The number of coronavirus deaths in Illinois hit a grim milestone Wednesday, topping 100 as confirmed cases across the state grew by nearly 1,000.
The now 6,980 cases marks a spike of 986 confirmed results and 42 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Illinois' total number of fatalities now sits at 141.
Additional deaths were reported in Carroll, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Sangamon, Will and Winnebago counties.
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 first cases were reported Wednesday in Massac and Vermillion counties.
"No, there’s not a vaccine yet, and there isn’t a specific treatment, but what we have is science telling us that social distancing works, and it’s our best strategy to get on the other side of this unprecedented event," Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of IDPH, said Wednesday.
The state has been under a stay-at-home order for almost two weeks 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 one to two 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.