Illinois health officials reported 8,922 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases on Wednesday, lifting the statewide total to more than 600,000 cases since the pandemic began, and 140 additional deaths.
Wednesday's data from the Illinois Department of Public Health marked the first time the number of new cases in the state fell below 10,000 in 13 days. The newly reported figures brought the total number of cases in the state to 606,771 since the pandemic began and lifted the death toll to 11,014, IDPH said.
A total of 103,569 new tests were performed over the last 24 hours, according to state health officials. In all, 9,359,227 tests have been performed during the pandemic.
The state’s rolling seven-day average positivity rate dropped to 11.9, falling below 12% for the first time in more than a week.
The positivity rate was 12.5% on Tuesday and Monday, which was down from 12.8% on Sunday. The rate was 12.6% on Saturday, 13.2% on Friday, 12.6% on Thursday, 12.4% on Nov. 11 and 12% on Nov. 10. It was 11.4% the previous day and 10.6% on Nov. 8.
The state saw its hospitalization numbers increase again Wednesday, with 5,953 residents currently in hospitals due to coronavirus-like illnesses, an increase of more than 100 patients in the last 24 hours. Of those patients, 1,146 are currently in intensive care units, and 547 are on ventilators.
Wednesday's update came one day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that all of Illinois will enter Tier 3 coronavirus mitigations under the state's plan.
Beginning Friday, new guidelines will be in place for retailers, gyms, hotels, restaurants, bars and more, according to state officials.
“To stop this spread and preserve some semblance of the holidays, all of us need to do more than just wear our masks now – though masks are mandatory throughout the state. The simple fact is that COVID-19 is spreading so quickly and so widely, and our hospitals are beginning to experience real strain and at the current infection rate they will be overwhelmed. So whenever possible, we need you to stay home,”Pritzker said in a statement. “I’m hopeful that by limiting our in-person interactions, we will succeed at avoiding a stay at home order like what we had in the spring – when the choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods was even more stark. Tier 3 may allow us to do both. Like in other states like Michigan and California and Washington, it’s our best effort to avoid a stay-at-home order and save lives.”
Pritzker said Illinois' coronavirus growth is now exponential in every region of the state, statewide positivity rate is at record highs and hospitalizations have surpassed the spring peak.
While the latest round of mitigations does not include a stay at home order, Pritzker warned that another order may be required.