Rockford, Illinois News

Illinois sees steady uptick in COVID-19 cases; deaths remain low

SPRINGFIELD – The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois continued to climb Friday, as public health officials reported 1,317 new infections, marking a steady daily increase since June 22, when 462 cases were reported.

Illinois has also been expanding its testing capabilities; labs processed 69,167 tests in the last two days. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity from July 3 –July 9 is 2.9%.

While there has been no word whether Gov. J.B. Pritzker will pull the state back into previous stages of the Restore Illinois plan, he said in a previous report that he won’t hesitate to do so if there is a spike in hospitalizations.

As of Friday, 1,436 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 306 patients were in the ICU and 155 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

Pritzker announced earlier this week that the state added a dozen mobile testing teams.

“We now have 12 mobile teams that can be moved anywhere on any given day to mitigate and suppress emerging outbreaks, including places like meatpacking plants, nursing homes, migrant worker housing and other communities less able to access traditional testing clinics,” he said.

The governor added that the new teams put Illinois on the cutting edge nationally as one of the only states to meet the demands of a more open economy.

“I’m thrilled that Illinois is leading the way,” he said. “And to be clear, these mobile teams are in addition to our 11 free, state-run drive through and walk up testing sites across the state. Illinois has built one of the largest testing programs in the nation, and that’s partly the reason we have made so much progress fighting COVID-19 statewide. Performing nearly 30,000 tests per day allows us to monitor the progress of our mitigation strategies, target our testing toward vulnerable populations, and reduce the spread of this virus.”

Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike warned this week that while conditions have improved since the height of the pandemic, citizens must remain vigilant to prevent the situation from worsening.

“We are seeing an increase in new cases in younger populations as more social gatherings and group events occur,” Ezike said. “We know that some individuals with COVID-19 have no or very mild symptoms.  Because of that, it is important to test those who may have had a higher risk of exposure, such as being in a larger group or not being able to social distance from people.  Please wait at least 1 week after the exposure to get tested, if symptoms have not developed.  Please continue to follow all safety guidelines Wash your hands. Wear a face covering. Watch your distance. And take advantage of the expanded access to testing to make sure you are keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe.”

Deaths reported Friday include four Winnebago County residents, two men in their 80s and a woman in her 60s, and 16 people in Cook County.

As of this report, there have been 151,767 cases, including 7,144 deaths, of coronavirus disease in all 102 Illinois counties. Officials are now reporting both confirmed and probable cases and deaths.

As of Thursday night, 1,436 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 306 patients were in the ICU and 155 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

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