Illinois health officials reported 4,342 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, along with 69 additional deaths, as the statewide positivity rate in testing again increased.
In all, 355,217 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the state during the pandemic, according to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths reported Wednesday were the highest since mid-June and brought the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities to 9,345.
In the last 24 hours, 66,791 tests were returned to state laboratories, meaning that the state has performed 6,950,105 total tests during the pandemic.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate increased once again, going up to 5.7%, an increase from the 5.5% reported Tuesday, which was also up from the day before. That number is the highest the state has reported since early June.
According to new data, hospitalizations rates also increased. As of Tuesday evening, 2,338 people were hospitalized with coronavirus, with 502 patients in the ICU and 194 on ventilators.
Wednesday's figures were reported one day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that new restrictions would take effect in four suburban counties to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
Regions 7 (Will and Kankakee counties) and 8 (DuPage and Kane counties) have both exceeded the 8% positivity rate threshold for three consecutive days, automatically triggering enhanced mitigation efforts.
Those increases in positivity rates mean that all indoor dining and bar service will be suspended effective Friday in those four counties, and bars and restaurants will be required to close at 11 p.m., with outdoor service only.
Capacity limits will also be enforced for outdoor seating at those venues, and gatherings of over 25 people will be prohibited under the restrictions. All party buses will also be banned in those four counties.
Region 7 had already been under the enhanced mitigation rules earlier this year, but will now go back to those policies for at least the next two weeks, according to Pritzker’s office.
Region 8 has seen its positivity rate spike dramatically, rising from 5.6% on Oct. 8 to 9% on Oct. 17, the last date for which data is currently available.
Two other Illinois regions are currently under the enhanced mitigation rules, including Region 1 in northwestern Illinois. Region 5, located in southeastern Illinois, will have the new rules go into effect on Thursday as a result of elevated positivity rates.