SPRINGFIELD – A total of 1,535 cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths connected to the virus have been confirmed in Illinois as of Tuesday afternoon, according to state health officials.
The latest numbers released online by the Illinois Department of Public Health include 250 new cases and four new deaths since statistics were provided yesterday. Chicago reported 146 new cases, and there were 126 new cases found in the greater Cook County.
The four reported deaths include a Chicago resident in his 50s, two Cook County residents in their 60s, and a DuPage County resident in her 90s, according to the IDPH. Cases have been found in 32 Illinois counties, with Grundy County reporting its first case Tuesday.
A total of 11,485 people have been tested in Illinois so far. According to Governor JB Pritzker, state labs in Chicago, Springfield and Carbondale can do nearly 2,000 tests a day, while private labs can handle up to 1,500 tests a day. Additional state-run labs expected to come online at Illinois hospitals within two weeks could test over 2,000 additional cases per day.
Further expansion of testing began earlier this week, Pritzker said, with the opening of four drive-through sampling sites across Illinois. At these sites, samples are taken from individuals and then sent on to labs for testing.
A state-run facility built by the Illinois National Guard in Harwood Heights especially for first responders and healthcare workers can gather samples from up to 250 people a day. Other sites are being built across the state in partnership with Walgreens and Walmart.
“Even with this rapid expansion, we still need tens of thousands more tests to get an accurate picture of our state,” Pritzker said.
Watch Above: Governor JB Pritzker and health officials give update on COVID-19 in Illinois, and actions taken by the state
Earlier in the day Tuesday, the Indiana State Department of Health reported the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grew to 365, and five more people died from complications related to the virus, bringing the total up to 12. A statewide stay-at-home order is about to take effect there.
In Chicago, four members of the Chicago Fire Department are among those recently diagnosed the novel coronavirus, and firefighters who are experiencing flu-like symptoms have been placed under quarantine. At least four Chicago police officers have also contracted the virus.
Experts and officials continue to say the most important thing anyone can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 also one of the easiest: stay home.
In addition, there are some ways Illinois residents can help out including giving blood, donating unused medical supplies, and volunteering to support the elderly or food relief efforts.
Illinois’ unemployment rate has soared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 64,000 Illinoisans submitting new applications for unemployment over just three days last week.
The restaurant industry is one of the hardest-hit by the economic effects of the coronavirus, some industry leaders are organizing food relief and donation efforts to support workers in the sector.
For additional news and updates related to COVID-19 in the region and across the country, visit our daily blog.