CHICAGO (CBS) — Public health officials reported nearly 7,000 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois on Friday, the second day in a row the state has set a record for daily cases, as Gov. JB Pritzker announced indoor dining and bar service will be banned in yet another region of the state.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 6,943 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Friday, a new high. The previous record was 6,363 new cases reported on Thursday.
The new case record comes as IDPH also reported 95,111 new tests on Friday, also a new high for Illinois. The previous record for tests in a single day was 87,759 on Oct. 16. The statewide seven-day average case positivity rates is up to 7.3%, the first time the state has surpassed 7% since early June, and the highest that rate has been since May 29, when it was 8%.
Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 402,401 cases of COVID-19, including 9,711 deaths. IDPH reported 36 new deaths on Friday.
As of Thursday night, 3,092 virus patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, including 673 patients in intensive care, and 288 on ventilators. Those numbers are all the highest they’ve been since early June.
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Meantime, Region 6 in east-central Illinois will face tougher COVID-19 restrictions starting Monday, after the area’s average test positivity rate surpassed 8% for three days in a row. The new mitigations include a ban on indoor service at bars and restaurants; a limit of the lesser of 25 people or 25% room capacity for public gatherings; shutting down party buses; and requiring bars, restaurants and casinos to close at 11 p.m. Reservations also will be required for all guests at bars and restaurants.
With the new mitigations coming to Region 6 (Iroquois, Ford, Dewitt, Piatt, Champaign, Vermillion, Macon, Moultrie, Douglas, Edgar, Shelby, Coles, Cumberland, Clark, Fayette, Effingham, Jasper, Crawford, Clay, Richland, and Lawrence counties), all but one of the 11 regions in Illinois are either currently under tougher restrictions, or will be by Monday.
“We are on the precipice of the entire state entering into mitigation,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “These last few regions have seen rapid increases in test positivity, one right after another, because of increasing disease spread throughout our communities. We need all people to adhere to both the community mitigation measures and well as personal and family measures so we can swiftly turn our entire state around.”
Only Region 2 in north-central Illinois near Peoria has yet to face extra restrictions, although its positivity rate has now surpassed 8%, and the rate stays at 8% or higher for two more days, it will trigger those mitigations.
“Statewide, we have a real problem on our hands, and people’s lives hang in the balance,” Gov. Pritzker said on Thursday at his most recent coronavirus briefing. The governor is scheduled to give his daily briefing on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
COVID cases also continue to rise in Indiana, which reported its second highest case count (3,205) on Friday, after Thursday’s record of more than 3,600 cases. There were 26 additional deaths.
The five-county Northwest Indiana region did set back-to-back case records with Friday’s 463 cases topping the 445 cases on Thursday. The region’s positivity rate reached double digits (10.2%) for the first time since May when the state was conducting far fewer tests daily.