‘These Are Real People’: Coronavirus Kills More Than 5,000 Illinoisans

New statewide totals: 114,306 cases, 5,083 deaths

The coronavirus has killed more than 5,000 Illinois residents, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday.

“These are real people whose lives came to an end because of this pandemic,” Pritzker said, speaking from East St. Louis. “They are grandparents and uncles and aunts, parents, cousins, children, friends. They had whole lives that were cut short because COVID-19 knows no boundaries and only seeks to destroy. We can never forget that.”

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As of Wednesday afternoon, the coronavirus death toll in Illinois stood at 5,038 people.

All four regions of Illinois had been expected to move into the third phase of the state’s reopening plan on Friday, which would allow a number of businesses to reopen and gatherings of up to 10 people, according to state data.

However, hospital admissions in the state’s Central Region increased 2% since May 1, which does not meet the criteria set by the reopening plan to enter the next phase on Friday.

State data released Wednesday recorded 160 deaths from the coronavirus between Tuesday and Wednesday, along with 1,111 more confirmed cases of the respiratory virus.

In the 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday, labs reported running tests on 17,179 specimens, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The statewide positivity rate is currently 8.6%, while the rate for the northeastern region that covers Cook County is 14.3%, according to state data.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]

Coronavirus Prevention Tips and Resources

Officials advise taking preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus, including: 

—Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
—Using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
—Sneezing or coughing into a tissue and then disposing of the tissue
—Limiting contact with people regardless of how you feel
—Staying home when you are sick

Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:

—New onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath
—Congestion in the nasal sinuses or lungs
—Sore throat, body aches or unusual fatigue

If you think you have COVID-19:

Call your doctor before showing up at their office. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, tell the operator that you think you have COVID-19. If possible, wear a mask before medical help arrives or presenting at a doctor’s office. More advice for those who think they have COVID-19.

Additional resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Illinois’ COVID-19 website
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website
—IDPH COVID-19 hotline: 800-889-3931
—IDPH COVID-19 email link
City of Chicago COVID-19 website
—City of Chicago COVID-19 hotline: 312-746-4835
—City of Chicago COVID-19 email link

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