Illinois health officials on Thursday reported 3,059 new coronavirus cases and 32 additional deaths over the last 24 hours, marking the highest one-day case total since mid-May.
According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Thursday's figures bring the state’s total to 310,700 cases and 8,910 deaths since the pandemic began. Wednesday's 42 deaths marked the deadliest day in the state since June 24.
Illinois health officials said 72,491 new tests were returned to state laboratories over the last 24 hours, just shy of a single-day record. Those tests increase the state’s rolling seven-day positivity rate to 3.7%, up from 3.5% a day earlier.
Hospitalizations in the state also ticked up slightly Thursday, with 1,755 patients currently hospitalized statewide. Of those patients, 392 were in intensive care units, and 163 were on ventilators.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday 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 an update Wednesday, which was delivered virtually as the governor continues to isolate following a staffer's positive test last week.
An NBC 5 Investigates analysis found that cases in Illinois have risen fairly steadily to the point where last week, the state's daily average new caseload topped the 2,000 mark once again.
The state has been inching closer to where it was at the May peak, when cases were raging across the state and Illinois reached a record average high of 2,565 cases per day.
By mid-June, however, Illinois accomplished a major feat as new cases fell all the way down to 596 average daily cases on June 18, according to the analysis.
Chicago has fared better than the state as a whole, and much, much better than neighboring states. Lately, the city’s trendline of daily cases has been rising slightly.
As of Monday, the city reported an average of 325 new coronavirus cases per day – which is less than a third the level of average cases the city saw when the pandemic peaked in Chicago on May 4.
There is reason for concern when it comes to Illinois' daily coronavirus-related deaths, which are averaging 27 fatalities a day.
That trendline has been slowly rising since mid-August, when the city reported an average of 13 deaths per day – so – if this trend continues – the average daily death rate in Illinois has now doubled from its low point seven weeks ago.