Illinois reports 1,645 new coronavirus cases, 16 deaths

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — State health officials reported 1,645 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed in Illinois over the past day Wednesday.

The statewide positivity rate from August 5-11 remains at 4.1 percent, where it has been since Sunday, and near where it has been since late July. Officials said over 42,000 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours as well, which is near the current 7-day average as testing continues to expand in Illinois.

The number of new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday is slightly below the current 7-day average of about 1,730, which has been climbing since late June. Of confirmed cases, health officials estimate 95 percent have recovered.

One positive sign is none of the regions established in the “Restore Illinois” plan are above the state’s warning levels of days with an increase in positivity rate or COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to the most recent data.

The positivity rates in the downstate Southern region and the Metro East region outside St. Louis remain near the 8 percent “failsafe” level, with rates of 7.3 percent and 7.5 percent respectively as of Sunday.

Indiana health officials reported 671 new COVID-19 cases and 15 coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday, as the state’s positivity rate from July 30-August 8 remained relatively stable at 7.7 percent.

According to the CDC, Illinois ranked sixth in the nation when it comes to the number of COVID-19 cases over the past seven days, as 12,225 cases were reported in the state as of Tuesday. This is far below states that have seen a surge in cases, including California (54,984), Texas (49,439) and Florida (45,208).

However, Illinois ranks far lower when it comes to the number of cases compared to overall population, falling to 22nd in the U.S. and below neighboring states like Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

The overall 7-day case average in the U.S. has been dropping since around July 23, falling to 52,193 daily cases as of Tuesday.

To date, 198,593 COVID-19 cases and 7,672 related deaths have been confirmed in Illinois, and 76,522 cases and 2,878 deaths have been confirmed in Indiana.

Data in Chicago and statewide shows the most recent rise in cases has been among young people, with spread occurring during large social gatherings and among houeshold members.

Hospital capacities and COVID-19 hospitalizations also remain within state limits in all regions of Illinois and statewide. As of Tuesday night, 1,525 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 357 in intensive care and 129 on ventilators.

Governor JB Pritzker’s rule requiring businesses and schools to enforce the state’s mask mandate or face fines and other penalties went into effect Tuesday after it was approved by a legislative oversight committee.

Penalties start with a written warning, and if they don’t comply, businesses can be ordered to remove customers from their property and fined up to $2,500.

Nationally, President Trump announced Tuesday the U.S. reached a $1.525 billion deal with Moderna Inc. to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved. Clinical trials are currently underway to test whether it’s safe and effective.

Though it’s still possible lawmakers could cut a deal and distribute a second round of stimulus checks before the end of this month, a second $1,200 direct payment from the government will most likely have to wait until September.

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