Thanks to increased testing efforts, the state of Illinois hit a significant milestone on Tuesday, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
That milestone came as Illinois overtook New York in the number of average coronavirus tests completed per capita. Among the 10 most populous states in the United States, Illinois is now testing more residents per capita than any other, with 1,813 tests per one million people over the last seven days.
New York is just behind Illinois at 1,725 tests per million residents.
Pritzker says he’s thrilled that Illinois has made so much progress in testing, he says it wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of thousands of employees from a wide variety of companies and organizations.
“We aren’t done pushing this number as sky high as we can, but I do want to take a moment to recognize the many individuals and public and private sector organizations that have gotten us to this moment: IDPH and its lab professionals, our raw materials procurement teams; our in-state research university partners; our partner hospitals, health centers and clinics; private testing laboratories; the Illinois National Guard – and of course, the countless healthcare workers doing the patient care on the ground,” he said.
In April, Illinois set a goal to test at least 10,000 residents per day for the virus, and after some hiccups caused by malfunctioning machines and inadequate testing supplies, the state finally hit that mark on April 24, with 16,124 tests conducted in a 24-hour span.
The state has exceeded that mark every day since then, hitting a high of 29,266 tests conducted on May 12.
As more testing has been done, more cases have been reported, but the percentage of positive tests has been declining since April 22.
In all, 621,684 coronavirus tests have been conducted in Illinois since the pandemic began, with 18,443 tests performed in the last 24 hours.
Anyone with symptoms can get a test in Illinois, according to Pritzker. Essential workers, individuals with compromised immune systems, or individuals who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive person can get tested whether or not they have symptoms.