CHICAGO (CBS) — An employee in Gov. JB Pritzker’s office has tested positive for COVID-19, one of more than 1,200 new cases of novel coronavirus announced in Illinois on Tuesday. The state also has seen 73 deaths in the past 24 hours, the largest one-day death toll in Illinois so far during the pandemic.

“It’s okay to let yourself feel all the pain that there is to feel today. I, too, am grieving, but I want you to know that my grief is only fueling my efforts to fight this virus and win,” Pritzker said at his daily virus briefing on Tuesday.

The governor said the state now has 13,549 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 77 counties, including 380 deaths. As of Tuesday, a total of 68,732 people in Illinois have been tested for COVID-19.

The governor declined to confirm or deny reports state has requested more than 12,000 total body bags from various vendors as it stockpiles various equipment for the COVID-19 response.

“We’re preparing in all ways. We don’t know what the numbers will be in the end, and it’s hard to point at something that would tell you exactly what those numbers would be,” Pritzker said. “I mean, obviously there are models out there, but a lot of them, but we want to make sure that we’re prepared. If we end up being overprepared in that way, I would be glad that we were.”

One of the new confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois is an employee in Pritzker’s office, who started feeling ill on March 26, and immediately went home.

“That same day we sent everyone that works in the governor’s office home, and had a professional multi-hour deep cleaning done,” he said.

Pritzker said that employee remains in isolation at home.

“I’m incredibly happy that this member of my team is doing so well,” Pritzker said. “This is an anxious time for everyone, and it should be a cautionary tale that even among those who are most attentive and taking the most precautions, it is still possible to get the virus if you leave home and interact with others. So let this just affirm what we already know. Nobody is immune.”

The governor said most of his staff already was working from home when that staffer got sick, and since then he has further reduced the number of employees working out of his office to only a handful of people. He said no other staffers have had symptoms of the virus since that first staffer started feeling ill..

Pritzker said he did not have regular close contact with the staffer, and hasn’t been tested for the virus since then.

The governor also provided an update on the state’s hospital capacity amid the COVID-19 outbreak. As of Monday, 43% of non-ICU hospital beds statewide were available, 35% of ICU beds were available, and 57% of the state’s supply of ventilators were available.

TOTAL HOSPITAL BEDS USAGE (STATEWIDE) AS OF APRIL 6
Total hospital beds

28,139

Open

11,993

In use by COVID patients

3,680

In use by non-COVID patients

12,466

Percent of hospital beds available

43%

 

TOTAL ICU USAGE (STATEWIDE) AS OF APRIL 6
Total ICU beds

2,709

Open

949

In use by COVID patients

1,166

In use by non-COVID patients

594

Percent of ICU beds available

35%

 

TOTAL VENTILATOR USAGE (STATEWIDE) AS OF APRIL 6
Total ventilators

2,791

Open

1,593

In use by COVID patients

821

In use by non-COVID patients

377

Percent of vents available

57%

However, some parts of the state are much closer to reaching hospital capacity. In Chicago, southwest suburbs, and northeast suburbs, the average availability of ICU beds is below 25%, with some hospitals near maximum capacity, according to Pritzker.

REGION TOTAL ICU BEDS TOTAL ICU BEDS AVAILABLE TOTAL ICU BEDS IN USE PERCENT OF ICU BEDS AVAILABLE
1 – Rockford Area 148 102 46 68.9%
2 – Peoria Area 229 96 133 41.9%
3 – Springfield Area 104 53 51 51%
4 – Edwardsville Area 105 35 70 33.3%
5 – Marion Area 83 63 20 75.9%
6 – Champaign Area 136 80 56 58.8%
7 – Southwest Suburbs 372 77 295 20.7%
8 – West Suburbs 358 100 258 27.9%
9 – Northwest Suburbs 250 127 123 50.8%
10 – Northeast Suburbs 150 25 125 16.7%
11 – City of Chicago 774 191 583 24.7%

The governor’s office has placed orders for 3,620 additional ventilators for Illinois, and will be placing additional orders soon. Pritzker also thanked California Gov. Gavin Newsom for sending Illinois 100 ventilators overnight.

“It is truly incredible to work with elected officials across the nation who are providing true leadership,” he said. “My pledge to the state of California, and to every other state and territory, is that when we can, once we are past our peak, Illinois will pay it forward. We will pay it forward in any way that we can, including passing along these ventilators to the next hot spot in the nation, and any that we may be able to spare.”

Pritzker sounded doubtful when asked if he might release some parts of the state from his “stay at home” order if it’s extended beyond the current end date of April 30. The governor noted, just because some counties have not yet seen any confirmed coronavirus cases doesn’t mean they won’t see the virus soon.

“We need to get much further along here before we start talking about a regional or a statewide stand-down of these orders,” Pritzker said.