CHICAGO (CBS) — Public health officials reported 3,875 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois on Friday, as well as 31 additional deaths, while hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to reach levels not seen since early June.
The new cases announced by the Illinois Department of Public Health account for 4.7% of the 82,256 new tests reported on Friday. The statewide seven-day average positivity rate stands at 5.6%, down only slightly from 5.7% on Thursday, but up from the 3.4% rate reported three weeks ago.
Gov. JB Pritzker has repeatedly said over the past week that Illinois is clearly seeing a second wave of the virus. Four regions of Illinois are now under additional mitigations to try to slow the spread of the disease, and the governor has said every region of Illinois has seen increases in new cases over the past week. Three times in the past nine days, IDPH has reported record numbers of new cases statewide.
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Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 364,033 cases of COVID-19, including 9,418 deaths.
As of Thursday night, 2,498 people in Illinois were hospitalized with COVID-19, the most since June 8, when there were 2,600 virus patients in Illinois hospitals. Over the past seven days, Illinois is averaging 2,249 hospitalizations from the virus per day, compared to 1,874 per day for the previous week.
Meantime, half of the state’s counties are now designated at “warning level” for recent increases in new cases of COVID-19. The 51 counties at warning level include: Adams, Bond, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Edwards, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Henderson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Macon, Macoupin, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rock Island, Saline, Shelby, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago.
Counties are added to the warning list after surpassing two or more designated risk factors for the pandemic, such as having more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people; a 20% or larger weekly increase in deaths for two weeks; a 7-day positivity rate of more than 8%; a 20% or larger weekly increase in emergency department visits or hospital admissions for two weeks; or ICU bed availability of less than 20%.
IDPH said the reasons for the increases in those counties vary, but common factors include gatherings in people’s homes, weddings and funerals, bars and clubs, university and college parties as well as college sports teams, family gatherings, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, schools, and cases among the community at large, especially people in their 20s.
“Public health officials are observing businesses blatantly disregarding mitigation measures, people not social distancing, gathering in large groups, and not using face coverings. Mayors, local law enforcement, state’s attorneys, and other community leaders can be influential in ensuring citizens and businesses follow best practices,” the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement.
So far, the vast majority of coronavirus patients in Illinois have recovered from the disease, with a 97% statewide recovery rate as of Friday. 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.