Illinois announces 26 additional deaths, 786 new cases of coronavirus

Saturday’s numbers remained steady with those seen over the past few weeks, indicating that Illinois continues to avoid the pandemic spikes currently sweeping through many southern and western states.

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

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

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Another 26 people have died of the coronavirus in Illinois, public health officials announced Saturday, raising the state’s pandemic death toll to 6,873.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also said an additional 786 people have tested positive for COVID-19, increasing the total case count to 141,077, although the vast majority have since recovered.

The new cases were found among the latest 30,237 tests processed; in all, more than 1.5 million Illinoisans have been tested for coronavirus. The test positivity rate over the past week remained at 3%.

Saturday’s numbers remained steady with those seen over the past few weeks, indicating that Illinois continues to avoid the pandemic spikes currently sweeping through many southern and western states.

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Hospital data also remained encouragingly low. As of Friday, 400 COVID-19 patients occupied ICU beds statewide, with 225 on ventilators. That’s down from 454 on ICU beds and 274 on ventilators a week ago.

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have accounted for more than half of the state’s death toll.

New data released by the state Friday indicated 22,170 cases and 3,772 deaths have come from such facilities’ residents and staff, an increase of 694 cases and 123 deaths over the previous week. Still, Sun-Times analyses have found state data on cases at long-term care facilities has often been riddled with inconsistencies.

Illinois advanced to the fourth phase of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan Friday, making it the first day that Illinoisans could eat inside restaurants, head to gyms, and go to movie theaters, museums and zoos at limited capacities.

The state isn’t expected to fully reopen until a vaccine or an effective treatment is available.

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