Illinois has seven new confirmed cases of coronavirus, health officials announced Thursday, bringing the state's total to 32.
"The young child in Chicago is a reminder that anyone can be infected with this virus," IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
Among the new cases is a child, who is said to be in good condition at home.
The update came from the Illinois Department of Public Health during the state's daily coronavirus press briefing.
“The virus is here in Illinois. While it may not be in your community now, we anticipate it will be eventually. We all need to take action now by postponing large events and restricting visits to nursing homes to limit the spread,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “Guidance for this novel virus is changing day by day, sometimes hour by hour, but we want to empower people to think about what they can do to reduce their risk of possible infection, as well as spread of the virus."
The new cases include:
• 40s - female
• Youth - male
• 70s - male
• 70s - female
• 70s – female
• 50s - male
• 60s - man
Health officials said they are still investigating the travel histories of the newest cases and any potential contacts.
At the same time, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced a ban on all large gatherings of 1,000 people or more in Illinois. Pritzker also asked that all gatherings of 250 people or more also be postponed amid the outbreak.
The ban will be in effect until May 1.
"Don't be fooled into thinking your community is immune. It is not," Pritzker said.
Health officials said 29 percent of the 32 cases in Illinois are travel-related, 44 percent are due to contacts with a coronavirus patient and the remaining cases "do not have a clear connection and could be the result of spread in the community." They noted there are no deaths associated with coronavirus in Illinois so far.
The update follows Wednesday's news that six new cases were identified in Illinois, all of which were in Cook County and one in Lake County.
Already this week, Chicago and state officials announced the city's St. Patrick's Day parades and iconic river dyeing have been postponed amid coronavirus concerns.
The postponement of the festivities come as several other major events around the city and U.S. are canceled or suspended.
Major League Baseball announced Thursday it has canceled the rest of its spring training game schedule and delayed the start of the season by at least two weeks. The National Hockey League also said it is pausing its season, following the NBA in doing the same. The NCAA also announced the cancellation of the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments.
State officials have been urging people, particularly elderly residents, to avoid mass gatherings in the area.
Pritzker, who on Monday declared a disaster proclamation in the state, said he has demanded the state receiving more testing kits as soon as possible.