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New Coronavirus Cases Drop Below 1,000 In Past Day, But Officials Wary Of Spike

Another 96 people in the state died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

Protesters occupy Clark Street in the Lincoln Park neighborhood during a peaceful protest on June 2, 2020 in reaction to the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Less than 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported in the state in the past 24 hours as health officials nervously await what impact the state’s gradual reopening, the hot weather and waves of protests will have on the pandemic.

“As we open up, that naturally gives more opportunities for exposure,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, on Wednesday. “So people who are in the highest-risk category for poor outcomes … we need them being especially cautious, not taking chances.”

Despite the progress, another 96 people in the state died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours. There have now been 5,621 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 2,148 have been in Chicago.

The last 24 hours saw 982 new confirmed cases in the state, raising the total to 123,830. Of those, 46,739 were in Chicago, although the vast majority of those testing positive have recovered.

But with much of the state entering Phase 3 of the reopening process last week, and Chicago entering Phase 3 on Wednesday, officials are closely watching the numbers out of concern a spike could come within the next week to 14 days.

“With a lot of the events of the last few days, there have been increased opportunities for COVID-19 to spread,” Arwady said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Public health officials have urged those who participated in large protests to self quarantine for 14 days or, at least, avoid immunocompromised loved ones.

The number of people hospitalized statewide with COVID-19 dropped to 844 from 874 in the past day. Patients on ventilators fell from 548 to 508, according to state numbers.

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