The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 2,208 new cases of the coronavirus and 24 virus-related deaths in a 24-hour period since Thursday, bringing statewide totals to 215,929 cases and 7,857 deaths. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate is 4.3%.
Labs have reported 51,736 specimens – the highest to date – in a 24-hour period, according to IDPH which said 20 counties are considered to be at a warning for the virus, including Will and Grundy counties. A county enters a warning level when it experiences an increase in at least two COVID-19 risk indicators from the state’s resurgence mitigation plan, according to IDPH.
Health officials say these 20 counties saw outbreaks associated with weddings, businesses, neighborhood gatherings, parties, long-term care facilities, travel to neighboring states, bars and sport camps. Spread was also documented among members of the same household who aren’t isolating at home, according to IDPH. Officials also said cases connected to schools are also starting to be reported.
People in some communities are not wearing masks or observing social distancing, according to IDPH. There are also reports of people who are sick attributing their symptoms to allergies or other illnesses, according to health officials who also said some aren’t being forthcoming about their symptoms or close contacts.
Of the 20 regions considered to be at a warning level, five are located in the Metro East region, which on Tuesday began operating under mitigation measures to stop the spread of the virus. IDPH will monitor the region’s positivity rate over a 14-day period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed or if additional mitigations are required.