30 more die from COVID-19 as neighboring states limit bar and restaurant space amid surges

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and health administrators are watching health metrics in Illinois to determine whether a Phase 4 opening last Friday will play any role in any upticks in cases, as many states have seen.

SHARE 30 more die from COVID-19 as neighboring states limit bar and restaurant space amid surges
A technician handles a blood sample to test for COVID-19 at a Harwood Heights facility on April 22.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file photo

As several states continue to see a surge in coronavirus cases ahead of a holiday weekend, health officials in Illinois said another 30 people have died from COVID-19 — with the state nearing a grim milestone of 7,000 people lost to the pandemic.

In total, 6,951 people have died in Illinois from COVID-19.

Within the last 24 hours, state laboratories took in 33,090 test results. More than 1.6 million tests have been performed in Illinois, officials said.

On Wednesday, Illinois reported 828 new cases, maintaining its streak of seeing fewer than 1,000 new confirmed cases daily since June 3, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

But Gov. J.B. Pritzker and health administrators are watching health metrics in the state to determine whether a Phase 4 opening last Friday will play any role in upticks in cases, as many states have seen. Phase 4 allowed for indoor restaurants and bars to reopen with capacity limits, as well as museums, zoos and gyms, among other businesses.

In Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday the state will continue enforcing capacity limits for restaurants and bars as cases climb across the state. The state was set to lift those restrictions this weekend. Indiana has lost 2,456 people to the pandemic, according to the Indiana Department of Public Health.

In Madison, Wisconsin, health officials announced they were closing indoor service at bars as the Fourth of July weekend approaches and as the number of reported coronavirus cases accelerated, many involving young people in Wisconsin’s largest college community, according to the Associated Press. Since June 13, 614 people have tested positive for coronavirus and half of them were between 18 and 29.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control study released Tuesday found one in two COVID-19 patients could not identify a person with COVID-19 with whom they had close contact within the last two weeks. A telephone study of 350 adult inpatients and outpatients who tested positive found only 46% reported recent contact with a COVID-19 patient. Most contacts were a family member or a work colleague, the study found.

The CDC recommended case investigation, contact tracing and isolation of the infected person help to prevent ongoing community transmission.

“Enhanced measures to ensure workplace safety, including social distancing and more widespread use of cloth face coverings, are warranted,” the study found.

Meanwhile, Pritzker has used his social media platforms to push a public safety message of wearing masks.

“Excuses don’t protect us from #covid19. Masks do,” Pritzker tweeted Wednesday.

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