CHICAGO — Illinois saw another drop in new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, but it also saw an increase in deaths.
An additional 87 people in the state died of COVID-19-related causes in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of people lost since the start of the pandemic to 6,485, according to state numbers. Seventy-two people died the day before.
There were 546 new confirmed cases, a decrease from Tuesday’s reported gain of 623. There have now been a total of 134,185 confirmed cases in the state.
Chicago, the part of Illinois hit hardest by the virus, has seen 2,427 deaths and 49,775 confirmed cases.
On Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker said he was proud of Illinois residents for the way they’ve handled the restrictions put in place since the start of the pandemic. Illinois was one of the first to enact a strict stay at home order, and the state has followed a cautious path out of the orders. Some states have seen spikes in new confirmed cases after reopening.
Still, Pritzker told people to keep following safety guidelines.
“I do worry that people will relax the mitigations that we’ve asked them to follow, the masking, the handwashing, the keeping physically distant,” he said during a press conference. “I do worry about that all the time. Those are things that have been proven to have a very positive impact on our state on our positivity rate going down as low as it is. I’m concerned with that.
“But, having said that, I’m very proud of the people of Illinois and how they’ve reacted … and it’s led to Illinois becoming one of the best states in the nation in terms of cases, hospitalizations, … ICU beds and deaths going down.”
There are now 563 people in intensive care unit beds suffering from COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state. Of those patients, 331 are on ventilators.
By comparison, 1,129 people were in intensive care and 675 were on ventilators on May 15.
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