coronavirus illinois

Illinois' Daily Coronavirus Cases Up 380% Compared to Oct. 1, Pritzker Says

In the last 24 hours, Illinois reported 10,573 new cases, marking the fourth consecutive day above 10,000

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Illinois' average daily coronavirus case numbers have increased nearly 380% since Oct. 1, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday.

In the last 24 hours, Illinois reported 10,573 new cases, marking the fourth consecutive day above 10,000. The state is expected to top 500,000 cases for the pandemic so far Tuesday.

It's important to note, however, that the state recently changed its reporting of daily cases, adding in "probable" cases, which include positive results from rapid antigen tests in the state.

Still, statewide test positivity is up more than 180% in the last five weeks and hospitalizations and deaths are each up more than 150% for the same time period, Pritzker said.

"The virus is winning right now," he told residents during his daily coronavirus press briefing Monday.

According to data from the state's health department analyzed by NBC 5 Investigates, Illinois took 86 days to increase from 100,000 to 200,000 cases. It then took 51 days to rise from 200,000 to 300,000 cases. That number dropped to 27 days for 300,000 to 400,000 cases.

At its current rate, it would only take 11 days for Illinois to go from 400,000 to 500,000 cases.

Along with the increases in cases and positivity rates, the state has also seen a continued rise in hospitalizations due to the virus.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 4,409 patients are currently hospitalized statewide due to coronavirus or COVID-19-like illnesses. Of those patients, 857 are currently in intensive care units as a result of the virus.

Those numbers represent a steady increase that the state has seen since the beginning of October, and are beginning to near the record highs that the state saw in late April and early May.

The 4,409 current hospitalizations are the most the state has seen since May 13, according to IDPH data. The high watermark for hospitalizations during the pandemic came on April 28, when 5,037 patients were in hospitals due to the virus.

The 857 patients in intensive care units are the most the state has recorded since May 31. The record-high in that category came on April 28, when 1,290 patients were in ICU’s.

Several Illinois regions are now set to enter even tighter mitigations to curb the spread of coronavirus in both southern Illinois and part of the Chicago area.

Regions 5, 7 and 8, which include Will, Kankakee, Kane and DuPage counties in Illinois, as well as the southern part of the state, are set to enter Tier 2 mitigations Wednesday.

"The situation has worsened considerably in certain areas of the state, with massive increases in the rates of community transmission specifically in three regions," Pritzker said.

Tier 2 adds further gathering size limitations and reduces table sizes for restaurants and bars to a maximum of six, among other restrictions for sports and recreational events.

Already all of Illinois is under increased mitigations imposed by the state on a region-by-region basis. The restrictions follow a three-tiered plan, the first of which eliminated indoor dining at restaurants, reduced gathering sizes and more.

Region 1 has been under Tier 2 mitigations since late last month.

Pritzker warned last week that the Illinois Department of Public Health is "looking at proposing further regional and statewide restrictions because the rise in cases and hospitalizations is unsustainable."

As of Monday, Region 5 was seeing an average positivity rate of 11.5%, well above the 8% threshold the state requires for heightened mitigations to be issued and nearly double the 6.5% required for mitigations to be lifted. In mid-June, Region 5 had a positivity rate of just 1.3%.

"On average, today, more than twice as many COVID-19 patients enter a hospital each day in Region 5 than in late August – the summer peak," Pritzker said.

In addition, Regions 7 and 8 have a positivity rate above 13%, with one in every seven tests in those areas coming back positive, Pritzker said.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he can't make any guarantees that Illinois won't see a stay-at-home order in the coming weeks if the state's coronavirus metrics continue to rise.
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