CHICAGO — Sixty-eight more people were reported to have died from coronavirus in Illinois during the past day.
New cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths are quickly rising across the state. Officials have said Chicago and Illinois are in the midst of a second wave of COVID-19, and people should wear masks, stop gathering and keep 6 feet apart to slow the virus’s spread.
Despite the virus, thousands of Chicagoans pulled on masks and headed to polling places Tuesday to vote in the general election. Officials urged everyone to wear masks. The Chicago Board of Elections said masks and hand sanitizer would be available for poll workers and voters, and people were asked to keep 6 feet apart in line.
Among the victims were seven people in Cook County, including two men in their 50s. At least 9,878 Illinoisans have been killed — and officials warned the state could see 11,000 people dead by year’s end.
The state also reported 6,516 confirmed cases, bringing the total up to 430,018 for Illinois.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate rose to 8.2 percent with 82,435 tests reported. It was at 8.1 percent Monday. The figure represents total confirmed cases divided by total tests.
Illinois is also now reporting its seven-day test positivity, which measures how many tests were positive out of total tests. It’s at 9.9 percent, up from 9.7 percent Monday.
As of Monday night, 3,594 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 755 people in the ICU and 326 people using ventilators. Hospitalizations are up by more than 30 percent compared to this time last week.
In Chicago, two people have died and there have been 1,184 confirmed cases in the past day. There have been at least 3,084 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 107,183 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of 943 cases being reported per day, a 17 percent uptick from the week prior. The city’s seven-day positivity rate has risen to 9.5 percent, up from 7.6 percent the week prior.
The city is also seeing an average of four deaths per day; for months, that number hadn’t risen above two or three per day. But officials have said deaths are beginning to rise in Chicago, and they’ll go higher as new cases and hospitalizations spike.
Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the city is “keeping an eye” on the rising number of deaths. Hospitalizations have started to go up in the city, she said, which means deaths are expected to rise.
It’s “really, really important” that people “double down” on things that can prevent spread of COVID-19, like wearing masks and social distancing, Arwady said during a Tuesday livestream.
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