Illinois reports most new coronavirus deaths since late June, as deaths spike for second time in less than a week

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — Illinois health officials said 39 coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed over the past day Tuesday, reporting the highest number of new deaths since late June.

The 39 deaths reported Tuesday is the second time in less than a week where the number of new COVID-19 related deaths reached levels not seen since June 25, when 41 deaths were confirmed. Health officials reported 37 additional deaths on August 26.

In the period between June 25 and September 1, the number of new deaths in Illinois reached 30 or greater on six different occasions, data shows.

According to longer-term trend data compiled by WGN, the 14-day average of COVID-19 related deaths reached a low of about 16 in late June, but began rising in late August and reached about 20 as of September 1. The number of deaths reported Tuesday is nearly twice that average.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 1,492 new cases of COVID-19 were also confirmed Tuesday. This comes as state officials said only 22,961 new tests were performed over the past 24 hours Tuesday, the lowest single-day total since early July.

Data shows the 7-day average of tests in Illinois reached a peak of around 48,000 on August 26, but has declined to around 43,000 as of September 1.

Officials also said Tuesday the 7-day coronavirus test positivity rate from August 24-30 increased slightly to 4.3 percent, near the 4 percent level where it has been since late July, even as the number of new tests has declined.

Additional state-imposed coronavirus restrictions remain in effect in both the South Suburban region, which includes Will and Kanakakee counties, and the Metro East region outside St. Louis after their 7-day positivity rates passed an 8 percent limit set by the state for more than three consecutive days.

The rates in both regions remain above 8 percent as of August 29, with a 9.6 percent positivity rate in Metro East and an 8.8 percent positivity rate in South Suburban region. The positivity rate in the Metro East region has also been above the 8 percent limit for 14 days, the period of time where officials said previously even stricter measures could be put in place.

Illinois health officials said on Friday that 31 counties reached at least one of the state’s “warning levels” in the period from August 16-22 based on the number of new cases, cases based on population or other metrics.

Hospital resources and coronavirus-related hospitalizations remain within state guidelines, with 1,513 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday, including 362 in intensive care and 146 on ventilators.

Indiana health officials reported 721 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 16 related deaths Tuesday, and the 7-day positivity rate from August 19-25 came in at 7.1 percent.

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