By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

It only takes a glance at Illinois’ statewide COVID-19 data to realize what a big difference there is between Chicagoland and the rest of the state.

COVID-19 deaths in Illinois are heavily concentrated in the Cook and collar counties, where more than 2,200 lives had been lost as of May 1st. In contrast, much of the rest of the state has been largely spared. More than half of the state’s counties have zero deaths.

Don’t be surprised then, if more and more residents outside of the Chicago area begin to challenge Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent Restore Illinois reopening plan. 

Yes, Pritzker made some concessions to separate the state into four regions, but the problem with his plans is more fundamental than that. 

The governor continues to impose a top-down lockdown strategy that makes no sense for most areas of the state. Some of his required conditions risk Illinois being shut down for an impossible length of time

Individual counties and their respective health departments should be ready to set their own policies, suited to the particular risks and situations of their own communities. That’s particularly true now that the curve in Illinois has been flattened and the original emergency order has expired. 

So what makes the rest of Illinois so different from the Chicago area? 

Start with the fact that 58 of the state’s 102 counties had zero deaths as of May 1, 2020. Another 16 counties had just one death each.

The reality is the population density in much of the state is just a fraction of what it is in Chicagoland. There are 45 counties in Illinois with less than 20,000 residents each. Social distancing is a much more normal phenomenon when there are just 34 residents per square mile, like in Putnam County, than in Cook County, where there are 5,500 residents per square mile density in Cook County.

Another key fact is that 122 of the 222 deaths outside of the Cook and collar counties were tied to nursing homes, according to official state health data. That’s 55 percent. In some counties like Macon, Monroe, Jackson and Jasper, 100 percent of their combined 37 deaths were from long-term facilities.

What all that means is that the COVID-19 situation is very different for Chicagoland residents than for those in the rest of the state. Of course, there are a few exceptions in some higher density, lower income communities such as in St. Clair County.

None of this is to imply that residents should be any less vigilant about preventing COVID-19 – the fact that so many deaths have occurred in retirement homes should mean hyper-vigilance in protecting those demographics most at risk.

As we’ve written before, shutdowns have negative consequences of their own, too. Lives and livelihoods are at risk. To prevent those negative outcomes as much as possible, areas outside of Chicagoland should begin to sensibly open up on their own terms.

Read more on the impact of COVID-19 on Illinois:

 

Subscribe
Notify of
52 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joanne
20 days ago

So when is our King up for reelection? I hope that enough people are steaming mad like we in S. IL are and that the libs that voted for him vote him OUT. He won’t allow me to get my hair cut but allows baby after baby to be killed (slaughtered, murdered) in my city with impunity. He is one MESSED UP person.

debtsor
20 days ago
Reply to  Joanne

He’s a degenerate progressive, the worst of the worst.

Richard Poo Millersky
20 days ago
Reply to  Joanne

2022 ☹️

bagelgirl
16 days ago
Reply to  Joanne

Pritzker is among the least popular governors of the 50 states.

Governor of Alderaan
20 days ago

Is there anybody in the state, including his wife, who supports Jabba’s ridiculous plan to never reopen Illinois?

anonymous
20 days ago

His wife is not in the state at this time. She took off to Florida. Perhaps she did not want to be under his rule.

Fed up neighbor
19 days ago
Reply to  anonymous

Pure speculation only, but it is conceivable that he has received threats of various types. That could be why she left with family?. That also could be the reason why he will not leave downtown Chicago and tour the state to see the effects that HE has caused.

Federal Administration is a Joke
19 days ago

Perhaps he should tour hospitals, PPE production facilities, and businesses without a mask and wheel a box of PPE to a front door as a publicity stunt. Oh, wait. That’s our federal administration…

MikeH
17 days ago

Found the CapFax subscriber. Had the feds stepped in, you lefties would just be howling about states’ rights being violated instead.

Bob Out of Here
19 days ago

Why would he leave Chicago when it’s the de facto state capitol? It’s not lost on people downstate they suffer because of Chicago. Too bad fat boy doesn’t live in Carbondale.

Strelnikov
19 days ago

Had his or his received even the mildest of threats, it would have been national news, shouted from the rooftops. The explanation, as it is for Lightfoot/deBlasio/etc. ignoring their own rules is simple: Some animals are more equal than others.

Richard Poo Millersky
19 days ago

Mary Kathryn Muenster Pritzker 😃

Jay Bob Pritzker 😃

Old Spartan
20 days ago

Great map. No wonder so many people in this state are upset. Illinois is approximately 400 miles from north to south. This is largely a Chicago, nursing home and elderly issue. We are destroying the lives of 11.5 million people who as a practical matter are not touched by this at all– except for the damage their government is doing to them.

