CHICAGO — An additional 59 people in Illinois died from coronavirus in the past day, raising the state’s total to 4,234 since the start of the pandemic.
Another 2,294 people in the state tested positive for COVID-19. There have now been 96,485 confirmed cases. The state reported another 21,297 new tests Monday.
And though the curve has flattening in Illinois and the state is still on track to enter Phase 3 of the reopening plan at the end of the month, Gov. JB Pritzker said he’s worried there could be another surge in cases this summer as more people start to ignore the stay at home order.
“I’m concerned about it,” Pritzker said. “I don’t know if I expect it, exactly, but I am deeply concerned about it. It’s the reason we’re following this very gradual plan; it makes sure we have a health care capacity to deal with any kind of surges.
“If people don’t follow the plan or if people don’t wear coverings … more people are going to get coronavirus … . We have beautiful days that are coming throughout the summer and people will want to be outside where ever they are in the state, they’ll want to be together together.”
The governor’s faced more pushback recently to the stay at home order and his plan to slowly reopen the state’s economy. Some church leaders have held services while businesses are threatening to open in defiance of the order.
The majority of people are still complying with the order, and that’s helped save lives, Pritzker said.
But Pritzker’s administration is cracking down on enforcement: This weekend, it made a change to rules that will allow local officials to charge business owners with a misdemeanor if they reopen prematurely.
And Pritzker said he’s worried about what could happen with COVID-19 this fall if people don’t practice social distancing and wear masks to prevent spread of the virus now.
“I must say I’m concerned about all of the warnings that have been given by epidemiologists about the potential for a surge in the fall,” Pritzker said. “If people don’t learn the lessons over the summer … and then we hit a fall surge, we’re going to be in trouble.”
Of the infected Monday, 4,120 people are actively hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 1,096 were in intensive care units and 636 were on ventilators, said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Each of those categories showed improvement compared to Friday afternoon, when Ezike reported 4,367 people hospitalized statewide. Of those, 1,129 were in ICUs and 675 were on ventilators.
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:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chills and shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- 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.
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