CHICAGO (CBS) — One day after setting a new record for COVID-19 deaths in a single day, Illinois reported 192 more deaths, the second-most reported in one day so far during the pandemic.
The previous record was the 238 deaths reported on Wednesday, although state officials have acknowledged the figures reported each day could include deaths that happened in earlier days, but were not immediately reported to the state.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a total of 12,830 deaths from the virus so far.
Wednesday also was the deadliest day of the pandemic nationwide, with 2,804 COVID-19 deaths reported in the U.S.
“It is devastating. It’s just devastating for the country, it’s devastating for the state of Illinois, for all of us who are very focused on trying to save people’s lives,” Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday afternoon at his daily coronavirus briefing.
Meantime, Illinois also reported 10,959 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total to 759,562 cases since the start of the pandemic.
While deaths from the virus have continued to trend upward since early October, when a new surge of the pandemic started in Illinois, new cases started trending downward over the past few weeks, although they remain far higher than they were at the start of October.
Illinois is averaging 9,870 new cases per day over the past two weeks, compared to 11,914 per day over the previous two weeks. That’s still more than four times the average of 2,452 cases per day during the first two weeks of October.
The statewide seven-day average case positivity rate in Illinois is now at 10.4%, a slight drop from Wednesday’s rate of 10.6%. The state’s case positivity rate climbed as high as 13.2% during the second wave of the pandemic, which started in early October. The case positivity rate was at only 3.5% on Oct. 1.
As of Wednesday night, 5,653 virus patients were hospitalized in Illinois, including 1,170 patients in intensive care, and 693 patients on ventilators.
While hospitalizations seem to have started trending downward since peaking at 6,175 on Nov. 20, there are still far more COVID-19 patients in the hospital at the start of December than at the start of October.
Illinois is averaging 5,795 coronavirus hospitalizations per day over the last week, nearly four times the 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.
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