True believer
20 days ago
Reply to  Old Spartan

And it’s the south and west side minority permanent victim class who refuses to self isolate and is causing the spike. Too many carriers who refuse to socially distance in the black communities. And Lori and Pritzker will do nothing but ask trump for more taxpayer cash to bail out their ailed corrupt financial failures.

anonymous
20 days ago
Reply to  Old Spartan

The number of people tested is so incorrect too. One person can get tested 4-5 times and until they come up negative then it is reported that there is a new case in the system. It was one person taking the test but 4 new cases have been added. Also each death is incorrect too. If the person is in a car accident and they sadly pass at the scene. Then they are given a Covid test at the coroner and it is positive–yep they passed of Covid and not of the car accident.

Yoz
20 days ago

Another way to look at the issue is to look at hospital admissions for people under investigation (PUI). Based on IDPH data for 5/1-5/4, the Northeast Region had 208.75 PUI hospital admissions per day, the North-Central Region had 14 PUI hospital admissions per day, the Central Region had 5.5 PUI hospital admissions per day, and Southern Region had 6.75 PUI hospital admissions per day. As such, the Northeast Region accounts for 88.8% of PUI hospital admissions per day. Not all PUI will test positive for COVID-19 as there’s lots of reasons why someone might have a fever or a cough,… Read more »

Admin
20 days ago
Reply to  Yoz

Thanks again. Very helpful.

Anonymous
20 days ago

If you look closer the long-term facility numbers don’t include assisted living and other senior congregant living facilities…only nursing homes. For example, Christian County had an outbreak at an senior assisted living and they are not included in these numbers (or IDPH). Same in Fayette…and many other counties. So…the percent of deaths is much higher if you expand and include other senior facilities.

20 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Thanks for sharing that.

KB
20 days ago

It is unconscionable what the governor and his ilk are doing to people and their lives and their livelihood. It is criminal the way the tyrants use others to stay in power and to advance their evil and demonic agenda. Think we that the liberal/left/globalist politician in IL care about life? Don’t we have one of the most barbaric abortion laws in the country? And are not black babies systematically aborted and of all other ethnicity/race? So all of a sudden these demons care about the black patient OR any patient that was infected and died of the chinese virus?… Read more »

Richard Poo Millersky
20 days ago
Reply to  KB

Black Lives are endangered by mostly Blacks, on Chicago’s West and South Sides, Maywood, Bellwood, Harvey, First Heights, East Saint Louis, Pembroke and elsewhere throughout Illinois. 😩

ConcernedExpat
20 days ago

How do you square away the fact that one of his gating item benchmarks is bed utilization yet he articificially suppressed that number by shutting down the very beds he was crying to the Federal government for??

Kay S
20 days ago

The stay at home order was to alleviate hospitals. DONE. Now hospitals are laying off staff because everyone is standing around waiting for Covid patients. If it was so serious – why did they dismantle McCormick place. Who cares about the same old approach now? it changes daily. Blah blah blah. Bottom line – projections were wrong. Let’s give the compromised and retirement home residents places they can be cared for. Look at Florida’s success with its retirement population – we need to focus on the susceptible not test every person, dog, cat, box, and tree. What a waste of… Read more »

Tom Paine's Ghost
20 days ago

So….when does Illinois finances simply freeze up? At some point soon the state will run out of cash and start bouncing payroll checks. How soon?

debtsor
20 days ago

My guess is October, bad things always happen in the financial markets in October.

Danni Smith
20 days ago

I hope today

Strelnikov
19 days ago

IL has been out of cash for years.

Diane Tate
20 days ago

The distance from Chicago and St. Louis is significant because Chicago people will travel to your county to shop and will infect you.

Yoz
20 days ago
Reply to  Diane Tate

Substantial transmission of COVID-19 requires close contact indoors for a prolonged period of time. As such, travel and shopping are unlikely to cause significant additional infections due to their transitory nature. Instead, the main risk rural communities have to face with respect to people passing through is indoor dining, but other countries in Asia and Europe have already demonstrated approaches that help mitigate that issue.

Richard Poo Millersky
20 days ago
Reply to  Diane Tate

Chicagoans would drive to DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties, in Illinois. 😔

Southeast Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana are beneficiaries of Chicago Shoppers. 😮

Transparent Illinois
20 days ago

We’re never going to get a vaccine, they’ve been trying to cure the Coronavirus family for quite some time, here is a scientific paper of their attempt to vaccinate SARS-CoV in 2004 which shares 79.6% of the sequence identity of SARS-CoV2 – https://tinyurl.com/y86ujnwa Sorry, for having to make this a tiny url, the original url was 1,651 characters long 🙁 If you don’t want to click on the tiny url, just search for – Inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine elicits high titers of spike protein-specific antibodies that block receptor binding and virus entry

Hank Scorpio
20 days ago

Exactly. All this fluff about a vaccine is utter bull. And I sure as hell won’t take a ‘vaccine’ that has been rushed to market. Best bet is for an antiviral to mitigate the symptoms enough to prevent hospitalization. Otherwise we have to let herd immunity take hold but we cant do that if we are all sitting at home — it will take months if not years.

Dr Nemo
20 days ago

Ruining the economies of all of those downstate Republican counties while claiming to protect them from the Covid plague is probably a feature and not a bug.

