CHICAGO — Another 21 people died from coronavirus during the past day in Illinois.
Among the victims were five people in Cook County, including a woman in her 30s. Illinois has now seen at least 7,594 people die from coronavirus.
Another 1,953 cases were reported, as well; that’s the most in a single day since late May, when Illinois was coming off its peak of coronavirus. In all, there have been 188,424 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois.
The state’s positivity rate ticked up slightly to 4 percent.
As of Wednesday night, 1,517 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 346 people in the ICU and 132 people on ventilators.
Officials have repeatedly warned recently the virus is making a comeback throughout Illinois. But Gov. JB Pritzker said Wednesday the worst of the resurgence is being seen among younger people and those living in central and southern Illinois.
“Young people and those in downstate Illinois are no longer the smallest part among those who are newly infected,” Pritzker said. “Let’s be clear, this virus is dangerous no matter how young you are because of the long-term damage it can cause.”
Pritzker and Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, have urged people throughout the state to continue to take safety measures to prevent Illinois’ outbreak from getting out of control.
“If we don’t take further steps to reduce the spread of the virus, our numbers will continue to go up and we will be right back where we were just a few months ago,” Ezike said at a Wednesday press conference. “Anyone who thinks that wearing a mask or keeping their distance doesn’t help, you are just wrong.”
People need to take more personal responsibility and not host events where people can’t stay 6 feet apart and wear masks, Ezike said.
The doctor said people should be wary of gathering with family members just as they would be of meeting with other people outside their household. If you’re seeing people outside your “bubble,” Ezike said, you still need to take safety measures like wearing a mask and social distancing.
“COVID-19 is an invisible threat with very visible consequences,” Ezike said. “… This virus is not tired. In fact, it’s trying to gain momentum. It’s cunning and it’s elusive.”
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