The state of Illinois reported more than 11,000 new confirmed and probable COVID cases on Thursday afternoon, with the spike in cases coming as the state posted the results of nearly a quarter of a million new COVID tests.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID data tracker, the state reported 11,524 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID on Thursday, the most the state had seen in a single day since Dec. 1, 2020.
An IDPH spokesperson says that the new case numbers could potentially be linked to holiday gatherings and travel.
“While we are also reporting a record high number of tests across the entire pandemic, our test positivity rate is also high,” the spokesperson told NBC 5. “Thanksgiving was one week ago, and we are starting to see cases associated with family gatherings and travel.”
The last time the state saw a single-day increase of this magnitude in new cases came on Dec. 1, 2020, when 12,542 new cases of the virus were reported.
In the last 24 hours, the state also reported a staggering 231,876 new tests results from laboratories, the most ever entered into the data portal in a single day. An IDPH spokesperson told NBC 5 that lags in reporting, potentially linked to the holiday weekend, played a factor in that new record.
“There may be lags in reporting by laboratories over the long holiday weekend, and we could see those results being reported now,” the spokesperson said.
The more than 231,000 new test results smashed the single-day record, which had been set on Sept. 30 when 180,411 results were returned from state laboratories.
The new results also abruptly reversed a downward trend in new results being reported, lifting the seven-day daily average from just over 100,000 to more than 114,000, according to IDPH data.
Even with the massive influx of new test results, the state’s positivity rate ticked upward slightly. The new positivity rate on all tests came in at 4.7%, while the positivity rate on individuals tested increased to 5.7%.
Thursday’s new cases did cause the state’s seven-day average of new cases to increase, rising to 5,313 per day over that span. That average is still well-behind what the state was seeing last December, when the Dec. 1 case numbers caused the seven-day average to rise to 9,251 per day.
Hospitalizations and ICU usage among COVID patients also remain high, with IDPH saying that 505 COVID patients are currently in intensive care unit beds. That is the highest number the state has seen since the height of the delta variant-driven surge in cases in mid-September.
On Tuesday, the last date for which there is data, there were 2,458 COVID patients hospitalized across the state, the highest number reported since late January.