Illinois’ increasingly encouraging coronavirus outlook has reached another milestone.
The state announced just 15 additional COVID-19 deaths Sunday, the lowest one-day total in nearly three months.
Not since March 30, when just eight coronavirus deaths were reported in Illinois, have state officials tallied so few fatalities.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also said an additional 646 new cases have been found, increasing the total case count to 141,723, although the vast majority have since recovered.
Those cases were found among 23,789 tests processed, keeping the state’s test positivity rate over the past week at 3%. More than 1.5 million Illinois residents have been tested so far.
Sunday’s 15 deaths increases the state’s pandemic death toll to 6,888 and June’s death toll to 1,511. That’s an average of just under 54 COVID-19 deaths per day, down sharply from May’s average of nearly 100 per day.
It should be noted, however, that weekend daily totals have been generally lower throughout the crisis — mainly due to less regular reporting from hospitals and other facilities.
Sunday marked the state’s third day since entering Phase Four of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, which allowed more businesses to reopen Friday and permits gatherings of up to 50 people. The state isn’t expected to fully reopen until a vaccine or effective alternative treatment is available.
Many other states — particularly in the southern and western U.S. — have seen coronavirus cases and deaths spike since initiating their own reopening plans. Illinois has so far avoided a similar surge, however.
On Saturday, the state announced 26 additional deaths and 786 new cases.