EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker paid a visit to East St. Louis to discuss a recent spike in COVID cases in St. Clair County.
After visiting with officials and employees at the Mary Brown Center, the governor took time to answer questions from the assembled media and address the latest data showing St. Clair County has the highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the state.
“Right here in St. Clair County and Madsion County. It’s extremely important. The rates are too high. It’s bringing he whole state up,” he said. “If it gets beyond 8 percent, we’re going to have to step in and put mitigations in place.”
There is already a statewide mandate on wearing masks. Pritzker said it’s the best way to limit the spread of the virus.
“You’re in a location where there is a likelihood there will be a higher rate of transmission if people are crossing the border to St. Louis and Missouri and coming back and not following mitigations we set for Illinois,” he said.
Pritzker said hanging out in large gatherings in not a good idea.
“If you’re from Illinois and want to go to a restaurant, don’t go to a crowded restaurant. Don’t go to a crowded bar,” he said. “Make sure you are following our advice in the state of Illinois, because that’s what kept our positivity rate lower than our neighbors.”
The governor also addressed President Donald Trump’s plans to send federal troops to Chicago in response to a spike in violent crime.
“He’s not looking to help us reduce violence. He’s looking to create mayhem. He thinks it will help him get reelected in November,” Pritzker said. “Sending these federal protective troops into our cities is an extremely bad idea and will lead to a greater level of mayhem.”