Illinois announces another 45 coronavirus deaths as nursing home cases continue to rise

Saturday’s deaths bring the state’s COVID-19 pandemic death toll to 6,625.

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A man gets his blood drawn for a coronavirus antibody test last month in Harwood Heights.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

UPDATE: A story in Sunday’s paper wrongly reported the number of COVID-19 cases at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in Lake County, based on incorrect state data. The long-term care facility has recorded 24 cases among residents and 5 deaths, with no new cases since June 10. In addition, Grosse Pointe Manor in Niles reported nine cases and one death in the past week, not more than 30 cases and five deaths, as the state initially reported.

Another 45 people have died of the coronavirus in Illinois, state health officials announced Saturday.

The state has so far avoided a spike in COVID-19 cases mirroring that of states like Florida and Arizona, but the new deaths bring Illinois’ total pandemic death toll to 6,625.

The state has historically seen much lower announced totals on weekends due to some hospitals not reporting deaths, but Saturday’s 45 deaths are actually one more than the 44 announced Friday and also dwarf the mere 29 announced last Saturday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said an additional 634 people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the state’s total case count to 136,104. Those positive cases were found among 25,965 new tests processed.

Many indicators remain encouraging, though, as 94% of Illinoisans who have contracted the virus have since recovered.

And the positivity rate on tests conducted over the past week is just 3%, which keeps every region of the state on track to enter Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan on June 26.

The number of COVID-19 patients occupying ICU beds and on ventilators at hospitals across the state has also decreased significantly over the past week. As of Friday, 454 patients occupied ICU beds and 274 were on ventilators.

Nursing home cases, deaths rising

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities continue to represent a large portion of the pandemic’s impact on Illinois, according to statistics released by the state Friday.

A total of 3,649 Illinois nursing home residents and staff have died of COVID-19, making up 55% of the state total, and 21,476 residents and staff have tested positive, comprising 16% of the state total.

Over the past week, 165 nursing home residents and staff died — representing 49% of the state’s coronavirus deaths over that time period — and 718 have tested positive, representing 17% of the state’s newly confirmed cases.

A few long-term care facilities experienced major outbreaks with 30 or more new cases over the past week, the state said, while other nursing homes reported five or more deaths in that time.

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