296 New Coronavirus Cases in Illinois, Statewide Total Now at 1,049

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An additional 296 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Illinois, health officials said Sunday, increasing the statewide total to 1,049.

State officials also reported three additional deaths. A Cook County man in his 80s, a Chicago man in his 80s, and a McLean County woman in her 70s were among those who died after testing positive for the virus.

Officials say that an infant was among the nearly 300 new coronavirus cases confirmed by state officials on Sunday.

Cases are now being reported in Jo Daviess, Livingston, Rock Island and Stephenson counties, bringing the total number of impacted counties across the state to 30.

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.

Sunday marks the first full day of a 'stay-at-home' order issued by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Similar orders have been issued in California and even in suburban Oak Park where a shelter-in-place order went into effect Friday.

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 753 cases reported as of Saturday, 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, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Madison, McHenry, McLean, Peoria, Sangamon, St. Clair, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago 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 Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the statewide schools' closure through April 7, and added he's not certain when schools will be able to safely reopen.

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

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