163 New Coronavirus Cases in Illinois, Bringing Total to 585

One additional death was reported Friday, bringing the statewide total to five

An additional 163 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Illinois, health officials said Friday, increasing the statewide total to 585.

The news comes as the state also reported one more death associated with the virus, bringing the total of deaths associated with the virus to five. The newly-reported death is a Cook County woman in her 70s, health officials said.

As of Friday afternoon, patients ranging in age from 3 to 99 years old, have been reported in 25 counties.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker also announced a statewide stay-at-home order — a drastic measure aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus. The order is expected to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and last through April 7.

In his coronavirus briefing on Thursday, March 19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced three additional coronavirus-related deaths in Illinois, bringing the number of state fatalities to four.

Similar orders have been issued in California and even in suburban Oak Park where a shelter-in-place order went into effect Friday.

In addition to the newly-announced stay-at-home order, restaurants, bars and schools all remain shut down during the pandemic.

In Chicago, a public health order requires anyone who is showing symptoms or has been diagnosed with coronavirus to stay in their homes, with few exceptions.

We asked Pulmonologist Randy Orr, MD, ICU and Medical Director at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital to take on comments we’ve seen on social media and let us know what’s true and what’s false.

The latest statewide number marks a jump from the total of 422 cases reported as of Thursday, and health officials said they expect the number will continue to climb.

Cases have so far been reported in Chicago as well as Adams, Christian, Champaign, Clinton, Cook, Cumberland, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Madison, McHenry, McLean, Peoria, Sangamon, St. Clair, Whiteside, Winnebago, Will and Woodford counties. 

Health officials pointed out Friday that they're working to increase testing capacity by collaborating with hospitals to conduct testing at their facilities.

In addition, the Illinois Department of Public Health is working with federal agencies and retailers such as Wal-Mart, and Walgreens to set up drive-thru testing sites in the hardest hit areas of the state, according to a news release.

On Thursday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed a series of actions to help bars and restaurants days after he issued an order restricting bars and restaurants from serving dine-in customers through March 30th. Restaurants remain open for takeout and delivery.

Gov. Pritzker announced Monday that mandatory gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled in accordance with new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For a list of Chicago-area closures and cancellations, click here.

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