CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois reported more than 1,900 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the first time the state has surpassed that mark in more than two months, while also reaching a new high in statewide testing.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,941 new confirmed cases of the virus, including 21 additional deaths. It’s the most new cases in a single day since May 24, when IDPH reported 2,508 new cases.
The new cases announced Friday came as IDPH reported 49,782 tests for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest daily testing total since the start of the pandemic, for a one-day positive test rate of 3.9%, which is slightly lower than the 4.3% positive rate on Thursday, when the state announced 1,713 new cases amid 41,134 tests. The seven-day statewide positive test rate for the past week stands at 3.9%, compared to 3.4% one week ago, and 2.6% four weeks ago.
Since the start of the pandemic, the state has reported 178,837 total COVID-19 cases, including 7,495 deaths.
Eleven counties in Illinois — Cass, Gallatin, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Perry, Randolph, Saline, Sangamon, St. Clair, and White — have been placed on a “warning level” for COVID-19, meaning tighter restrictions could be imposed if infection rates and hospitalizations continue to increase.
“These counties saw outbreaks associated with business operations and activities posing higher risk for disease spread, including school graduation ceremonies, a rise in cases among late teens and 20s, parties and social gatherings, people going to bars, long-term care outbreaks, clusters of cases associated with restaurants and churches, and big sports events including soccer, golf, and softball tournaments,” IDPH officials stated in a news release. “Residents of many communities are not wearing face coverings that have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Public health officials are finding that most contacts to cases are testing positive as well.”
Gov. JB Pritzker has said every region of Illinois has seen recent increases in positive test rates and daily cases of the virus, and he warned those on the warning list could see some recently lifted restrictions imposed again if their virus trends don’t improve — such as closing bars, reducing capacity at restaurants and other businesses, and limiting other types of activities.
“I’m very proud of the fact that Illinois still has the best positivity rate in the Midwest, at least among all of our neighboring states. We want to keep it that way, but we need it to go down, and not up,” he said Friday afternoon at a food drive in Downers Grove. “The way we can halt that is wear a mask. That’s the best thing we can do; not all the mitigations of closing bars, or restaurants, or anything else. It’s wearing masks. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t doing that, and they’re not keeping their social distance.”
As of Thursday night, 1,369 virus patients in Illinois were being treated in Illinois hospitals, including 346 in intensive care, and 148 on ventilators. The state’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have been relatively flat since late June.
So far, the vast majority of COVID-19 patients have recovered from the disease, with a 95% statewide recovery rate as of Monday. The state’s recovery rate calculates the number of people who have tested positive for the virus, and have survived at least 42 days after their test.