CHICAGO — Coronavirus killed 22 more people across Illinois, the state reported Wednesday.
Seven of the victims were in Cook County. At least 8,508 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois.
Another 1,848 cases were reported, as well, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 279,114. But many cases have gone unreported — and, Gov. JB Pritzker said Wednesday, tens of thousands of people have been ill and recovered but continue to feel the negative side effects of COVID-19.
The state’s positivity rate stayed at 3.5 percent.
As of Tuesday night, 1,563 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 351 people in the ICU and 144 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, an average of 294 cases are being reported and two people are dying per day. The city’s positivity rate was at 4.5 percent.
At least 2,935 people have died from coronavirus in the city, and there have been 77,675 confirmed cases.
Pritzker, speaking at a press conference, said the state has continued to ramp up testing and break its own records: It did more than 74,000 tests in just one day this weekend, and overall Illinois is averaging more than 50,000 tests per day.
Illinois is one of the few states nationwide to have done more than 5 million coronavirus tests, Pritzker said, calling Illinois “one of the best-performing states in the nation.”
“Those accomplishments contribute mightily to our ability to monitor and squash the threat of the virus in our communities,” Pritzker said.
While most parts of Illinois have seen their positivity rates fall or stagnate recently, Region 1 — which includes Rockford, Dixon and Galena in northern Illinois — has seen its rate climb recently. Should the region hit 8 percent, it will face more restrictions.
Currently, Region 4 — Metro East — is the only one with those stricter regulations, though its positivity rate is falling and it could soon see those rules eased, Pritzker said.
Illinoisans can help prevent the spread of coronavirus by following health guidelines, said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health. She again urged everyone to get a flu vaccine to prevent a double epidemic of flu and coronavirus this fall and winter.
“Until there’s a vaccine, your mask and social distancing are your best protection against COVID-19,” Ezike said.
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