Illinois health officials report 614 new coronavirus cases, 6 related deaths

Coronavirus

FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

CHICAGO — Health officials in Illinois said 614 new cases of COVID-19 and six related deaths have been confirmed over the past day Monday, as the number of new coronavirus cases remains relatively low in the state despite spikes elsewhere in the U.S.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the statewide positivity rate from June 29-July 5, which measures the percent of COVID-19 tests which come back positive, remains at a low of 2.6 percent in Illinois. Monday is also the second consecutive day officials confirmed six coronavirus-related deaths, which is the lowest number reported since late March.

To date, officials have confirmed 147,865 COVID-19 cases and 7,026 related deaths in Illinois. Of those confirmed cases, state health officials estimate 94 percent have recovered.

Despite concerns Phase 4 of reopening could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Illinois, most regions established in the “Restore Illinois” plan either reported a slight decrease, no change or slight increase of 1 percent in their positivity rates over the past 14 days.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 remains at a low level as well, with 1,326 hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of the disease, including 304 in intensive care and 165 on ventilators.

As the state remains in Phase 4 of reopening amid the pandemic, high school athletes in the state will soon be allowed to start preparing for their upcoming seasons, after the Illinois High School Association announced health officials signed off on their “Return to Play” guidelines.

The guidelines allow groups of up to 50 athletes to do sports-specific workouts, although everyone will have their temperatures taken and be checked for COVID-19 symptoms daily. Coaches and staff will also be required to wear masks.

In Chicago, anyone arriving in the city from one of 15 states experiencing an increase in coronavirus cases is required to self-quarantine for 14 days starting Monday, according to an order signed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Both tourists and residents coming to Chicago from those states are supposed to self-quarantine, although officials said the order is more of a “suggestion,” and no major enforcement measures are being put in place yet.

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