Illinois Coronavirus Cases Now Total 1,535 With 16 Deaths

The new case total marks a jump from the 1,285 cases reported Monday, and health officials say the number will continue to rise

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At least 1,535 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Illinois, marking an increase of 250 in the last 24 hours, including four new deaths, health officials said Tuesday.

The four new deaths, which lift the state to a total of 16 fatalities associated with the virus, include a Chicago man in his 50s, two Cook County residents in their 60s and a DuPage County resident in her 90s.

Among the new cases is the first diagnosis in Grundy County, which lifts the number of counties reporting coronavirus cases in Illinois to 32. The patients range from younger than 1 year old to 99 years old, health officials said.

March 24 briefing: Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, tears up while discussing four additional coronavirus-related deaths in Illinois, lifting the state total to 16.

The new case total marks a jump from the 1,285 cases reported Monday, and health officials say the number will continue to rise.

"Nationally and here in Illinois, we are beyond the moment where testing alone can be our primary weapon against this virus," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. "We can't just test. We have to treat. It's true that the vast majority of people will recover from COVID-19 without treatment, but what we need to do is make sure our health care system can support those who won't fully recover."

In the March 23 briefing, Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed updates on the state’s plan to meet demand for personal protective equipment.

The uptick comes just days after Illinois began a stay-at-home order aimed at "bending the curve" of increasing cases across the state.

In Chicago, a public health order requires anyone who is showing symptoms or has been diagnosed with coronavirus to stay in their homes, with few exceptions.

We asked Pulmonologist Randy Orr, MD, ICU and Medical Director at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital to take on comments we’ve seen on social media and let us know what’s true and what’s false.

Health officials pointed out Friday that they're working to increase testing capacity by collaborating with hospitals to conduct testing at their facilities.

In addition, the Illinois Department of Public Health is working with federal agencies and retailers such as Wal-Mart, and Walgreens to set up drive-thru testing sites in the hardest hit areas of the state, according to a news release.

Also on Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the statewide schools' closure through April 7, and added he's not certain when schools will be able to safely reopen.

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

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