Illinois reports record numbers of new COVID-19 cases, tests

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — Illinois health officials reported more than 12,000 new COVID-19 cases and 100,000 new tests Tuesday, setting single-day records for both as infection rates rise across the state.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 12,623 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, as well as 79 additional coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday.

Health officials are including results from rapid antigen tests in case totals, which are labeled as “probable” cases under CDC guidelines. The number of new cases reported Tuesday is the highest to date, surpassing the previous record of 12,438 set days earlier on November 7.

The state also reported 101,955 new coronavirus tests Tuesday, setting another single-day record. Illinois is now averaging more than 10,000 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 87,000 tests over a 7-day period, data compiled by WGN-TV shows.

The IDPH reported another rise in the statewide positivity rate Tuesday, saying 12% of all tests performed from November 3 – 9 confirmed a new case of COVID-19.

The positivity rate reported Tuesday is on par with levels last seen in late May, although the state is averaging nearly four times as many tests over a 7-day period.

Hospitalizations in the state continue to rise as well, with the IDPH reporting 4,742 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday night. Additionally, 911 patients were in intensive care and 399 on ventilators, near levels last seen in early June.

Governor JB Pritzker said Tuesday areas outside Cook and the collar counties are seeing the “worst surge they’ve seen yet” in hospitalizations.

“Across the state, the majority of our regions are seeing far higher rates of hospitalizations for COVID-19 than they ever saw in the spring,” Pritzker said.

WATCH ABOVE: Governor Pritzker gives a daily update on COVID-19 in Illinois Tuesday

Pritzker said hospitalizations in northwest and southern Illinois are around twice where they were during previous peaks, and “things are still bad” in most regions outside the Chicago area.

While hospitalizations are rising, hospital resources including beds and ventilators remain within state guidelines across Illinois.

“I know it feels like we’ve been at this a long time; the whole country, the whole world has,” Pritzker said. “But we can’t let our guard down, look at these numbers: more than 10,000 of our fellow Illinoisians are getting infected each day and dozens are dying each day.”

“There is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel but we just don’t know exactly when we will get there,” Pritzker said, reiterating health advice officials have been giving for weeks.

Every region established in the Restore Illinois plan is currently under added restrictions, including a ban on indoor service at bars and restaurants, as COVID-19 positivity rates in those regions remain above the state’s “failsafe” level of 8% over a seven-day period.

Even stricter COVID-19 mitigation measures already in place in northwest Illinois will come to the southern tip of the state as well as suburban Kankakee, Will, DuPage and Kane counties starting Wednesday.

Positivity rates in those regions remain above the failsafe level more than two weeks after “Tier 1” restrictions were put in place, qualifying them for “Tier 2” restrictions including limits on groups to 10 people or less and caps of six people seated together at a bar or restaurant.

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