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Coronavirus Cases Continue To Slow, But Protests, Gatherings Will Likely Lead To Another Rise: Officials

Illinois saw another day where new cases of coronavirus fell below 1,000.

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 — The state saw another day where fewer than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported.

Just 929 more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the last day, according to state data. That’s part of a recent trend of the number of new cases declining — which officials have said is an important part of battling COVID-19 and reopening the state.

In all, there have now been 124,759 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Illinois.

But, as officials have warned, the virus has not gone away: Another 115 people died in the last day, bringing the death toll to at least 5,736.

Officials have also said they’re concerned recent gatherings could lead to progress reversing and an uptick in cases.

Thousands of people have participated in recent protests, which means their risk of contracting and transmitting coronavirus has increased, officials have said.

Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the city’s Department of Public Health, has said people who have been in gatherings should self-isolate for 14 days or, at the very least, avoid coming in contact with people who are 60 or older or who have underlying health conditions.

Anyone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 must also stay home, Arwady’s said.

And Arwady said it’s not just protests that pose a risk for spreading coronavirus — people have gathered in other ways, too.

“The protests are just one piece of this. Thousands of people came together for protesting; but thousands of people, I think, also were together for things that were not a protest but also probably had risk for spread,” the doctor said during a Thursday video. “I really don’t want to attach that increased risk just to the protest because I don’t think that’s epidemiologically fair.”

The city doesn’t know yet what will be the impact of recent protests and gatherings on Chicago’s battle against coronavirus, Arwady said during a Thurday morning video. It’ll take several weeks to see what happens.

“That said, I do think we will see, probably in a best-case scenario … some flattening of progress there. My hope is that we don’t get to a point where we actually start to see a significant increase again,” Arwady said. “I don’t think it’s possible that we won’t see any effect of that on the numbers.”

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