On the night before Chicago’s stay-at-home advisory will go into effect, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Sunday shared a troubling statistic: One in 18 Chicagoans have active COVID-19 infections as of Friday.
“Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Watch your distance,” Lightfoot tweeted.
Lightfoot’s cautionary message — which has been echoed by local and state officials over the last nine months — comes as Illinois surpassed 10,000 coronavirus cases for the 10th consecutive day Sunday.
State health officials announced 10,631 new coronavirus infections and an additional 72 fatalities.
Sunday’s new cases accounted for roughly 12.5% of the more than 84,800 tests reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last 24 hours.
The state’s seven-day statewide positivity rate — a figure experts use to understand how rapidly the virus is spreading — reached 12.8% Sunday, up from 8% at the start of the month, the state public health department reported.
With holidays around the corner and the fall COVID-19 surge showing no signs of letting up, several local officials have issued stay-at-home advisories to limit the spread of the virus, including leaders in suburban Cook County and Lightfoot.
The Cook County and Chicago stay-home advisories take effect 6 a.m. Monday.
Over the next 30 days, those who live in the Chicagoland area are urged to go out only when necessary, which includes leaving for work, school, medical appointments, groceries, take-out food and pharmaceuticals. In an attempt to contain this second outbreak, there’s also a mandatory 10-person cap on social gatherings.
Last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned that another mandatory stay-at-home order could be on its way if the state can’t contain this second surge of the virus.
The surge in cases has led to Illinois hospitals treating the most COVID-19 patients they’ve ever had. As of Saturday night, 5,474 beds were taken up by COVID-19 patients in Illinois hospitals, with 1,045 of those patients in intensive-care units and 490 on ventilators, officials said.
Cook County accounted for 21 of Sunday’s 72 fatalities, with 16 of those deaths reported statewide among people under the age of 70. Six were under 60.
Illinois logged 546 coronavirus-related deaths in the last week, which is about 5% of the state’s pandemic death toll of 10,742.
The state has administered more than 9 million coronavirus tests since March, with 573,616 people confirmed to have the respiratory virus, which is about 4.5% of the state’s population.
The recovery rate for Illinois coronavirus patients is 97%. Most people who contract it show mild or no symptoms.