A Chicago doctor took the podium during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing to ‘put some facts straight’ about misinformation that was spread amid a rise in coronavirus cases across Illinois.
Dr. Emily Landon, an infectious expert at the University of Chicago Medicine, told the media that while she is concerned about the record-breaking 6,363 coronavirus cases that were put on Thursday, she is also concerned about ‘misinformation and fatigue’, which she says has grown over the whole state.
“Today I want to put some facts straight,” Landon began. “First of all, inconsistent recommendations are not evidence of a conspiracy, nor are inconsistent data. They are evidence of a changing knowledge and epidemiology. ”
Landon went on to explain how different measurements can have different meanings depending on different variables, such as test positivity rate, which has been a steady increase for almost the whole of October and rose from 6.7% to 6.9% on Thursday, marking the highest it has been since at least the beginning of June.
“In different situations, different measurements mean different things,” Landon said. “For example, when test rates are low or changing rapidly, the test positivity rate may not be exactly the same as when test rates are stable or when test rates do not rise as much as is the case.”
According to government officials, Illinois averages more than 73,000 COVID-19 tests a day, but cases are rising faster than the amount of tests performed.
Thursday’s polls were announced as several counties – comprising eight of the state’s 11 health regions – are set for improved mitigation, including shutting down indoor dining and bar service as well as limiting group sizes to 25 people, among other changes.
Republican lawmakers in the counties of Lake and McHenry, where increased coronavirus restrictions are set to begin Saturday, said they want to see data showing restaurants are a major contributor to coronavirus spread in their region.
But during the briefing Thursday, Pritzker said his team has provided data every day he hosts a conference. He added that they are not able to be completely sure where a person got the virus; but through contact tracking so the bars and restaurants were a uniform former location.
“New data is coming every day. Science teaches, ”Landon assured. “We change our guidance because we are learning something new. Changing advice should make you feel good that we are making progress. ”