NBC 5 Investigates’ Monday update brings the highest one-week death toll for Illinois, as well as for the Chicago area’s largest counties. But amidst all that tragedy, there may be a few small positive signs.
In Illinois, 555 peopled died as a result of the coronavirus over the past seven days – fueled in part by two days that tied our highest one-day death toll so far.
Those 555 fatalities surpass the total from a week ago — last Monday — when Illinois saw 487 people succumb to this virus over the previous week.
Similarly, we just saw the worst week for coronavirus-related deaths in the Chicago hardest-hit counties:
- Cook County – 372 fatalities this past week; 334 the week before
- Lake County, Illinois – 37 fatalities this past week; 30 the week before
- Lake County, Indiana – 21 fatalities this past week; 18 the week before
But amidst all of that tragedy there is one possible bit of hope you can find, if you look carefully at NBC 5 Investigates’ bar chart of fatalities.
Look at Illinois’ totals and you’ll see that last Monday, those 487 deaths more-than-doubled the state’s fatalities, in one week. But this Monday, even as the number of deaths is higher, it falls short of doubling the previous week’s total. That’s a sign – however small – that the curve might be flattening.
There are similar signs of possible hope in a few local areas’ counts of newly-reported coronavirus cases.
Check out the drop in cases — three days in a row — for all of Illinois, for the city of Chicago and Cook County. The new federal guidelines say we need to see a "downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period," so perhaps this is the beginning of such a trajectory – at least in a few places.
However, some other Chicago-area counties saw fairly sharp increases over the weekend in total cases, including Boone and McHenry Counties in Illinois, Lake County in Indiana and Rock County in Wisconsin.
That begs the question: Do we need to see a consistent downward trajectory everywhere in the greater Chicago area before we can begin to re-open things here?