State Sen. Michael Hastings wrote a letter to Gov. JB Pritzker asking him to reconsider the new restrictions placed on Will and Kankakee counties this week to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Illinois Department of Public Health and Pritzker announced the new restrictions Monday because the region had surpassed an 8% positivity rate rolling average for three days in a row late last week.
In his letter, Hastings, D-Tinley Park, asked Pritzker to correct “inconsistencies in the application of public policy, reevaluate the measurement and application of COVID-19 metrics and communicate better with community leaders and local elected officials.
“These inconsistencies in public policy between similarly positioned institutions place our local businesses and their employees at a disadvantage,” Hastings wrote. “It was one thing to suffer through an initial pandemic shutdown this spring. A second shutdown – with no guaranteed reopening period – will be devastating, and some will never recover.”
Pritzker essentially acknowledged the discrepancy at a Tuesday news conference in Joliet and said it was “a mistake.” He explained that the lesser restrictions put on the Metro East region, near St. Louis, didn’t work and that those counties would see similar restrictions as the South Suburban region in about a week.
Hastings also said that other indicators such as hospital capacity are not as dire as they were near the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, so they warrant the application of restrictions “more thoughtfully.”