As Illinois prepares to enter its fourth week of a stay-at-home order, the state saw its highest single-day spike in cases of the pandemic so far.
As of Friday, the total number of cases sat at 27,575, an increase of 1,842 in the last 24 hours. An additional 62 deaths were also reported, bring the statewide death toll to 1,134.
"It's never encouraging to see a number go up and not down," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, noting, however, that testing across the state also increased, a factor that attributed to the spike in cases.
"We didn't think we were at our peak yet," Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Friday. "Given that we expected cases to rise."
Ezike added that, despite the rise, she doesn't believe Illinois has reached its peak.
The news comes one day after Illinois saw its deadliest day of the coronavirus crisis so far.
Pritzker also announced Friday that schools across the state would remain closed for the rest of the school year.
Illinois remains under a stay-at-home order until April 30 but Pritzker said a decision on whether it will be extended into May is coming. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers extended the state order to May 26 on Thursday and Indiana's governor pushed his state's order to May 1.
Illinois health officials have said data shows the curve of cases is beginning to flatten.
Still, multiple Chicago suburbs are now requiring masks in public places like grocery stores and Pritzker has said he is "seriously considering" making it a statewide requirement.
Despite the latest rise in cases, both Illinois and Chicago officials say the data indicates the "doubling rate" citywide and statewide appears to be slowing.
"To be clear, there is nothing good about twice as many people having this virus, or worse, dying from it, no matter how long the increase takes," Pritzker said Tuesday. "But we won’t get to zero cases overnight."
More than 100,000 people have already been tested statewide for the coronavirus.
Even still, Pritzker and other officials have warned the public to continue abiding by social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders.
"We still have a ways to go," Ezike said Wednesday.
Officials say more than 90 of the state's 102 counties have now reported cases of the virus.
Chicago and Cook County remain the areas hardest hit by the virus.
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