Illinois broke records Thursday, reporting the highest number of coronavirus tests and regular one day case counts statewide since the pandemic began.
Health officials reported 4,942 cases of coronavirus Thursday as 80,977 tests were returned to laboratories over the last 24 hours, both metrics breaking prior state records.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate remained at 5.7%, but an increase from the 5.5% reported Tuesday, which was also up from the day before. That number continues to be the highest the state has reported since early June.
Just 18 days ago, on Oct. 4, Illinois averaged 1,944 new COVID-19 cases each day, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. As of Thursday, the state averaged more than 4,000 new cases per day.
Based on these metrics, Illinois has more than doubled its average daily new caseload.
In addition to record-breaking case counts, health officials reported 44 additional deaths in Illinois Thursday, bringing statewide totals to 9,387.
New data showed 525 patients in intensive care units and 212 on ventilators, as 2,467 people remain in hospitals across the state.
IDPH reported that a total of 360,159 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state during the pandemic, with over 7,000,000 total tests performed as of Thursday.
Updated figures were reported one day before Gov. J.B. Pritzker's new restrictions 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.
The 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 Region 7 and Region 8.
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 1, which has been under increased restrictions, including the suspension of indoor dining and bar service, since the start of the month, will now move to "Tier 2 mitigations."
Beginning Sunday, gathering sizes must be limited to 10 people instead of 25 and only six people will be allowed per table at restaurants, a drop from 10, the governor said.
Another Illinois region is currently under the enhanced mitigation rules. Region 5, located in southeastern Illinois, will have the new rules go into effect on Thursday as a result of elevated positivity rates.