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Illinois Sees Its Highest 1-Day Total Of Coronavirus Deaths

In the last 24 hours, 192 people died from COVID-19, officials said. There have now been 3,792 deaths in Illinois.

Alivio Medical Center's Pilsen drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in the Lower West Side neighborhood in action on Saturday, May 9, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — More people died of coronavirus in the past day in Illinois than any other day since the pandemic hit the region, officials said Wednesday.

During the grim 24-hour stretch, 192 people died from COVID-19, said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health. There have now been 3,792 deaths in Illinois.

“These are real people, and there are families and loved ones who are suffering with each of them whether in their illness” or through their death, Ezike said.

The state reported 1,677 new cases of coronavirus. A total of 84,698 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, though many have recovered.

Illinois reported 17,668 tests since it last released numbers Tuesday. More than 489,000 tests have now been performed in the state, officials said.

The positivity rate statewide so far is 17 percent, Ezike said, based on tests completed May 3-10.

“Testing is one of the keys to reopening the state safely so that we avoid a potential second wave,” she said.

As of Tuesday night, 4,562 people were hospitalized with coronavirus with 1,208 people in the ICU and 714 patients on ventilators, Ezike said.

RELATED: Facing Backlash From Downstate And Beyond, Pritzker Defends Reopening Plan: ‘I Want This To End Just As Much As You Do’

Gov. JB Pritzker said the state is particularly focused on addressing the cases and potential for deadly spread at senior homes.

“In this crisis, the state is doing everything in its power to protect them. So to assure that all facilities have their own stockpiles, IEMA and IDPH have coordinated a somewhat-unprecedented effort to directly deliver [personal protective equipemnt] to more than 1,200 nursing homes and other longterm care facilities across the state,” Pritzker said.

The state began shipping the personal protection equipment on April 30 and the supplies have reached more than 85 percent of the senior homes in the state, with final deliveries expected in the next few days, Pritzker said.

Ezike and Pritzker asked Illinoisans to stay the course and continue following the stay at home order.

Pritzker warned businesses and officials who defy the stay at home order will face consequences, like losing funding or licenses. And Ezike asked people to continue wearing masks and staying home.

“Please help us decrease the spread of this virus and please help us save lives,” Ezike said.


Coronavirus can be deadly, but the vast majority of cases have been mild. Those most at risk from the virus are people who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions.

Symptoms of coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even people who show no symptoms may have the virus and spread it to others.

The virus spreads between people through coughing and sneezing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills and shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste and/or smell

People have also experienced body aches, nasal congestion and runny nose, according to Harvard Medical School.

If you or someone else has difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, become confused, cannot be roused or develop a bluish face or lips, seek immediate medical attention, according to the CDC.

How To Protect Yourself

Here’s what you can do to prevent getting ill:

  • The CDC and other officials have said people should wash their hands often, including before, during and after eating; after using the bathroom; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    The CDC has a guide here for how to properly wash your hands. Remember: Wash with soap and water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch frequently, such as cellphones and light switches. Here are tips from the CDC.
  • Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you have to sneeze or cough with a tissue, throw it out immediately after using it, according to the CDC.

What To Do If You Think You’re Sick

Even if you’re not showing symptoms, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends people coming from high-risk countries (here’s a CDC list) self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary doctor or a health care facility before going in. Explain your symptoms and tell them if you’ve come into close contact with anyone with coronavirus or traveled to an area where COVID-19 is widespread (here’s a CDC list) within the last 14 days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

From there, the experts will work with your local health department to determine what to do and if you need to be tested for coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And, of course, if you think you’re sick with coronavirus, don’t risk exposing other people to the virus. Anyone who feels unwell has been ordered to stay home or risk getting a $500 fine.

Those with questions and concerns about coronavirus can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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