136 more die in Illinois as COVID-19 toll nears 3,000

The state’s positivity rate on Wednesday was 15%. In revealing his five-part plan to reopen Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said a region must be “at or under a 20% test positivity rate and increasing by no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period” in order to see more of the region reopened.

SHARE 136 more die in Illinois as COVID-19 toll nears 3,000
Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at an April 23 news briefing.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at an April 23 news briefing.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Another 136 people have died in Illinois from COVID-19, as the state nears 3,000 total deaths.

Officials on Wednesday reported 2,270 new cases out of 14,974 test results. That brings the state’s overall case tally to 68,232, while the additional deaths raised the Illinois’ toll to 2,974 since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The state has now seen 11 days in which more than 100 people have died from COVID-19. Illinois has also seen 13 days with more than 2,000 people testing positive.

The state’s positivity rate on Wednesday was 15%. In revealing his five-part plan to reopen regions of the state, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said a region must be “at or under a 20% test positivity rate and increasing by no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period” in order for the region to enter the next phase of reopening.

It must also show no overall increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 symptoms for 28 days, and have at least 14% of intensive care unit beds, medical and surgery beds and ventilators available.

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The number of ventilators used by COVID-19 patients from Monday to Tuesday remained level and the number of coronavirus patients in ICUs dropped by 35, according to Pritzker’s office. But an additional 87 COVID-19 patients entered the state’s hospitals during that time frame.

In total, there are 4,832 hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. Of those, 1,231 are in the ICU and 780 patients are on ventilators, according to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the head of the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.

In the Northeast region — which includes Chicago, Cook County and the collar counties — 20% of ICU beds were available as of Tuesday, according to the department.

With the state seeing daily positive counts of more than 2,000 cases, Ezike said about 30% of those testing positive daily will likely require hospitalization. That number could change but has been the baseline for previous cases, she said. Ezike also said about 90% of people who have died of COVID-19 in Illinois have had comorbidities, such as heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and diabetes.

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