Tom Paine's Ghost
20 days ago
Reply to  Dr Nemo

Right. Few people south of I-80 voted for Madigan’s puppet or the madigoons in the legislature anyway so why not hurt them under the guise of “public health”.

anonymous
20 days ago

Many people outside of Chicago (the city) proper did not vote for Jabba

Richard Poo Millersky
20 days ago
Reply to  anonymous

Jay Bob did well in Evanston, Oak Park, Melrose Park, Maywood, Bellwood, Cicero, Berwyn, many south suburbs, East Saint Louis and Pembroke. ☹️

Richard Poo Millersky
20 days ago

Pembroke and East Saint Louis are more than a few people voting south of I-80. 😑

Mary Mallon
20 days ago

Cases per 100,000 people is the metric for virulence. This map breeds false optimism about the reach of the disease into the rural communities.

Bob Out of Here
20 days ago
Reply to  Mary Mallon

For those that don’t get the historical reference, look up Typhoid Mary.

UnclePugsly
20 days ago
Reply to  Mary Mallon

The curve is flattened and nearly squashed – Why do you keep trying to scare people with false claims?

Diane Tate
20 days ago
Reply to  UnclePugsly

The shape of the curve isn’t as significant as the area under the curve, or total number of dead. They are spreading it over time, which translates to increased cost and devastation to other areas of life. As long as the disease remains present and remains highly contagious nothing has been controlled. There is no plan that accounts for a resurgence, or ‘curve’ un-flattening. The only safety is immunity, and that comes through exposure, not a vaccine. The vaccine doesn’t exist and if it does, it hasn’t been tested to any degree close enough to being legally required. There are… Read more »

LumbagoWilly
20 days ago
Reply to  Diane Tate

SARS or MERS do not and probably will never have a vaccine. There is little possibility of this virus having one no matter what Gates says. Its an RNA virus. They have had years with the other 2 and include HIV in that mix. No vaccine. Thanks to Wuhan Lab and China.

Shelley
20 days ago
Reply to  Mary Mallon

The numbers are correct with reporting deaths in my county according to our county health department. We have less than 38000 residents and as of May 7, 9 deaths…all from long term care facilities. When speaking with friends who work at one of the facilities all had underlying conditions or were asymptomatic for COVID19 but their deaths are reported as COVID19.

Strelnikov
19 days ago
Reply to  Mary Mallon

Crapola. I live in one of the zero counties and come from another one. This virus is not a thing here or there. We’re locked up and going broke for nothing. You can use the massive numbers from Chicago to justify anything.

Yoz
21 days ago

If Pritzker wants to claim his approach is driven by “data and science”, it would need to actually reflect what we’ve seen in rural states thus far, as opposed to his Chicago-fits-all solution. In rural areas, the main issue is simply avoiding super spreading such as at large indoor public gatherings, meat-packing plants, and so on. Otherwise though, the risk of person-to-person infection is much lower there due to the lack of mass transit, dense office environments, and so on coupled with an overall low frequency of contact. A wave of infection passing through a rural community is more of… Read more »

Illinois Entrepreneur
21 days ago

The funny–yet expected–thing is that in liberal quarters, and the Illinois media, Pritzker is getting praised for his “data-driven, science–SCIENCE” plan. It looks smart and tosses around all sorts of academic criteria. Multi-colored with basic Powerpoint slide graphics, too. It’s an academic’s dream. I have no problem with a data-driven solution. But where is the cost-benefit analysis? Who is going to pay for the damage of conventions and gatherings not potentially coming back FOR OVER A YEAR? How will we handle the ancillary crisis of backing up electable surgeries and healthcare for many months? Who’s going to cover the tens… Read more »

debtsor
21 days ago

“I have no problem with a data-driven solution.”

Garbage in, garbage out. GIGO.

Jabba is feeding his model BK Whoppers.

Mick the Tick
21 days ago
Reply to  debtsor

Hey, I like Whoppers!

Bob
21 days ago

The answer will be to hire thousands of contact tracers to the state payroll with absolutely not a single word about deep cuts to the budget. Makes total sense in this state doesn’t it ?

Mike Williams
21 days ago

Wow, that Illinois map really shows how insane it is to lump the Chicagoland area with the rest of the state. Just think about all the lost output and income due to the inappropriate, poorly reasoned response of Pritzker.

In the private sector, when mistakes are made, they are acknowledged and examined so as not to be repeated. In the public sector, the policy appears to be to double-down.

DantheMan
21 days ago

As our nation learns more about the Wuhan virus, some leaders have been able to process the new data better than others. Some leaders are simply smarter than others. The states with smart leaders will recover more quickly and take advantage of the states with poor leadership. That’s by design. Welcome to the United States, the greatest experiment in history. Pick your state. You have many choices. If you choose poorly, you can correct that decision. If you don’t correct a bad decision, who’s really to blame?

Governor of Alderaan
21 days ago

Central planning fails again!