CHICAGO — Another 168 Illinoisans were reported to have died from coronavirus during the past day.
Among the most recent victims were 36 people in Cook County, including a woman in her 30s. At least 11,178 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 470 deaths are considered to be probably related to coronavirus.
The state also reported 14,612 confirmed cases in the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 621,383.
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.
Coronavirus could kill up to 45,000 more Illinoisans between now and March without restrictions, Gov. JB Pritzker said this week.
To prevent more deaths — and to slow down the virus and hopefully avert a full stay at home order — the entire state will be put under Tier 3 restrictions Friday morning. The rules close museums, casinos and theaters; cut capacity at stores; stop indoor sports and put stricter rules in place at gyms and salons, among other things.
Chicago is already under a stay at home advisory, which 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.
And throughout this week, officials have pleaded with people to cancel any big Thanksgiving plans they have, as gathering with people increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
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 rose to 12 percent with 113,447 tests reported. It was at 11.9 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, fell to 14 percent. It was at 14.2 percent Wednesday.
As of Wednesday night, 6,037 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 1,192 people in the ICU and 587 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 15 deaths and 2,841 confirmed cases were reported since Wednesday. There have been at least 3,287 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 142,669 confirmed cases, according to state data.
An average of 2,393 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 29 percent increase from the prior week. The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 15.5 percent, up from 14.2 percent the week before.
The city is also seeing an average of eight 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.
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