CHICAGO — Illinois has now had more than 9,000 people die from coronavirus.
The state reported 29 more deaths during the past day. At least 9,026 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois.
Among the most recent victims were 11 people in Cook County, including a woman in her 40s.
“More than 9,000 Illinoisans — our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, family, friends, and neighbors — have had their lives cut short by COVID-19, leaving tens of thousands more to grieve loved ones lost too soon,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement. “As we pause today to mourn these individual and collective losses, may we find strength in the tools we have to protect our communities: wearing a mask, watching our distance, and respecting public health and each other.”
The state also reported 2,851 new cases during the past day, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 324,743 for Illinois. The state’s positivity rate rose slightly to 4.5 percent, with 55,993 tests reported during the past day.
As of Monday night, 1,848 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 406 people in the ICU and 160 people using ventilators.
“After nine months of battling this virus and hearing the updates each day, many of us forget that the hospitalizations and deaths are more than just numbers,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “They are our family, friends, and loved ones who have been directly impacted by COVID-19, which continues to spread.”
In Chicago, an average of 364 cases are being reported and two people are dying per day. The city’s positivity rate was at 4.4 percent.
At least 2,991 Chicagoans have died from COVID-19, and there have been 85,139 confirmed cases.
The city has seen a rise in new cases reported per day, and that is “concerning,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health. But Arwady, who was speaking during a livestream, said a lot of that rise is due to the city doing more testing.
Chicago is in better control of its COVID-19 outbreak than other parts around the state, Arwady said, but she warned “cold weather is coming” and that will pose new challenges for slowing the virus’s spread.
Arwady said people should continue to wear masks, social distance and wash their hands. Doing those things has dropped the risk of COVID-19 spread by 88 percent in Chicago since the start of the pandemic, she said, citing a study.
“That is honestly better than we had been predicting, in terms of the models,” Arwady said. “It’s a sign that people by and large here have been doing a good job.”
Arwady again said everyone who can should get a flu shot this year so the health care system isn’t burdened by the coronavirus and a flu epidemic. The city is offering free flu shots for residents.
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.