The first COVID-19 case in Illinois was announced two years ago Monday, on Jan. 24, 2020, according to state health officials.
The case was detected in a Chicago resident in her 60s who returned from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the first coronavirus outbreak, the Illinois Department of Public Health said at the time.
The woman was hospitalized at Saint Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates and released in early February.
In a news release Monday, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of IDPH, said when the first case was announced, "We were not imagining that two years later we would still be battling the virus with this ferocity."
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Since then, a total of 2,873,861 COVID cases as well as 30,155 confirmed deaths have been reported in Illinois.
"We have learned a great deal in the two years since the first case was reported in Illinois, and we continue to learn as this virus and its variants are constantly changing," Ezike stated.
Even though Illinois reported the highest number of cases and hospitalizations of the entire pandemic this month, the IDPH director and state health officials are "cautiously optimistic that those numbers will continue to decrease as quickly as they rose due to the omicron variant.”