CHICAGO — State health officials said Sunday over 38,000 coronavirus tests have been performed in Illinois over the past day, a record high since the pandemic began, as the statewide positivity rate remains at 3 percent.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 38,894 tests were performed over the past 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 1,982,982 tests to date. The statewide positivity rate, which measures the percent of tests which came back positive from July 5-11, remains at a relatively low 3 percent.
Governor JB Pritzker said on Twitter Illinois has made “so much progress,” and called on residents to keep wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines.
“If we let our guard down, we’ll have to go backward — so let’s keep moving forward by wearing a face covering,” Pritzker said. “I know everyone wants to get back to normal, but we can’t wish away the virus or pretend the pandemic is over. It’s not.”
Sunday’s record number of tests comes just days after the state set a new single-day testing record on July, when the state reported over 36,000 tests as sites continue to open across the state.
Health officials also reported Sunday they confirmed 954 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional coronavirus-related deaths, bringing those totals to 153,916 cases and 7,187 deaths. Of those confirmed cases, experts estimate 94 percent have recovered.
Deaths from the virus have also been rising in the U.S. generally, especially in the South and West, though still well below April’s heights according to the AP. Florida hit a grim milestone Sunday, shattering the national record for a state’s largest single-day increase in positive cases.
The number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 also remains at a relatively low level across the state, with 1,342 patients hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19, including, 311 in intensive care and 127 on ventilators.
Hospital capacity across the state also remains well within state guidelines for remaining at Phase 4 of reopening. The positivity rate in all regions outlined in the Restore Illinois plan also remained flat or increased by just one percent on average over the past two weeks.
As Illinois and other states reopen, crowded bars and house parties have been identified as culprits in spreading the coronavirus. Meat packing plants, prisons and nursing homes are known hot spots. Then there’s the complicated case of America’s churches.
Indiana reported 793 new cases of COVID-19 and 8 additional coronavirus-related deaths Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 51,612 cases and 2,567 deaths. To date, 564,647 have been tested in the state. Hospital resources in the state also remain well within state guidelines.