illinois coronavirus

Ezike: Chicago, Cook County Has Taken the ‘Biggest Hit' During COVID-19 Second Wave

More than 99,000 people in suburban Cook County have been diagnosed with coronavirus as Chicago's mayor said the city reached a "critical point"

In this Nov. 12, 2020, file photo, residents check in for a COVID-19 test at a test site run by CORE at St. Benedict the African Catholic Church in the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Illinois' top doctor said Friday that based on metrics from the health department, Chicago and Cook County have been hit the hardest in the second wave of coronavirus.

Illinois Department of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike said the second wave of COVID-19 is hitting each part of the state in different ways as seen in cases, deaths and hospitalizations data.

"This wave two is really hitting in a different way," Ezike said. "Regions 10 and 11, Cook County and Chicago specifically, really took the biggest hit."

Ezike explained data shows Chicago and Cook County have not likely hit their peak coronavirus metrics, but other parts of the state like Region 7 have already peaked.

"1 through 6, they've already exceeded what they say in wave one," Ezike said.

Ezike added that though Chicago has seen a rapid increase of numbers, area hospitals are working together to combat the virus in a collaborative effort. In areas outside Chicago, however, hospitals have taken on a more competitive nature working to individually handle the pandemic.

Cook County issued a stay-at-home advisory Friday, urging residents to only leave home for essential activities to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The guidelines for residents of suburban Cook County are in alignment with the city of Chicago's advisory that was issued the day before. Both take effect at 6 a.m. Monday and will last at least 30 days, officials said.

County officials said Friday that more than 99,000 people in suburban Cook County have been diagnosed with coronavirus, with positivity rates in testing standing at 15%.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a similar advisory on Thursday, saying the city had reached a "critical point" in the second surge of the coronavirus pandemic.

The advisory, which was issued alondside other restrictions, "calls on all Chicagoans to follow clear measures to protect their community and help us flatten the curve."

Nov. 13: Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers daily coronavirus update for Illinois, announcing a moratorium on evictions as a second surge of the virus takes hold on the state.

Illinois health officials reported more than 15,000 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases on Friday, setting a record for the highest single-day report of new cases for the fourth consecutive day.

The state reported 15,415 new cases and 27 additional deaths Friday, according to data from IDPH. That marked the fourth day in a row Illinois has reported a record high one-day case count and the eighth consecutive day in which the state has seen more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases.

Those figures brought the total number of cases in the state to 551,957 since the pandemic began and lifted the death toll to 10,504, IDPH said.

A total of 106,540 new tests were performed over the last 24 hours, which marked a new one-day record, according to state health officials. In all, 8,871,640 tests have been performed during the pandemic.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate continued to climb, reaching 13.2% on Friday. That marks a more than 2-point increase in five days, rising from 12.6% on Thursday, 12.4% on Wednesday, 12% on Tuesday, 11.4% on Monday and 10.6% on Sunday.

The state also saw its hospitalization numbers continue to increase on Friday, with 5,362 residents currently in hospitals due to coronavirus-like illnesses. Of those patients, 990 are currently in intensive care units, and 488 are on ventilators.

All three statistics are the highest metrics the state has seen in their respective categories since the first peak in COVID-19 cases earlier this year.

Ninety-six counties in Illinois are now at a "warning level" for coronavirus, the state's health department added Friday.

The warning means each of the counties saw increases in two or more COVID-19 "risk indicators," the health department said.

The counties now under a warning include: Adams, Alexander, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Cook, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lawrence, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Massac, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Moultrie,  Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike,  Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, St. Clair, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago, Woodford. The city of Chicago is also on the list.

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