CHICAGO — Fifty-five more people have died from coronavirus in Illinois, including a local woman who was just 30.
Deaths are spiking across the state — and they’re beginning to rise in Chicago, too. The city’s also seen sharp upticks in its daily number of new cases, its hospitalizations and its positivity rate, which has now climbed to 10 percent.
With the outbreak so widespread, the state’s top public health official, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, is recommending Illinoisans start being tested regularly, even if they don’t have symptoms.
“We are fully into the second wave or second surge, and the cases are increasing exponentially,” Ezike said during a Wednesday coronavirus update. “This amount of disease in our community, it’s hard to think you could go anywhere and not be exposed.”
Ezike also urged people who volunteered at the polls Tuesday to get tested.
The most recent victims included 24 people in Cook County, including the young woman. At least 9,933 Illinoisans have been killed so far — and officials warned the state could see 11,000 people dead by year’s end.
The state reported 7,538 confirmed cases during the past day, bringing Illinois’ total to 437,556.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate rose to 8.5 percent with 71,857 tests reported. It was at 8.2 percent Tuesday. 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 10.1 percent, up from 9.9 percent Tuesday.
As of Tuesday night, 3,761 people were hospitalized with coronavirus, including 776 people in the ICU and 327 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 17 deaths and 1,387 confirmed cases were reported during the past day. There have been at least 3,101 Chicagoans killed and 108,570 confirmed cases in the city, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of 1,271 cases being reported per day, a 36 percent uptick from the week prior. The city’s seven-day positivity rate has risen to 10 percent, up from 7.8 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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