Illinois public health director talks downward trending COVID-19 numbers

Dr. Ngozi Ezike discusses what she attributes to the downward trend Illinois is experiencing in the third week of the vaccine distribution.
4:59 | 12/29/20

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Transcript for Illinois public health director talks downward trending COVID-19 numbers
We're back, talking about covid numbers that are finally trending downwards, in particular we're talking about Illinois. This is over a month after the state reported a staggering record 15,415 new daily cases. Let's bring in now the director of the Illinois department of public health, Dr. Ngozi ezike. Thank you so much for being here. What in the world that y'all are getting right that your numbers are trending down? Thanks, T.J., for having me. It's been such a collabo effort. We have this phrase, all in, Illinois, it really has been a collaboration of the people of Illinois doing what we've asked them to do, what the science led us to recommend, the hospitals, the other state agencies, and the incredible leadership of our governor, we're all working together to get these numbers down and it's really working, and it's exciting to see that. It's been trending downwards, you're telling me, and I assume you might be hearing from other states and health officials asking what you're getting right, you're telling me it's nothing complicated, you haven't put some new wonderful plan in place, you're simply following the guidelines and your citizens are doing a good job of following the guidelines. Well, yes, there are mitigations in place and there have been intensified mitigations that have been in place for the last five weeks, but mitigations without people who adhere to them don't do anything, so we often focus on the groups and the businesses that aren't complying, but a majority of people are onboard in making this happen. What are your fears now, I think they're nationwide fears, but do you have fear that now after the holiday, I don't know your numbers are now, how traveled and gathered for the holidays, are you expecting the next, two, three weeks to be tough. Absolutely. That's something that we're going to be looking very closely at that. Thanksgiving is the a shorter ho we had a tiny blip, almost insignificant. But with the Christmas and new year's, with that break being days, weeks actually, there's a lot of concern as the fatigue is real, and people have maybe I did what I did at Thanksgiving so I could have my Christmas, so I could have my Christmas, so we'll have to follow that closely but we're trying to make sure that no matter what choice you made it's still going to be very important when you come back, you got to get tested, you got to find out quickly in case there was spread of infection so that we can isolate and quarantine those who need to be. Y'all, something else to be proud of, and your governor was certainly touting this, you're not the most populous state but you all were leading in the number of covid vaccines administered at some point last week. Don't know what the updated numbers are. At some point you were leading with hundred thousand plus doses administered, how were you able to do that? Again, it's collaboration and teamwork with both the team at idph and ourtal partners and our boots on the ground, the local health departments, it really helps that we got this pfizer vaccine at is has that logistical challenge with the ultra-cold, since we knew there was only five days, we had taken the lid off, opened it up, so the timer was on an everybody understood we had to get all of toses in the arms. That's what we did together. I'm excited we had that number one spot. And also, your hospitalizations, the periods, the average hospitalization there dropped from 9 to 11 days to 7 to 9 days. At's behind that? Hink we have enjoyed learning, the collective learning with this covid disease, right, this is not something that people learned in medical school but we had this on-the-job training so understanding the beef proning, understanding the role of steroids, the lessons from the first W have been applied now, and I think people are seeing better skrout comes and shorter hosp stays. I know you all aren't out of the woods but we have been doing a lot of interviews with a lot of health officials around the country. But this was the first one we have done on "Gma3" so much good news to report I know you're not out of the woods yet. Dr. Ezike, thank you for taking some time with us. We hope to continue to check in with you and maybe the numbers keep getting better and better.tulations on some of what you've been able to accomplish. Thank you so much. Thanks, T.J. Happy new year. Happyear to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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