51 more coronavirus deaths announced in Illinois, with positive tests continuing to come in below 20%

The positivity rate in the northeast part of the state was 18.3% Sunday, the fourth straight day below 20%. In Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, a region could move to the third phase after 14 consecutive days of hitting that mark.

SHARE 51 more coronavirus deaths announced in Illinois, with positive tests continuing to come in below 20%

A health worker conducts a drive-thru coronavirus test earlier this month. State officials announced 1,734 new cases statewide Sunday.

Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

Illinois health officials announced Sunday another 51 deaths attributed to coronavirus, bringing the state’s pandemic death toll to 4,177.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced it processed 20,295 tests Saturday and identified 1,734 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total case count — although many have since recovered — to 94,191.

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Sunday’s numbers include several encouraging signs. The 8.5% statewide positivity rate Sunday falls well below the 15% positivity rate recorded over the past seven days, reflecting both increased testing availability and a possible flattening of the curve.

The northeast region had an 18.3% positivity rate Sunday, marking the fourth consecutive day that region, which includes Chicago and its suburbs, has hit an important benchmark.

In Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, each region of the state must have a positivity rate below 20% for 14 consecutive days to advance to the third phase. That phase would permit some non-essential businesses, like salons and barbershops, to reopen with precautions.

Hospital admissions of coronavirus patients have also fallen 29.7% since May 1 in the northeast region.

Cook County, nonetheless, remains the county with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the nation, and the virus has been found in 100 of the state’s 102 counties.

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