Even though the state of Illinois is still seeing a rising number of coronavirus cases, Governor J.B. Pritzker says that a dropping infection rate represents good news in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.
During his Saturday press availability, Pritzker was asked why state officials were still seeing increasing numbers of cases of the virus, with 2,450 new cases reported Saturday alone, and he said that although total cases are going up, the percentage of positive tests is continuing to drop.
“It really is a function of doing more testing,” he said. “In fact, what you’ll find is a lower infection rate. If you do the math here of how many tests done as a denominator and how many positives as a numerator, you’ll see that we’ve come down on average, from what was around 21 or 22 percent infection rate to something in the high teens.”
A closer look at the numbers reveals what Pritzker was referencing. The data, available on the state’s coronavirus website, shows the percentage of people of tests that resulted in positive COVID-19 diagnoses gradually increased during the month of April, peaking at 21.4 percent on April 22.
Since that date however, the percentage has gradually declined. As of May 2, 19.5 percent of coronavirus tests have resulted in positive test results, according to state data.
The percentage of positive tests per day has also largely declined since April 21, when 23.4 percent of tests returned positive results. After a brief uptick on Thursday and Friday, Saturday saw 16.1 percent of tests come back positive.
Still other data is showing that the number of available ventilators in the state has gradually increased, with 2,383 ventilators available as of Friday. 21 percent of the state’s ventilators are currently being used by COVID-19 patients, and 64.5 percent of the state’s ventilators are available for doctors to use if patients require them.