CHICAGO — Another 25 people were reported to have died from coronavirus during the past day in Illinois.
Ten of the victims were in Cook County, including a man in his 20s. At least 7,806 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois.
The state also reported 2,295 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total in Illinois up to 211,889. The positivity rate ticked up slightly to 4.4 percent.
As of Tuesday night, 1,519 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 334 people in the ICU and 144 people on ventilators.
“I’m concerned that we’ve grown numb of these numbers, and we need to remember they’re not just numbers. These are people,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said at a Wednesday press conference. “They were so sick they were hospitalized in the intensive care unit and, unfortunately, succumbed.”
Chicago is seeing an average of 318 new cases per day and two deaths from coronavirus as of. Wednesday. The city’s positivity rate is at 4.9 percent.
In all, there have been 66,672 confirmed cases in Chicago and 2,831 people have died.
Ezike urged people to remember the “virus is not tired” and is still continuing to wreak havoic.
Things might be better in Illinois than in other states, Ezike said, but that doesn’t mean things are going well here.
“… We are going in the wrong direction,” Ezike said. “The country as a whole for four weeks in a row, the positivity rate has declined. For four weeks in a row for Illinois, the positivity rate has increased.
“This is precisely the time we have to act. We want to prevent from getting into a very bad spot.”
During a Tuesday press conference, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, urged Chicagoans not to “let their guard down” and to continue to take the pandemic seriously.
Young people might be less at risk from coronavirus, but if they live with someone who is older or has underlying conditions — thereby making them more likely to have severe symptoms or to die from coronavirus — then they should be taking precautions to protect those people, Arwady said.
That means wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands.
“As you are thinking about your own COVID-19 risk here in Chicago, if you live in one of those areas … that is less of a risk, it does not mean that COVID is gone,” Arwady said. “We continue to see people diagnosed with COVID in every ZIP code in Chicago. We continue to see people who get very sick with COVID. We see people admitted to the hospital.
“And we’re still seeing, on average, two to three people dying, every day, just among Chicago residents. So I don’t want people to let their guard down, no matter what part of the city you live in.”
Arwady and Ezike also urged people to get a flu shot, which are now becoming available. Flu vaccines will be particularly important this year due to the pandemic, as officials don’t want to handle a bad influenza epidemic on top of coronavirus.
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