Illinois health officials on Thursday reported more than 4,000 new coronavirus cases, a record high one-day total, as well as 53 additional deaths.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 4,015 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday, setting a new record and bringing statewide totals to 331,620 cases. The 53 additional deaths brought the total number of fatalities to 9,127 deaths since the pandemic began.
A total of 67,086 tests were performed in the previous 24 hours, officials said, a significant increase from the day before.
State health officials said that beginning Thursday, IDPH was including both molecular and antigen tests in its number of statewide tests performed. IDPH said that antigen tests previously comprised less than 1% of tests performed and were not included before due to a "limited number of antigen tests and limited information about antigen test accuracy."
But Illinois health officials said Thursday that antigen tests were becoming more readily available, and would therefore be included in the daily counts.
The record high number of cases can't be entirely attributed to the large amount of tests conducted, however, because although a high number of tests were reported, the 7-day rolling statewide positivity rate also jumped from 4.6% to 4.9% on Thursday, continuing to rise once again.
As of Wednesday night, 1,932 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 388 patients were in the ICU and 147 patients were on ventilators.
The latest figures came one day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned Illinois was heading in a "concerning direction" as all of the state's 11 health care regions have seen an increase in testing positivity rates.
"Unfortunately, all 11 regions have seen an increase in positivity compared to where we were at last week’s update. Statewide, our positivity rate has grown by more than one full percentage point in the last week alone. And in most regions, COVID-like hospital admissions have increased in the same time period," he said during a news conference Wednesday.
"To date, Illinois has had relative success in keeping this virus at bay, and we’re still doing better than many of our neighbors, but we can’t let up – and these numbers are indicating a concerning direction," he continued.
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