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50 more die in Illinois from coronavirus; death toll nears 2,000

Confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Illinois are at 1,983. With 1,980 more positive cases reported Monday, the state’s tally is 45,883, state officials said. Sunday, 12,676 tests results were returned, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker at a daily briefing in March 2020. Sun-Times file

Officials on Monday said another 50 people have died in Illinois from the coronavirus as the state nears the loss of nearly 2,000 people to the pandemic.

In total, 1,983 have died from the virus. With 1,980 more positive cases reported Monday, there have been 45,883 cases in the state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. There were 12,676 tests results returned on Sunday, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office.

Sunday marked the fourth day in a row that Illinois reached Pritzker’s goal of running at least 10,000 tests within 24 hours. That’s the testing capacity experts say is needed to better understand how widespread the virus is throughout the state.

Pritzker on Monday said the state has seen 73 additional COVID-19 patients in hospitals over a week. That included patients with confirmed cases and ones with suspected cases, whether mild or serious, he said.

On April 6, COVID-19 patients occupied 43% of 2,700 ICU beds in Illinois. By midnight on Sunday, patients had occupied 34% of 3,600 ICU beds. The additional ICU beds were added in anticipation of high hospitalizations.

The governor on Sunday said the state could end up needing fewer hospital beds as it has bent the curve of the COVID-19 virus’ spread in the state, so plans at the McCormick Place field hospital have been scaled back from its initial plans to hold 3,000 beds across three halls.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the head of the Illinois Dept. of Public Health on Monday also warned of new symptoms that are being reported in coronavirus patients, which include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle plain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Ezike said those symptoms have been occurring between two and 14 days after exposure of the virus.