Over 2,500 new coronavirus disease cases confirmed in Illinois as state ramps up testing

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CHICAGO — State health officials reported Thursday over 2,500 new cases of coronavirus disease and 141 related deaths have been confirmed in Illinois over the past day.

According to the latest statistics from the Illinois Department of Public Health, 2,563 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 52,918 cases and 2,355 related deaths.

These latest cases come as Illinois’ stay-at-home order is set to be extended for another 30 days starting tomorrow, during which the state is relaxing some restrictions while introducing a new requirement for masks to be worn in enclosed public areas.

Five GOP state senators are pushing Illinois Governor JB Pritzker to start reopening even more in rural areas with fewer cases of COVID-19. However, the governor has stated he and his team believe it is possible coronavirus was present in Illinois well before the outbreak was documented.

Speaking during his daily press briefing Thursday, Pritzker highlighted the state’s efforts to ramp up testing past his goal of 10,000 tests a day.

Pritzker said 177 testing sites across the state are up and running up from 112 just last Friday, and they are free in most cases. Since yesterday, 13,200 new tests were performed across Illinois and 269,867 tests have been conducted to date, according to the state.

And the Trump administration has promised more tests are on the way, the governor said, with the White House promising 620,000 swabs and 460,000 vials of reagent needed for testing.

Watch Above: Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and health officials give daily update on the spread of COVID-19 and the latest state measures Thursday

The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect many across the country. Earlier Thursday, housing advocates staged a driving protest outside Daley Plaza Thursday to call on city and state leaders to do more to help renters during the crisis.

Trillions in federal stimulus money has already gone out to countless of individuals and business across the country, but critics claim little has been done to protect vulnerable renters on a local level.

Additionally, more than 3.8 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits in the U.S. last week as the economy slid further into a crisis that is becoming the most devastating since the 1930s.

Roughly 30.3 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to close their doors and slash their workforces.

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