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Illinois announces 23 additional coronavirus deaths, 658 new cases

That brings the state’s pandemic death toll to 6,647 and case count to 136,762.

A man undergoes a coronavirus test in Harwood Heights last month.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

An additional 23 people have died of coronavirus in Illinois, state health officials announced Sunday.

That brings the state’s COVID-19 pandemic death toll to 6,647.

Despite the ever-increasing total, Illinois remains one of the most-improved states in terms of daily new death and case rate, contrasting the rapidly worsening situations in southern states like Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and Texas.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced Sunday another 658 new COVID-19 cases found among 23,816 newly processed tests.

That raises the state’s total case count to 136,762, although the vast majority — approximately 94% — of those have since recovered. More than 1.3 million Illinoisans have been tested so far.

The test positivity rate over the past seven days fell to 2%.

That low rate keeps all regions of the state on track to enter Friday Phase Four of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, which would reopen even more non-essential businesses and allow gatherings of up to 50 people.

Nursing homes continue to contribute an outsize portion of the pandemic’s impact, with new data released Friday indicating long-term care facilities have suffered 3,649 coronavirus deaths (55% of the state total) and 21,476 cases (16% of the state total).

Coronavirus continues to be found in 101 of the state’s 102 counties, with rural Scott County still hanging on as the one county with no confirmed cases.