With 715 New Cases, Illinois' Coronavirus Total Reaches 7,695 With 157 Deaths

More than 60 of the state's 102 counties have now reported at least one confirmed case of the virus

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With another 715 cases of coronavirus cases in Illinois, the state's total number of confirmed diagnoses rose to 7,695 on Thursday, health officials announced.

Meanwhile, an additional 16 deaths in the last 24 hours lifted the total number of fatalities to 157.

Deaths were reported Thursday in Christian, Cook, DuPage, McHenry and Whiteside counties.

April 2 briefing: Gov. J.B. Pritzker tells Illinois “we’ve nearly exhausted every avenue available to us and “we can only do so much with policy alone. That’s because our strongest weapon against COVID-19 is you.”

With the newly confirmed cases, more than 60 of the state's 102 counties have now reported at least one confirmed case of the virus. The first cases were reported Thursday in Logan, Macoupin, Mercer, Moultrie and Piatt counties.

"No, there’s not a vaccine yet, and there isn’t a specific treatment, but what we have is science telling us that social distancing works, and it’s our best strategy to get on the other side of this unprecedented event," Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of IDPH, said Wednesday.

The state has been under a stay-at-home order for almost two weeks and Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday the order will continue until April 30.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city cases are expected to peak in one to two weeks. She previously warned the city could see upwards of 40,000 hospitalizations and U.S. health experts worry Cook County could become one of the nation's next hotspots.

"Forty thousand hospitalizations. Not 40,000 cases, but 40,000 people who require acute care in a hospital setting," Lightfoot said. "That number will break our healthcare system... This will push our city to the brink."

Illinois saw its biggest one-day jump in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began Sunday, with 1,105 new cases.

Although the number of new cases reported in the days after has not reached as high, both Pritzker and Ezike said that is not an indication that cases have peaked.

Already, the state is bringing back online once-shuttered hospitals and working to prepare Chicago's McCormick Place convention center into an alternate care facility for patients with mild symptoms.

For a list of Chicago-area closures and cancellations, click here.

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