Illinois Coronavirus Cases Now Total 1,865 With 19 Deaths

The new case total marks a jump of 330 in 24 hours, and health officials say the number will continue to rise

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One month from when Illinois' first coronavirus case was first reported in January, the state is now reporting at least 1,865 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Illinois.

The number marks an increase of 330 in the last 24 hours, including three new deaths, health officials said Wednesday. It also comes on the fourth day of the state's stay-at-home order, which remains in effect until April 7.

The latest fatalities include a Kane County man in his 90s, a Cook County man in his 60s and a Will County woman in her 50s, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Cases have now been reported in 35 counties, including the first cases in Douglas, Marshall and Morgan counties. Patients range in age from less than 1 year old to 99 years old.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she will not hesitate to shut down Chicago’s lakefront and warned of possible citations for those not heeding the state’s stay-at-home order.

Officials noted that two correctional officers and a man incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center tested positive as well as a contractual worker at Sheridan Correctional Center.

The Sheridan facility was placed on a 14-day lockdown.

"Unfortunately, the pandemic in the US and of course here in Illinois will get worse before it gets better, we understand that," Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health said.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, authorities and the city's mayor are urging residents to stay indoors despite warmer weather.

"In the face of this global pandemic we all must play our part in flattening the curve locally, and that means staying at home as much as possible during this time," she said. "I want to be clear we are not saying that you cannot go outdoors but everyone must implement social distancing when doing so and exercise increased caution."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned she may soon shut down the city's lakefront due to large crowds seen Wednesday and the city's police department may begin issuing citations for those not complying with the order.

Also 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.

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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