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Illinois Sees Record Number Of New Coronavirus Cases After Testing Backlog Leads To 5,368 Positives

While the backlog has been resolved, 29 more people died from coronavirus statewide in the past day, officials said.

COVID-19 testing remains free at locations across the city.
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CHICAGO — A record number of coronavirus cases were reported in Illinois in the past day, far surpassing one-day totals in the state since the pandemic began.

The Illinois Department of Public Health logged 5,368 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections throughout the state Friday, officials said. Twenty-nine more people also died from the disease in the past day, according to state data. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 149,273 specimens — a massive increase over the 20,000-40,000 tests typically recorded per day.

State officials said the whopping number of infections is partly due to a backlog in processing test results, and the case positivity rate actually decreased slightly to 4.1 percent.

“Two system upgrades were put in place and the systems now have significantly faster processing capacity,” Illinois Department of Public Health officials said in a statement. “Although the slowdown did delay the reporting of some additional aggregate numbers, it did not affect the reporting of positive or negative results to individuals in any way.”

Overall, 8,143 people have died from coronavirus infections in the state. On Thursday, Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton joined faith leaders for a memorial honoring Illinoisans who have died during the pandemic.

As of last night, 1,621 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 360 patients were in the ICU and 155 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

This week, public health officials repeatedly urged Illinois residents to wear masks, maintain social distancing and avoid parties, especially as 29 counties across the state now are at a “warning” level for the virus.

Cook County and Chicago were not among the surging regions, however.

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