Illinois health officials on Tuesday reported 2,851 new coronavirus cases and 29 additional deaths over the last 24 hours, lifting the statewide death toll over 9,000.
According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Tuesday's figures bring the state’s totals to 324,743 cases and 9,026 deaths since the pandemic began.
“After nine months of battling this virus and hearing the updates each day, many of us forget that the hospitalizations and deaths are more than just numbers,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “They are our family, friends, and loved ones who have been directly impacted by COVID-19, which continues to spread. You can help slow the spread and reduce the number of people who become sick with COVID-19 by wearing your mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance.”
Nearly 56,000 tests were reported Tuesday, bringing the state's seven-day positivity rate to 4.5%.
As of Monday night, 1,848 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 406 patients were in the ICU and 160 patients were on ventilators.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week that while many of the state's healthcare regions were seeing "promising declines," "that progress has cooled."
"We are seeing changes in positivity averages around the state level off, with three regions that were decreasing last week now sitting at a stable level," he said during a virtual update last Wednesday.
Still, on Friday state health officials loosened the stricter mitigations that had been in place for weeks in Region 4, allowing the area to return to phase four guidelines Friday afternoon as positivity rates declined there.
“More than 9,000 Illinoisans — our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, family, friends, and neighbors — have had their lives cut short by COVID-19, leaving tens of thousands more to grieve loved ones lost too soon,” Pritzker said in a statement Tuesday. “As we pause today to mourn these individual and collective losses, may we find strength in the tools we have to protect our communities: wearing a mask, watching our distance, and respecting public health and each other. My heart breaks for all those who have lost a loved one in this battle we never asked to fight – may their memories be for a blessing.”