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Latest Illinois coronavirus numbers: 111 additional deaths, 2,325 new cases

The new data brings the state’s death toll to 3,349 and the state’s total case count to 76,085.

Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike speaks at the Thompson Center during a March 30 news briefing as Gov. J.B. Pritzker looks on.
Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike speaks at the Thompson Center during a March 30 news briefing as Gov. J.B. Pritzker looks on.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Another 111 people have died of COVID-19 in Illinois, state health officials announced Saturday, bringing the state’s total pandemic death toll to 3,349.

The state also reported 2,325 new cases, bringing the total to 76,085 — although most of those have since recovered — with at least one recorded case in 98 of the state’s 102 counties.

But it marked the fifth straight day with at least 100 deaths reported, the longest such streak during what Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration has said is the peak of the pandemic. Since Monday, 691 Illinois deaths have been attributed to the coronavirus, the worst stretch since the state’s outbreak began.

Illinois received 16,617 new test results on Friday, down about 4,000 from Thursday’s daily record-breaking total.

The 13.99% positivity rate on those new test results is nonetheless comparable to the rate of 13.96% from a day earlier.

Under his “Restore Illinois” plan to slowly reopen regions of the state economy in phases, Pritzker has said a region must see a positivity rate under 20% for 14 consecutive days before reopening can begin to be considered in that area, a benchmark the northeast region of the state — including Cook County and neighboring counties — hasn’t yet hit.

Trends in hospital data were mixed, with the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals falling by 11 and in ICU beds falling by seven but the number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators increasing by 12.

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Pritzker did not a hold a press briefing Saturday for the first time in two months. At his 61st consecutive daily briefing Friday, however, he discussed the arguments for and against reopening restaurants in particular.

The Illinois Restaurant Association has asked the governor to allow restaurants to open at 25% capacity on June 1. Pritzker pushed back against setting a specific date, mentioning how visiting a restaurant requires more close contact with other persons and employees than visiting a small shop, but said he does want to find a safe way for restaurants to operate when they do reopen.

“We want to make sure, when it does get phased in, that there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve quite so many interactions,” Pritzker said.

Chicago businesses making masks

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Saturday that four Chicago businesses have been chosen to produce a million cloth masks for residents.

The chosen businesses are Barbara Bates Designs on the South Side, GAIAU Product Design & Development downtown, Silk Screen Express in south suburban Tinley Park and The Will Group in the Austin neighborhood, according to a city statement.

Each business presented proposed mask designs meeting federal standards to the city. In all, they’ll make 250,000 masks to be distributed through aldermanic offices and 750,000 distributed by Chicago’s Racial Equity Rapid Response Team, officials said.

“Whether it’s fashion designers that have altered their production to create cloth masks or manufacturing companies that have shifted their operations to source and distribute face coverings, these companies are a testament to what it looks like when our communities and cities respond to a crisis in unison,” Lightfoot was quoted as saying in the statement.