61 more deaths raise Illinois coronavirus toll to 5,330

The state must continue showing improvement in infection, testing and hospitalization rates to enter the fourth phase of reopening under Pritzker’s plan, which would allow for gatherings of up to 50 people.

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A phlebotomist takes a swab sample for a coronavirus test earlier this month in the parking lot of St. Rosalie Catholic Parish in Harwood Heights.

A phlebotomist takes a swab sample for a coronavirus test earlier this month in the parking lot of St. Rosalie Catholic Parish in Harwood Heights.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Health officials on Saturday announced an additional 61 people have died of COVID-19 in Illinois, raising the state’s death toll to 5,330.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also said another 1,462 people tested positive for the coronavirus among the latest batch of more than 25,000 tests administered.

Since the pandemic hit the state, 118,917 people have contracted the virus. Most have recovered.

COVID-19 has been reported in all but one of Illinois’ 102 counties. Data released by the state a day earlier shows more than half the state’s fatal cases have originated in nursing homes.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he’s optimistic the state is on a downward trend from its coronavirus peak. Illinois’ overall testing rate stood at 7% over the last week.

The latest numbers come as thousands of businesses gear back into operation entering the next phase of Pritzker’s reopening plan. Most retail stores and restaurants with outdoor seating were allowed to reopen Friday with health precautions in place, though Mayor Lori Lightfoot has delayed Chicago’s Phase 3 reopening until Wednesday.

The state must continue showing improvement in infection, testing and hospitalization rates to enter the fourth phase of reopening under Pritzker’s plan, which would allow for gatherings of up to 50 people. The earliest that can happen is June 26.

Illinois Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike has urged residents to remain vigilant as the state gradually reopens by wearing face coverings, maintaining 6 feet of social distance and washing hands regularly.


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