CHICAGO — Illinois reported 857 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 39 more deaths Friday as officials began the loosening of restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus.
State health officials will closely watch the impact Friday’s Phase 4 reopenings will have on the spread of the coronavirus. That potential impact could take weeks to assess. The new cases and deaths reported Friday came from people who contracted the disease or feel ill in the past days and weeks and aren’t part of Phase 4.
But they show the virus continues to reach new victims, a point health officials have stressed when reminding residents to stick to the key preventative measures in the pandemic: washing hands thoroughly and regularly, wearing face coverings when outside the home and keeping 6 feet away from others.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday the city will keep an eye on things like the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus to see how Phase 4 is affecting efforts to lessen the spread here.
“We’ve got to keep people safe,” Lightfoot said at a press conference. “We are not gonna have a vaccine probably until some time in 2021, hopefully soon, but we don’t have one now.
“And the only thing that’s making the difference, that’s allowed us to make the progress, is for people recognizing that they have a personal but also a civic responsibility to do the right thing, be safe and keep each other safe.”
Trends are still looking good, Lightfoot said, but Chicagoans have to “remain diligent.”
The mayor’s previously said Chicago will move back in phases and see closures if there is an uptick of cases here, as there have been in other cities and states that reopened earlier.
There have now been 6,847 people in Illinois lost to COVID-19. A total of 140,291 confirmed cases have been reported.
Labs in Illinois reported results on more than 30,000 new cases in the past 24 hours. The seven-day statewide positivity for tests now stands at 3 percent.