Illinois tops 15,000 COVID-19 cases; 82 new deaths brings total to 462

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CHICAGO — Illinois health officials announced 1,529 new cases of COVID-19 across the state, including 82 additional deaths.

Wednesday marks the largest single-day jump in COVID-19 related deaths so far.

In total, there are now 15,078 cases in Illinois, including 462 deaths in 78 counties. 

Wednesday night two Illinois Air National Guard cargo aircrafts arrived at Midway Airport delivering supplies to be used at McCormick Place.

250 negative pressurized tents arrived from Eugene, Oregon.

McCormick Place should be ready to accept its first patients sometime next week, according to the National Guard.

Earlier Gov. JB Pritzker’s daily news conference about the virus, he specifically addressed the goals and obstacles regarding testing across the state.

Pritzker said the state is still falling behind his goal of processing 10,000 tests per day. It is closer to 6,000.

He said he is now working with state universities and scientists who can help increase that capacity. He said they are working on creating their own raw materials instead of relying on the federal supply chain which he said is in disarray.

All this as the University of Washington predicts the number of deaths will be much lower than originally anticipated and that there will be a less serious strain on local hospitals.

The modeling now predicts the peak strain on hospital resources in Illinois will begin on Saturday. Researchers no longer feel there will be a shortage of intensive care or regular hospital beds in the state but they do say as many as 600 additional ventilators may be necessary.

The model is now predicting 1,588 people will die in Illinois from COVID-19 related health problems.  But that’s down from their previous prediction of more than 3600 deaths in the state.

Pritzker gave his reaction to the study and said, “The models show the death rate might be lower than expected gives me optimism. There are equal number of models out there that show something different. What I can tell you is we look at multiple models for the state of Illinois.”

Pritzker said he does not plan on expanding Chicago’s 9 p.m. liquor sale curfew statewide.

Health officials said while we may be reaching a peak soon, practicing social distancing is critical, even this Easter weekend.

“I’ve gotten multiple requests and protocols from churches asking ways to do it they think would be safe,” Dr. Ngaze Ezike said. “Let’s stay home. I’m a woman of faith. I miss Bible study and going to church. This is not the time. We don’t want to hurt the people we’re intending to commune with.”


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