Coronavirus cases in Illinois hit highest single-day increase since May for second time in a week


CHICAGO — Illinois health officials said testing confirmed nearly 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the past day Thursday, reporting the biggest single-day increase since late May for the second time in a week.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 1,953 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed in the past 24 hours. That’s the biggest single-day increase since May 24, when there were 2,508 new cases. The 7-day positivity rate at the time was 12 percent.

This is the second time in a week where the number of cases has been the highest in two months, after 1,941 new cases were reported last Friday. While the high reported on July 31 came on the same day the state reported the highest single-day increase in testing as well, Thursday’s peak comes as the state reports 41,686 new tests, which is near the weekly average.

The statewide positivity rate from July 30-August 5 ticked up to 4 percent, near where it has been since the end of July. The 21 deaths reported Thursday are above the weekly average in Illinois, which has been around 17 since early July.

Only one region established in the state’s “Restore Illinois” plan is at the state’s “warning” level of an increasing positivity rate over seven of the past 10 days. The rates in both the Metro East and Southern regions declined slightly as of August 3, to 6.9 percent and 6.8 respectively. The regions had previously been the closest to the state’s “failsafe” level of 8 percent.

On Wednesday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said downstate counties are among those seeing the biggest rise in coronavirus cases, in particular among young people. While fatalities have been relatively low among 20 years old and younger, Pritzker said many are reporting long-term effects after surviving an infection.

As of Thursday, 11 counties are at the state’s warning levels based on their test positivity rate or the number of new cases reported as a proportion of their population. Nearly all of these counties are downstate, with Jo Daviess in the north being an exception. The remaining counties are all within the Metro East or Southern regions.

Hospitalizations statewide remain within the limits set by the state’s plan, with 1,517 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, including 346 in intensive care and 132 on ventilators.

The positivity rate in Chicago remains at 4.9 percent as of August 3. While CPS said classes will be held remotely when the school year begins, the Archdiocese of Chicago will hold in-person classes this fall.


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