Illinois health officials again reported more than 12,000 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a record for the highest single-day report of new cases for the third consecutive day.
The state reported 12,702 new cases and 43 additional deaths Thursday, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. That marked the third day in a row Illinois has reported a record high one-day case count and the seventh consecutive day in which the state has seen more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases.
Those figures brought the total number of cases in the state to 536,542 since the pandemic began and lifted the death toll to 10,477, IDPH said.
A total of 100,617 new tests were performed over the last 24 hours, according to state health officials. In all, 8,765,100 tests have been performed during the pandemic.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate continued to climb, reaching 12.6% on Thursday. That marks a full 2-point increase in four days, rising from 12.4% on Wednesday, which was up from 12% on Tuesday, 11.4% on Monday and 10.6% on Sunday.
The state also saw its hospitalization numbers continue to increase on Thursday, with 5,258 residents currently in hospitals due to coronavirus-like illnesses. Of those patients, 956 are currently in intensive care units, and 438 are on ventilators.
All three statistics are the highest metrics the state has seen in their respective categories since the first peak in COVID-19 cases earlier this year.
State health officials on Wednesday issued new guidance recommending that all residents "stay home as much as possible, leaving only for necessary and essential activities, such as work that must be performed outside the home, COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy, and buying groceries."
IDPH also recommended everyone work with employers to work from home unless necessary to be in the workplace and issued another warning that "attending even small gatherings that mix households or traveling to areas that are experiencing high rates of positivity, is not advised and is potentially dangerous."
Enhanced coronavirus restrictions also took effect Wednesday in several Illinois regions as metrics continue to rise.
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 see the new mitigations limiting group sizes, among other restrictions.
All 11 regions in the state are currently under some form of enhanced mitigations, including the closure of indoor dining and bar service as well as limitations on gathering sizes and more.