CHICAGO — Fifty-one more Illinoisans have died from coronavirus, including a child in Cook County.
The most recent victims included 11 people in Cook County, including a youth who was younger than 18, according to the state. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the child was a teen who had no known underlying health conditions.
Gov. JB Pritzker emphasized again a “tremendous wave” of COVID-19 is hitting Illinois. The state’s daily deaths, hospitalizations, new cases and positivity rate have risen fast in recent weeks.
Stricter rules for bars, restaurants and gatherings started Wednesday for suburban Cook County. The same restrictions will go into place Friday morning for Chicago, and suburban Lake and McHenry counties will get the restrictions Saturday.
“If we aren’t able to bring down the number of cases and rate of transmission, not only will our economy continue to suffer, but many more people will be hospitalized,” Pritzker said at a Wednesday coronavirus briefing. “Some will end up with long-term health consequences, and too many will die.
“This battle isn’t going away by itself. We have to manage our way through with tools we have available to us.”
Those “tools” include wearing masks, especially when around people who aren’t part of your household; keeping 6 feet from others, even when masked; washing your hands frequently; avoiding unnecessary gatherings; and not hosting or attending parties, Pritzker said.
So far, at least 9,619 people in Illinois have been killed by COVID-19.
The state also reported 6,110 confirmed cases, bringing the total to 389,095.
Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate rose to 6.7 percent with 70,752 tests reported.
As of Tuesday night, 2,861 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 600 people in the ICU and 243 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 255 newly confirmed cases and one death were reported. At least 3,038 Chicagoans have died from COVID-19 and there have been 94,599 confirmed cases.
The city is seeing an average of 818 confirmed cases per day — a 34 percent increase from last week — and two deaths per day. Chicago’s seven-day positivity rate rose to 7.6 percent; the week before, it was 6.1 percent.
Chicago and the rest of Illinois are in the midst of a second surge of coronavirus, with hospitalizations and deaths quickly rising.
Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, warned Tuesday hospitalizations are quickly going up in the city and the city’s growth in new cases is just as bad as what was seen during the first surge of COVID-19 in the spring. She said she expects deaths to start rising in Chicago soon.
Officials have advised people to wear masks, wash their hands frequently, stay 6 feet from others, avoid gatherings and not invite people into their homes to slow the virus’s spread.
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