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Illinois Hits 10,000 Coronavirus Deaths On Same Day It Reports Record-Breaking 9,900 New Cases

Chicago's outbreak is so bad that in a group of 10 Chicagoans picked at random, there is a one in three chance someone in the group has COVID-19, the city's top doctor said.

Coronavirus testing in Chicago
Chicago Mayor's Office
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CHICAGO — The state’s death toll from coronavirus has topped more than 10,000 people as of Thursday, and nearly 10,000 new cases were reported the same day.

The state reported 97 deaths from COVID-19 during the past day. At least 10,030 people have died from coronavirus across Illinois — and officials warned the state could see 11,000 people dead by year’s end.

The most recent victims included a man just in his 20s in Cook County, as well as 30 other people in the county.

The state also reported a record-breaking 9,935 confirmed cases during the past day, bringing the total up to 447,491.

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate rose to 9.1 percent with 86,015 tests reported. It was at 8.5 percent Wednesday. The figure represents total confirmed cases divided by total tests.

Illinois’ seven-day test positivity, which measures how many tests were positive out of total tests, hit 10.5 percent. It was at 10.1 percent Wednesday.

As of Wednesday night, 3,891 people were hospitalized in Illinois with coronavirus, including 772 people in the ICU and 343 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, 10 deaths and 2,182 confirmed cases were reported during the past day. There have been at least 3,111 Chicagoans killed and 110,752 confirmed cases in the city, according to state data.

Cases are doubling about every 12 days in Chicago; if that continues, the city is on pace to see “hundreds of thousands of cases just by the end of the year,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Thursday livestream.

That will translate into more people going to the hospital and more people dying from COVID-19, Arwady said.

The city is seeing an average of 1,395 cases being reported per day, a 48 percent uptick from the week prior. The city’s seven-day positivity rate has risen to 10.9 percent, up from 8.2 percent the week prior — and up from 10 percent just Wednesday.

The city is 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.

Over the past month, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-has more than doubled, Arwady said. Chicago went from fewer than 250 people to, as of Thursday, more than 500 people with COVID-19 in Chicago hospitals.

“The risk right now is much higher than it was” just a month ago, Arwady said.

In a group of 10 Chicagoans picked at random, there is a one in three chance someone in the group has COVID-19, Arwady said.

The doctor again urged people to stop having people over to their homes, to stop gathering with people who aren’t part of their household and to wear masks and wash their hands frequently. Those are the only measures known to slow the spread of coronavirus, which could help Chicago regain control of its quickly worsening outbreak.

“The risk with this amount of COVID is really high, and we need people to get more serious, not less serious, about protecting themselves and family,” Arwady said.

Most spread of coronavirus in Chicago is happening in small groups of family and friends getting together in homes, Arwady said. People think they’re safe because they trust the people they’re gathering with, so they let down their guard, don’t social distance or wear masks and then spread COVID-19, she said.

The doctor said she’s concerned because it seems like people “broadly” are thinking the safety guidelines and health risks don’t apply to them, which is also what’s fueling the spread.

“Success here is about the individual decisions people make,” she said, aging urging people to wear masks and practice social distancing.

While most of Chicago’s new cases were happening among young people during the summer, all age groups are now seeing huge surges of new cases. People age 40-49 are now the age group seeing the most COVID-19 in Chicago.

That’s particularly troublesome because it means people who are older and more at risk of severe sickness or death from COVID-19 are also seeing more cases of coronavirus.

“This is a sort of full-on community spread, all age groups” and people of all races and ethnicities, Arwady said. “This is a widespread outbreak. It’s not just the 20-year-olds. … If you’ve got people in their 40s, if they’re interacting with their parents, we’re starting to really get into a lot of” high-risk, older people.

“The bottom line is things are not headed in the way that we want them,” Arwady said. “You need to be doing the masking. You need to be doing the social distancing.”

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