With Students Heading Back to Campus, Governor Pritzker talks COVID-19 in Jackson County

Governor JB Pritzker discussed the increase of COVID-19 cases in Jackson County during his press conference at SIU on Tuesday.

Jackson County is one of 11 in Illinois that has triggered a COVID-19 warning level from IDPH. According to Governor JB Pritzker the county level is more than quadruple that alerts IDPH.

“The COVID-19 pandemic which once seemed tame in Carbondale, and throughout the entire region, is now surging here. It’s worse than in Chicago. And I’ll be frank if we don’t see some change here the virus will cause some businesses to close and an increasing percentage of people to get sick and some will even die,” Pritzker said.

The positivity rate of Jackson County is at 8.8%, above the 8% threshold for IDPH’s key monitoring indicators. IDPH may put restrictions on the area if there are three consecutive days greater than or equal to an 8% test positivity rate, an increased average of over seven days, a seven day increase of hospitable admissions or a reduction in hospital capacity.

To check your county’s statistics for COVID-19 visit: County Metrics

During the conference Pritzker addressed the concern of the return of students to the area.

According to Pritzker, traced origins of Jackson County’s outbreaks are parties held by SIU students coming back for athletics and or orientation activities.

Bart Hagston, administrator of Jackson County Health Department said the number of cases in Jackson County over the past three weeks have been “alarming.”

“Over the past 21 days there have been 287 new cases of COVID-19 in Jackson County. This represents 44% of our total cases to date in just three weeks. Almost 70% of those new cases during this time frame have been young adults,” Hagston said.

On Thursday Carbondale city council members unanimously approved an ordinance regarding face coverings in response to new COVID-19 cases in Jackson County.

Those who violate the ordinance may face fines.