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Coronavirus Kills 35 More People In Illinois, But Progress Being Made, Pritzker Says

Among the victims was a man in his 30s in Cook County. At least 8,367 people have died from coronavirus in Illinois since the start of the pandemic.

Pedestrians wear masks in the Loop neighborhood amid the COVID-19 pandemic on August 31, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Coronavirus killed 35 people across Illinois during the past day.

Among the victims was a man just in his 30s in Cook County, as well as seven others in the county. At least 8,367 people have died from coronavirus in Illinois since the start of the pandemic.

Another 1,941 cases were reported, as well, bringing the state’s total up to 266,151. The state’s positivity rate rose slightly to 3.7 percent.

As of Tuesday night, 1,565 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 345 people in the ICU and 143 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, an average of 263 cases are being reported and two people dying daily. The city’s positivity rate is at 5.2 percent.

At least 2,919 people have died from coronavirus in Chicago, and there have been 75,572 confirmed cases.

After several weeks of rising cases and deaths, Illinois is starting to see progress in the other direction, Gov. JB Pritzker said at a Wednesday press conference. Nearly every region in the state has seen its positivity rate stabilize or fall over the last two weeks, he said, a “testament to the fact” things like social distancing and mask-wearing work.

But officials said Illinoisans are still hurting from the pandemic in other ways.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said many people are facing increased stress and anxiety, which can worsen people’s physical and mental health. She said people should get a flu shot and keep up with their regular medical appointments to stay well.

“This is probably the hardest time for almost everyone in this state and around the world,” Ezike said. “If you feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, please seek mental health services. It’s not a sign of weakness but of strength. It takes strength to ask for help.”

Pritzker said Illinois are also still facing economic woes from the pandemic, so he’s extending the moratorium on evictions another 30 days. He said 100,000 renters and homeowners applied for rent and mortgage assistance from the state, but the government only has enough money to support about 40,000 of them.

And Pritzker warned Illinoisans could face a loss of services and more layoffs as state agencies look at making cuts of 5 percent to their budgets for this fiscal year — and another 10 percent next year.

The cuts are needed because the pandemic has blown a hole in the state’s budget, as well as state budgets throughout the country, yet the federal government isn’t providing aid, Pritzker said.

Cities and counties “are facing massive service cuts that will have immediate effects on residents,” Pritzker said, and there will be layoffs amid the cuts. “That will deepen our economic recession and cause pain for all Americans.”

The federal government has given states money through several stimulus packages, but that money can legally only be spent to address the pandemic and not make up for lost revenue.

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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