Illinois Department of Public Health

Illinois' Top Doctor Asks Poll Workers, Voters Get Tested for COVID-19

Ezike said even if the coronavirus test comes back negative after one week, remain careful as symptoms can develop up to two weeks following exposure

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Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike suggested Wednesday that poll workers, voters and others who participated in the election throughout the state be tested for the coronavirus.

"I’d also like to encourage people who recently participated in recent campaign rallies, worked in polling places, stood in line to vote where they couldn’t maintain social distance, participated in any protests, or any other recent events: please get tested," Ezike said. "Wait approximately one week after the high risk exposure."

If people in Illinois believe they have been exposed to the virus, Ezike asked that they quarantine from others before being tested as the state is already into the second wave of the pandemic with cases increasing daily.

She asked that even people who test negative for COVID-19 following a week of exposure to "be careful" as many develop symptoms up to two weeks after encountering the virus.

Illinois' average number of deaths per day and hospitalizations have roughly doubled in the last month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

During his daily coronavirus briefing Wednesday, Pritzker said numbers for hospitalizations and positivity rates continue to rise across the state's 11 regions, which are now all under heightened mitigations amid what's been called a "second surge" of the virus.

"The virus is spreading, and every region of the state is suffering from its insidious, invisible contagion," Pritzker said. "Make no mistake: this pandemic isn't over, not by a long shot."

Nov. 4, 2020: Gov. J.B. Pritzker reminds the public to wear masks and social distance as coronavirus cases continue to surge in Illinois.

Illinois saw another jump in its seven-day positivity rate, as the state reported 7,538 new cases of coronavirus and 55 deaths within the last 24 hours.

The new cases, which mark the state's second-highest of the pandemic, lifted Illinois' rolling seven-day positivity rate rise from 8.2% to 8.5%, the highest mark the state has seen since late May when the state was on its way down from its first coronavirus cases peak.

In all, 437,556 cases of the virus have been reported statewide since the pandemic began.

According to officials with IDPH, the state also reported 55 additional deaths Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 9,933 deaths related to the virus.

The state says 71,857 test results have been returned to state labs in the last 24 hours, with 8,030,713 total tests performed during the pandemic.

Along with the increases in cases and positivity rates, the state has also seen a continued rise in hospitalizations due to the virus. According to IDPH data, 3,761 residents are currently hospitalized because of the virus, the highest number in that category since May 30. Of those patients, 776 are currently in intensive care units and 327 are on ventilators.

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