29 more Illinois coronavirus deaths, 673 new cases

Nursing homes continue to account for an outsize portion of the pandemic’s impact on Illinois, according to the latest statistics released by the state.

SHARE 29 more Illinois coronavirus deaths, 673 new cases
A tent and triage area for coronavirus testing outside Mount Sinai Hospital, 1500 S. Fairfield Ave., on April 2.

A tent and triage area for coronavirus testing outside Mount Sinai Hospital, 1500 S. Fairfield Ave., on April 2.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Public health officials on Saturday announced the latest 29 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Illinois, raising the state’s toll to 6,289.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also said an additional 673 people tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 131,871 people have contracted the virus since late January.

That capped a week of relatively low coronavirus numbers that continue to decline from an apparent peak in mid-May. Saturday marked eight straight days the state has reported fewer than 1,000 new cases, and nine consecutive days with fewer than 100 deaths. And it followed a Friday case total of 595, which was Illinois’ lowest since March 30.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office touted a Fortune magazine analysis that found Illinois has seen the largest decrease of any state in the nation in average daily coronavirus caseloads over the last two weeks.

The vast majority of those who’ve been infected — about 93% — have recovered, while nursing homes continue to account for an outsize portion of the pandemic’s impact on Illinois, according to statistics on long-term care facilities released by the state Friday.

A total of 3,433 have died of COVID-19 among the 20,550 who have been infected at long-term care facilities, the health department said.

That’s an increase in 380 deaths and 1,713 cases since the state released its last snapshot of the nursing home situation a week ago. They now make up 55% of the state death toll and 16% of the total case tally.

Cook County — which has logged the most coronavirus cases of any county in the nation with more than 84,000, according to Johns Hopkins University — remains the Illinois epicenter for nursing home cases as well. State figures show 1,959 people have died among the 11,768 cases that have been tied to the county’s long-term care facilities.

Testing positivity rates continued trending in the right direction, though officials have warned that limited reopenings and widespread protests this month could potentially result in a case spike over the next few weeks. Illinois’ rolling positivity rate over the last week is 3%.

That keeps all regions of the state on track for more reopenings with Phase 4 of Pritzker’s reopening plan June 26, though Chicago officials say the city will likely trail slightly behind that with a July 1 advancement.

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