Illinois reported more than 1,900 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, ending July with the highest daily increase of the month as the state simultaneously set a testing record.
With 1,941 new cases in the last 24 hours, the state's total number of cases since the pandemic began rose to 178,837, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. An 21 additional deaths also lift the total number of fatalities to 7,495.
"We're at a danger point, everybody," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday morning while speaking in Peoria County, which reached "warning level" for coronavirus last week. "Pay attention. Now is the time to wear your mask properly."
At the same time, officials reported nearly 50,000 new coronavirus test specimens turned into state labs over the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to more than 2.6 million during the ongoing pandemic. The 49,782 new tests mark the highest single-day test results since the state started reporting such numbers.
Still, the state’s seven-day positivity rate climbed slightly to 3.9% after holding steady at 3.8% throughout the week.
As of Thursday evening, 1,369 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois, health officials said. Of those, 346 were in intensive care units and 148 were on ventilators.
Pritzker on Wednesday warned a downstate region once again that it was particularly close to seeing added restrictions.
That region is Region 4, the Metro East region downstate that includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties and borders St. Louis, Missouri.
"Last week, I mentioned that while we were seeing a concerning rolling 7-day average positivity rate of 7.1% in the Metro East, the rest of our 11 regions all fell below 5%," Pritzker said, referring to his coronavirus briefing the previous Wednesday.
"As of Tuesday’s data update, the Metro East was hitting a 7.8% rate, and with the Metro East included, we now have six regions with a positivity rate above 5%," he continued.
Pritzker also announced Wednesday a change in guidance for Illinois sports, forcing season changes at several schools.