CHICAGO (CBS) — For the 12th day in a row, Illinois is reporting more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19, as hospitalizations from the coronavirus continue to climb across the state.

The Illinois Department of Public health on Tuesday reported 12,601 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, as well as 97 additional deaths. The state is now averaging 12,381 new cases per day over the past week, as cases have surged since early October, when Illinois averaged 2,052 new cases per day during the first seven days of the month.

Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 597,849 coronavirus cases, including 10,875 deaths.

The statewide seven-day average case positivity rate now stands at 12.5%, down slightly from the 13.2% rate reported on Friday, but still more than triple the case positivity rate of 3.5% at the start of October.

As of Monday night, 5,887 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Illinois, a new record. The state’s hospitalization numbers have risen every day for more than three weeks, and have been above 5,000 for seven days in a row, after never reaching that level during the first wave of the pandemic.

Illinois is averaging 5,431 coronavirus hospitalizations per day over the last week, up from an average of about 1,500 per day at the start of October. During the first wave of the pandemic, the state peaked at an average of 4,822 hospitalizations per day in early May.

On Tuesday, Gov. JB Pritzker joined his fellow governors from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin in urging everyone across the Midwest to protect themselves, their families, health care workers, and small business owners from the virus by doubling down on wearing masks and social distancing heading into the holidays and the cold winter months.

“For eight months, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated American families everywhere. To fight this virus, governors across the country have listened to medical experts, stepped up, and worked around the clock to protect our families, the brave men and women on the front lines, and our small business owners. And no matter the action we take, we understand that our fight against COVID-19 will be more effective when we work together,” the governors said in a joint statement. “That is why this group of bipartisan governors is joining forces today to urge families across our region, and Americans everywhere, to do their part to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19. When it comes to fighting this virus, we are all on the same team.”

In a video posted on YouTube, the governor said, with the first vaccines almost ready to be distributed to frontline workers before the end of the year, people should follow the advice of medical experts and celebrate Thanksgiving safely by getting together with their families by Zoom to avoid spreading the virus.

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