Pritzker not ready to reduce COVID mitigations despite declining infection numbers

Illinois’ top health official cast more cold water Wednesday on dreams of Covid-19 fading away anytime soon.

Despite declining infection numbers, neither Dr. Ngozi Ezike nor Gov. JB Pritzker were ready to reduce mitigations.

When Covid-19 vaccines arrived, many experts said that once enough people had been immunized, so-called herd immunity could kick in and effectively end the pandemic.


But that's not what Ezike said Wednesday afternoon.

"Australia is 90% vaccinated. And they don't have herd immunity. They're still having outbreaks. They're still seeing an uptick," Ezike said.

So when might Illinois and Chicago see an end to rules such as requiring proof of vaccination to dine at a restaurant?

Two things give Illinois officials optimism: a falling rate of hospitalizations and the arrival of medications proven to treat Covid-19 and dramatically reduce deaths.

"The onboarding of therapeutics. I think the quantities are very limited now. But as those increase, those are also a game changer that will allow us to maybe pivot from everything being Covid, Covid, Covid. And being able to have it as something we co-exist with," Ezike said.

Pritzker also attended Wednesday's briefing.