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Nearly 2,000 Coronavirus Cases Reported In Illinois As 21 People Die

Cases are surging specifically in 11 counties in mostly central and southern Illinois, where test positivity rates are above 10 percent and even as high as 20 percent.

The COVID-19 Testing Center at Innovative Express Care in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Monday, April 27, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Nearly 2,000 more cases of coronavirus were reported in Illinois during the past day.

Cases and the state’s positivity rate have been on the rise throughout Illinois for weeks, with Gov. JB Pritzker warning Illinois is seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 and is again at a danger point. He’s asked Illinoisans to wear masks and social distance to slow the virus’s spread — or else the state might need to re-impose restrictions.

“I would say that we’re at a danger point, everybody. Pay attention,” Pritzker said Thursday. “Now is the moment to wear your mask properly . … And for people who aren’t wearing masks, please start now. It is never too late. Start now.”

Another 1,941 cases of coronavirus have been reported since Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois to 178,837.

The past day also saw another 21 people die, including 14 in Cook County. The state has seen at least 7,495 people die to COVID-19.

The state reported 49,782 more tests, a new one-day high. Officials have previously noted that when more tests are done, it generally leads to an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases reported, as seen Friday.

But the positivity rate for coronavirus here rose to 3.9 percent after hovering at 3.8 percent for several days. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, has previously said the positivity rate should fall as more tests are done, and its gradual rise shows there is spread of coronavirus here.

As of Thursday night, 1,369 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 346 people in the ICU and 148 on ventilators.

The state announced Friday 11 counties are also at “warning level” for coronavirus, a designation given to counties that see a prolonged increase in things like deaths from coronavirus, positivity rates and hospitalizations. All but one of the counties are in central or southern Illinois.

In Gallatin County on the border with Kentucky, test positivity rates are above 20 percent — 15 percentage points higher than rates in Chicago.

Blue indicates that the county is experiencing overall stable COVID-19 metrics.  
Orange indicates there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county. (Graphic: Illinois Department of Public Health)

Those counties have seen outbreaks linked to business operations, according to a state press release, but also ones linked to graduation ceremonies, parties, people going to bars, big sports events and other gatherings.

And residents of many of those communities are not wearing face coverings, which have been proven to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, according to the state.

Pritzker and Ezike have urged people to not gather in groups or host events like house parties and bachelor parties. They’ve also said social distancing, wearing a face covering among other people and washing your hands frequently can help Illinois once more beat back the surge of coronavirus.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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