coronavirus illinois

1,826 New Cases Lift Illinois Coronavirus Count to 36,934 as Stay-at-Home Order Extended

Illinois' stay-at-home order now extends through the month of May

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Illinois' total number of coronavirus cases climbed to 36,934 Thursday as the statewide stay-at-home order was extended through May.

The state reported 1,826 new cases since Wednesday, which saw the highest daily count since the pandemic began.

There were also 123 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities associated with the virus in the state to 1,688.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced an extension of the state's stay-at-home order Thursday, a new mask requirement starting May 1 and the reopening of several types of businesses.

Almost all of Illinois' 102 counties are now reporting cases as drive-thru testing sites open in several cities.

"Testing will help us know just how widespread the virus is," Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said Wednesday.

Pritzker said this week that models predict coronavirus cases in Illinois may peak later than initially forecast thanks to social distancing and the state's stay-at-home order.

The new stay-at-home order now mandates face coverings for all Illinois residents who must go to public spaces like grocery stores, beginning May 1. It also allows for the reopening of several businesses across the state, as well as golf courses and state parks.

Major Chicago festivals set for May and June have been postponed or canceled, including the Chicago Pride Parade and the city's gospel and blues music festivals. Some locations in the city and its suburbs have started postponing deadlines and even canceling summer camp programs and others canceled both Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations.

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