.6% of tests came back positive on a rolling average. While he noted that there is a strong inverse correlation between the number of tests taken per day and the associated positive rate (meaning that part of the reason for the lower positivity rate can be attributed to our increased testing), it is also becoming a better indicator of the true infection rate of the general public.
  • Hospitalization Numbers: As of yesterday, there were 4,367 people hospitalized in Illinois for COVID-19. Of those, 1,129 were in the ICU, with 675 of them on ventilators.
  • Daily Statewide COVID-19 cases: 2,432 new cases reported in Illinois and 130 additional deaths.

Have a great weekend!



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS