Officials warn of pandemic’s impact on mental health as Illinois reports 9,469 COVID-19 cases, 125 deaths


CHICAGO (AP) — State health officials reported on Tuesday that another 125 people in Illinois have died from COVID-19.

In a news release, the Illinois Department of Public Health said the latest deaths — a total that was nearly three higher than the 47 deaths announced Monday — brings the death toll to 11,677 since the pandemic began earlier this year.

The health department also reported another 9,469 confirmed and probable cases. Though the total was more than 1,100 higher than the total announced Monday, Tuesday also marked just the second time in the last six days that the number of cases was below the 10,000 mark. Overall, Illinois has reported 674,089 cases of COVID-19.

The health department also reported that 6,134 people reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,203 were intensive care units and 668 people were on ventilators. Those totals are roughly the same as those reported on Monday.

During a daily briefing held online as the state urges people to stay home Tuesday, IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike spoke of the psychological toll the pandemic can take on any one of us. 

With Tier 3 mitigations in place and fewer social interactions, Ezike said many are suffering in silence from everything including job losses and isolation. She said we all know these are tough times.

“There is fear, there is anxiety about this novel disease, and the illness is that it can cause their stress,” Ezike said. “Please don’t underestimate how far a smile or a kind word can go.”

WATCH ABOVE: Governor JB Pritzker and health officials give a daily update on COVID-19 in Illinois Tuesday

The latest figures come as Gov. J.B. Pritzker and public health officials in Illinois and around the country are urging to forego their traditional Thanksgiving plans and celebrate the holiday only celebrate the holiday with people already living in their homes to slow the spread of the disease.

“Skip the big group dinner this year. The vaccines that seem to be in the horizon  can’t help you if you get sick now,” Governor JB Pritzker said Tuesday.


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