State marks solid week of four-digit daily COVID-19 caseloads, with 1,076 new infections, 30 more deaths

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Another 1,076 people have tested positive for COVID-19, health officials said Tuesday, marking a full week of four-digit daily caseloads.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced an additional 30 deaths have been attributed to the virus, the most reported by the state in a single day in nearly three weeks.

The latest cases were confirmed among 28,331 tests received by the state, keeping the statewide testing positivity rate at 3.8% over the last week. But that number has climbed upward from 2.5% three weeks ago.

It’s all part of the gradual rise in cases over the last month that Gov. J.B. Pritzker has warned could lead to state interventions in areas where outbreaks have ticked upward.

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Six of the eleven medical regions designated by Pritzker’s office — including suburban Cook County and Lake County — have seen increases in testing positivity rates for at least a week, putting them on the brink of having the state step in.

To trigger those “mitigation” efforts by the state — which could include business shutdowns — those areas would also have to see either a sustained rise in hospital admissions, or a decline in the number of available hospital beds. None of those six regions has raised either of those additional red flags.

But Pritzker’s office has said it will step in immediately if a region’s rolling positivity rate tops 8%. That means the downstate Metro East region near St. Louis could face repercussions sooner, with its rate just a hair under that threshold at 7.8%.

State health officials have pointed to large gatherings of young people and lax enforcement of social distancing and masking guidelines as catalysts for the downstate uptick.

Statewide, Illinois is now averaging 1.091 new coronavirus cases per day, up from 764 per day in June, a month in which the state topped 1,000 cases just twice. It’s happened 15 times so far this month.

Despite the relatively high number of deaths reported Tuesday, COVID-19 fatalities have fallen off from an average of about 51 deaths per day in June to 19 this month. The state reported only one death Sunday, the first time that’s happened since March 21

A total of 173,731 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, with the death toll at 7,446 and a recovery rate of 95%. Almost 2.6 million people have been tested.

As of Monday night, 1,383 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Illinois, with 329 in intensive care units and 128 on ventilators.

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via Chicago Sun-Times

July 28, 2020 at 03:39PM

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