coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Spike to Nearly 6K, with 99 Deaths as Illinois Stay-at-Home Order Extended

Illinois stay-at-home order is now in effect until April 30

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Illinois' confirmed coronavirus cases now total nearly 6,000 with close to 100 fatalities as the state extends its stay-at-home order through the end of April.

The total number of cases - 5,994 - marks a spike of 937 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Across the state, 99 fatalities have been associated with the virus, an increase of 26 from one day earlier. Additional deaths were reported in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McLean, Morgan, St. Clair and Will counties.

March 31 briefing: Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces the extension of Illinois’ stay-at-home order.

"We did know these numbers would increase," Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said. "We also know that all the illness is not reflected in these numbers because of the limits of testing."

With the newly confirmed cases, more than 50 of the state's 102 counties have now reported at least one confirmed case of the virus.

The state has been under a stay-at-home order for 10 days already and Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday the order will continue until April 30.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city cases are expected to peak in the "coming weeks." She previously warned the city could see upwards of 40,000 hospitalizations and as U.S. health experts worry Cook County could become one of the nation's next hotspots.

"Forty thousand hospitalizations. Not 40,000 cases, but 40,000 people who require acute care in a hospital setting," Lightfoot said. "That number will break our healthcare system... This will push our city to the brink."

Illinois saw its biggest one-day jump in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began Sunday, with 1,105 new cases.

By Monday, the total number of cases statewide had topped 5,000 with more than 70 deaths.

Although the number of new cases reported Monday was nearly half those seen Sunday, both Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that is not an indication that cases have peaked.

Already, the state is bringing back online once-shuttered hospitals and working to prepare Chicago's McCormick Place convention center into an alternate care facility for patients with mild symptoms.

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

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