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Coronavirus Killed 140 Illinoisans During Past Day, Including 44 People In Chicago

The most recent victims included two local men in their 30s. At least 11,014 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois.

Amity Tyler of the Old Town neighborhood wears a mask in Chicago as fears of COVID-19 rise on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Illinois reported 140 people dying from coronavirus in the past day.

Among the most recent victims were 80 people in Cook County, including two men in their 30s. At least 11,014 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 454 deaths are considered to be probably related to coronavirus.

The state also reported 8,922 confirmed cases in the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 606,771.

Officials are deeply worried about this second surge, saying hospital staff could soon be overwhelmed and there won’t be enough beds and health care workers to care for everyone who will become ill. Already, Illinois is seeing a record number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, and deaths have skyrocketed.

RELATED: Chicago-Area Health Care Workers ‘Completely Burned Out’ As Hospitalizations Soar With No End In Sight

In Chicago, it’s estimated every one in 18 people has an active, potentially contagious case of coronavirus right now, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday morning livestream. Even people who have recovered from COVID-19 can become re-infected, she said.

How did officials get to that number? Arwady said they estimate 5-7 times as many people have coronavirus right now as have recently tested positive. Based on that, the department estimates that means up to 150,000 have active, infectious COVID-19. Since Chicago has a population of roughly 2.7 million, that’d be in 1 in 18 Chicagoans.

“Even if you’ve had COVID, we need you wearing a mask, we need you doing all the same protective things,” Arwady said.

Chicago is under a stay at home advisory that started Monday morning. People are being asked to stay home as much as possible, leaving only for essential things like grocery shopping; to work from home if possible; to stop gathering with anyone outside their household; and to stop traveling.

People should also wear masks and wash their hands regularly, officials have said.

“We really, really want folks to not have people over to their home right now … . If it’s a social visit, now is not the time to be having a social visit,” Arwady said.

The surge in new cases in Chicago — and across Illinois — can only partially be explained by increased testing; in reality, there are more cases because coronavirus is spreading so much, officials have said. There’s evidence of that in the way positivity rates and COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations have rapidly risen in recent weeks.

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell to 11.9 percent with 103,569 tests reported. It was at 12.5 percent Tuesday. 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, fell to 14.2 percent. It was at 14.5 percent Tuesday.

As of Tuesday night, 5,953 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 1,146 people in the ICU and 547 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, 44 deaths and 1,445 confirmed cases were reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 3,272 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 139,828 confirmed cases, according to state data.

An average of 2,351 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 27 percent increase from the prior week. The city’s seven-day positivity rate has hit 15.9 percent, up from 13.6 percent the week before.

The city is also seeing an average of seven deaths per day; for months, that number hadn’t risen above two or three per day, but it’s been going up the past several weeks.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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