Pritzker calls out ‘virus deniers’ as Illinois COVID-19 cases rise again (LIVE UPDATES)

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Pritzker blames ‘virus deniers’ as state sees highest daily COVID-19 caseload since early June: ‘The enemy is you’
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times
Gov. J.B. Pritzker adjusts his mask during a press conference at the National Able Network offices at 1700 West 18th St. in Heart of Chicago, Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

Illinois sees its worst day for new coronavirus cases in more than seven weeks, the testing positivity rate steadily rises — and Gov. J.B. Pritzker sees only one place to point the finger.

“The enemy is not your mask. If you’re not wearing a mask in public, you’re endangering everyone around you, so the enemy is you,” the Democratic governor said Wednesday.

It was his most dire warning yet that Illinois could soon see a devastating resurgence of COVID-19 cases if residents — and “virus-deniers” — don’t take precautions more seriously.

“The deadly nature of this virus is not a hoax. Choosing to go out in public without a mask is not a political statement,” Pritzker said during a Loop news conference. “It demonstrates a callous disregard for the people in your community and in your county and in our state and in our nation.”

A week after expressing worry over a “mild uptick” in Illinois coronavirus cases, Pritzker said “our numbers now appear to be gradually rising, and that’s very concerning.”

Read the full story from reporter Mitchell Armentrout here.

1:57 p.m. Mask mandates spread across Indiana

Officials in Indiana’s second-largest county and one of the largest Indianapolis suburbs have adopted face mask mandates for residents and businesses in an attempt to s low the coronavirus spread.

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The mandates throughout northwestern Indiana’s Lake County took effect Monday, while the order for the city of Fishers just northeast of Indianapolis will take effect Friday.

Those areas join a growing lists of cities and counties across the state imposing mask requirements. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has declined to issue a statewide mandate even while encouraging face masks as the state has seen recent growth in the number of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

Lake County’s health department issued the requirement for mouth and nose face covering inside a businesses or other public places where people cannot maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing. Municipal officials in Gary and Merrillville, both in Lake County, adopted similar orders.

Merrillville Town Council President Rick Bella said council members had discussed requiring masks for about a month.

“There’s a lot of different opinions about it, but our thoughts were, ’Hey, if it could prevent someone from getting sick, it’s just well worth it,” Bella said.

A mask requirement will also take effect Wednesday in rural northern Indiana’s Starke County. Similar orders have been issued for the cities of Indianapolis, Evansville and West Lafayette, along with LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties in northern Indiana and Monroe County, which includes Bloomington and Indiana University’s main campus.

Read the full report here.

8:40 a.m. …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times


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