coronavirus

Pritzker Vows to Increase Testing as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Sunday that Illinois will soon more than double the number of daily COVID-19 tests it can administer as the number of cases surged.

Public health officials reported 1,105 new cases Sunday, including 18 deaths. Overall, Illinois has more than 4,500 cases with 65 deaths.

Pritzker said Illinois will increase its daily testing capacity from about 4,000 to 10,000 within 10 days. He said more workers are being added at labs, along with new technology.

He added that he spoke with Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories, which has made a portable rapid test, to ask that the state gets first dibs. The medical device maker says its cartridge-based test, approved Friday, delivers results within minutes.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker delivers his daily coronavirus press briefing on March 29.

The first-term Democrat, who is critical of the federal government's response to the pandemic, said he had no choice. Cases are expected to peak next month.

“I'm not going to wait on promises from the federal government that will not be fulfilled,” he said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

Public health officials said they are still investigating the death of an infant who had COVID-19.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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