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Illinois reports 10,000-plus coronavirus caseload for 3rd consecutive day

Illinois’ seven-day average testing positivity rate, the metric experts use to gauge how rapidly the virus is spreading, soared to 10.6% on Sunday — up from 8% one week ago.

People get tested for COVID-19 at the drive-thru testing site at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Little Village in October 2020.
State health officials announced 10,009 new confirmed and probable cases, marking the third consecutive day Illinois has recorded a five-figure caseload.
Sun-Times file

State health officials announced 10,009 new confirmed and probable cases, marking the third consecutive day Illinois has recorded a five-figure caseload.

Illinois is averaging about 9,710 new infections each day this month, up sharply from October’s daily average of 3,777.

The recent uptick in cases can partially be attributed to state health officials including in the daily tally probable cases — defined by the Illinois Department of Public Health as cases identified by an antigen test, which are less sensitive than the more accurate molecular, or PCR, tests.

The new infections, which brings the state’s total to 487,987 cases over the last nine months, were detected among the latest batch of 90,757 tests reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last day, raising the seven-day average testing positivity rate to 10.6% — up from 8% one week ago.

The rise in that number is worrisome to health experts who use that figure as a way to gauge how rapidly the virus is spreading.

As case numbers continue to skyrocket statewide, Gov. J.B. Pritzker again reminded Illinoisans to wear masks, wash their hands and maintain proper social distancing.

“Spread the faith, not the virus,” he tweeted after Sunday’s new numbers were released. “I know we’ll get through this — we just have to listen to the doctors. Let’s go all in, Illinois.”

Health officials also announced an additional 42 coronavirus-related deaths, raising the statewide death toll to 10,196. Only three of Sunday’s fatalities were among people under the age of 60, and Cook County accounted for more than half of the reported deaths.

Illinois has also seen a rise in inpatient care for those with COVID-19, as hospitals continue to treat the most coronavirus patients they’ve seen since the end of May. As of Saturday night, 4,303 people were hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19, with 833 of those patients in intensive-care units and 368 on ventilators, officials said.

The recovery rate for Illinois coronavirus patients is 97%. Most people who contract it show mild or no symptoms.

Contributing: Sam Charles and Mitch Dudek