Officials warn of coming flu season as Illinois reports 2,257 new COVID-19 cases, 30 deaths

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Illinois health officials said 2,257 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed over the past day Thursday.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the statewide 7-day COVID-19 test postivity rate remains stable at 3.5 percent, near where it has been for the past week.

Governor JB Pritzker said Wednesday the COVID-19 positivity rates are stable or declining in most regions established in the “Restore Illinois” plan, except in northwest Illinois where the rate is nearing the state’s 8 percent limit.

The 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate in the North Region is 7.7 percent as of September 21, and additional mitigation measures would be put in place if it passes 8 percent for three consecutive days.

State officials said 62,071 tests were conducted over the past day, while the 7-day average remains around 52,000 as of Thursday, data compiled by WGN shows. The 7-day average of cases remains steady at around 1,800 per day, while the weekly average of remains at about 20 coronavirus-related deaths per day.

Health officials continued calls for everyone six months of age and older to get flu shots Thursday, saying co-infection of both the flu and COVID-19 could be especially dangerous.

“Flu and COVID-19 each can cause serious respiratory illness and co-infection could possibly lead to more severe illnesses, hospitalization, and even death,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.

With many asking how to distinguish symptoms of coronavirus from those of the flu, the IDPH released the following table:

SYMPTOMFLUCOVID-19
Symptom onset2 days2-14 days
Body achesCommonCommon
CoughCommonCommon
DiarrheaSometimesSometimes
Fatigue/weaknessCommonCommon
Fever/chills/shakingCommonCommon
Loss of taste or smellRareSometimes
Shortness of breath/ difficulty breathingCommonCommon
Stuffy noseCommonCommon
SneezingSometimesRare
Sore throatCommonCommon
HeadacheCommonCommon
Comparison of symptoms of flu and COVID-19 provided by the IDPH

Hospital resources remain within state guidelines, with 1,713 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, including 400 in intensive care and 155 on ventilators.

According to preliminary state data, 279 new coronavirus deaths and six deaths where confirmed in Chicago over the past day, while the city’s 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate came in at 4.6 percent as of Monday.

Indiana’s statewide mask order will continue for another three weeks but limits on businesses and crowd sizes will be dropped Saturday, according to a new order issued by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Health officials reported 920 new COVID-19 cases and 17 additional related deaths in Indiana Thursday, while the positivity rate from September 11-17 came in at 3.9 percent.

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