Officials Urge Illinoisans to Limit Activities Over Next 3 Weeks as COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Rise

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

On Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 145 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours – the most deaths due to the virus since May 13, according to an analysis of IDPH data.

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Among the deaths reported Wednesday were 50 Cook County residents, ranging in age from their 20s to their 90s. 

Illinois set a new single-day record for cases again with health officials reporting 12,657 new COVID-19 cases – both confirmed and probable cases. Since the pandemic began in Illinois, there have been 523,840 cases and 10,434 virus-related deaths, according to IDPH.

The surge in cases and deaths prompted officials to urge Illinoisans to work from home if possible and to curtail non-essential activities and travel for the next three weeks in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. 

Essential activities include work, COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy and buying groceries, officials said.

“Attending even small gatherings that mix households, or traveling to areas that are experiencing high rates of positivity, is not advised and is potentially dangerous,” IDPH said in a statement.

The goal is to bring down the positivity rate, officials said.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases is 12.4%, according to IDPH. Test positivity across the state — the number of positive tests as a percentage of total tests — is 13.6%. Both percentages have ticked upwards in just the past day.

Test positivity in both Cook County and Chicago are slightly lower than the statewide average, 13.2% and 13.4%, respectively, according to IDPH regional data.

As of last Tuesday night, 5,042 people in Illinois were hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 951 patients were in the intensive care units and 404 patients were on ventilators.

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]

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