The nation’s top infectious disease expert warned that Illinois and a half-dozen other states with increasing COVID-19 numbers are at risk for a surge in cases over Labor Day weekend, according to Bloomberg.

“There are several states that are at risk for surging, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview this week, Bloomberg reported. “Those states are starting to see an increase in the percent positive of their testing; that is generally predictive that there’s going to be a problem.”

Illinois on Friday reported more than 5,368 new cases — an atypically high number, which state officials said was due to a slowdown in data processing attributed to a large number of tests conducted recently. The state also reported 29 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday had expressed concern about rising positivity rates in large swaths of Illinois, including Chicago, suburban Cook County and the collar counties.

“If the data shows that the virus is spreading at a high rate, we won’t hesitate to take action to protect the people of Illinois,” Pritzker said at a news conference. “Your health and safety is my paramount consideration.”


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