CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time during the COVID-19 outbreak in Illinois, the state has seen a week-to-week decline in the number of people hospitalized with the novel coronavirus.
Gov. JB Pritzker said, as of midnight Sunday night, 4,493 coronavirus patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, compared to 4,672 hospitalized as of April 26. The number of hospitalizations had been rising every week before since at least April 5.
Of those who are in the hospital, Pritzker said virus patients are taking up 33% of the state’s 3,681 intensive care unit beds, and 22% of the state’s available ventilators, or 763 virus patients on ventilators as of Sunday night.
In the past 24 hours, Illinois has seen 2,341 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 46 additional deaths.
The 46 new deaths was the lowest one-day death toll in Illinois since April 19, and while the governor said it was encouraging news, he cautioned against using any single day’s figures as signs of a trend.
“I would just encourage everybody to look at these things on a multi-day basis, taking maybe a three-, five-, or seven-day average,” he said. “When I saw this number today, I was hopeful that this was the beginning or the continuation of a trend that I’ve been praying for, but I think I think one day is not a helpful number to look at.”
As of Monday afternoon, Illinois has a total of 63,840 confirmed cases of the virus, including 2,662 deaths.
In a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago has had more than 1,000 virus deaths so far.
After Chicago police broke up several large parties over the weekend – with hundreds of people filling the streets in some cases – Pritzker said he was concerned about a possible resurgence after Illinois appears to have flattened the curve of the virus outbreak.
“If our numbers flatten and get better, and that’s where we seem to be at right now, it’s because people have followed the rules; and to the extent people are not following them, and gathering in groups, they’re going to spread the virus, and they’re going to cause us to go back into a previous executive order, a more stringent lockdown than what we’ve had, if in fact there’s a spike of cases as a result of people not following the rules,” Prizker said.
The governor said he understands the urge people have to gather outdoors when the weather is as nice as it was over the weekend, he said people need to realize getting together in large groups is a mistake.
“Right now the only way that we can defeat this virus, because we have no vaccine and we have no treatment that keeps people out of the hospital, and so the result is the only way we can fight this virus is really by obeying social distancing, obeying the orders that have been put in place,” he said.