coronavirus illinois

Illinois Reports More Than 15K New Coronavirus Cases, Setting Record for Fourth Day in a Row

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Illinois health officials reported more than 15,000 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases on Friday, setting a record for the highest single-day report of new cases for the fourth consecutive day.

The state reported 15,415 new cases and 27 additional deaths Friday, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. That marked the fourth day in a row Illinois has reported a record high one-day case count and the eighth 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 551,957 since the pandemic began and lifted the death toll to 10,504, IDPH said.

A total of 106,540 new tests were performed over the last 24 hours, which marked a new one-day record, according to state health officials. In all, 8,871,640 tests have been performed during the pandemic.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate continued to climb, reaching 13.2% on Friday. That marks a more than 2-point increase in five days, rising from 12.6% on Thursday, 12.4% on Wednesday, 12% on Tuesday, 11.4% on Monday and 10.6% on Sunday.

The state also saw its hospitalization numbers continue to increase on Friday, with 5,362 residents currently in hospitals due to coronavirus-like illnesses. Of those patients, 990 are currently in intensive care units, and 488 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.

Chicago officials on Thursday issued a stay-at-home advisory and new restrictions on gathering sizes as metrics continue to surge, with Mayor Lori Lightfoot saying the city had reached a "critical point" in the pandemic.

The stay-at-home advisory is set to take effect at 6 a.m. on Monday, officials said.

It asks that residents "only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up take-out food, or receiving deliveries," a statement announcing the advisory reads.

City officials also advise residents not to have gatherings inside their homes with anyone outside of their household, even trusted family and friends, and to avoid all non-essential out-of-state travel. Chicago officials have for months asked that anyone required to travel to or from the list of states on the city's emergency order - now including 43 states - quarantine or test negative prior to arrival in the city, with the requirement depending on the state and the severity of its outbreak.

The stay-at-home advisory also asks that everyone practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others and wearing a face covering at all times, as experts have advised for months.

Cook County followed suit on Friday with its own stay-at-home advisory mirroring Chicago's, applicable to all residents of suburban Cook.

The city also specifically noted that holidays should be celebrated using phone or video chat instead of in-person visits.

In addition to the stay-at-home advisory, Chicago officials also announced new restrictions on gatherings, limiting meetings and social events to 10 people, both indoors and outdoors.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned Thursday that a statewide stay-at-home order may be issued in the coming days if metrics don't turn around.

His warning came after 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, saw 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.

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