The state of Illinois continued a recent upward trend in coronavirus cases on Wednesday, hitting its highest single-day mark of new cases of the virus since late January.
According to data released by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state recorded 5,178 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, the highest single-day increase in cases since Jan. 22, when 7,042 cases were reported.
Wednesday marked the first time since Jan. 23 that the state had reported 5,000 or more new confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases.
In all, 1,528,120 probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Illinois since the pandemic began last year.
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Officials say 26 additional deaths have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total during the pandemic to 23,979.
Testing has continued to increase in recent weeks, with 95,966 new test samples being returned to state labs in the last 24 hours. In all, nearly 29 million COVID tests have been performed in Illinois since the pandemic began.
The new numbers are the continuation of a trend that began back in mid-July, when the state began consistently reporting more than 1,000 new cases per day after not having hit that number a single time since late May.
Since Aug. 14, the state has exceeded the 4,000 new cases per day plateau on a total of eight days, including the last two days in a row.
There is one bit of good news in the data, as the state is seeing an overall decline in its positivity rates on COVID tests. Since hitting a peak of 5.96% on Aug. 18, the state has seen its positivity rate on all tests decline to 5.37%, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Even still, other COVID metrics remain on the rise, with hospitalizations at their highest level since early February, with 2,242 individuals hospitalized because of COVID in the state. Of those patients, 512 are currently in intensive care units, with 283 patients on ventilators. Those statistics are also the highest the state has seen since early February.