Slight rise in coronavirus deaths, and dip in new cases as Illinois avoids sharp spikes seen elsewhere

The 37 additional deaths is more than the number of fatalities announced over the previous three days combined, which included Illinois’ two lowest daily death tolls in more than three months.

SHARE Slight rise in coronavirus deaths, and dip in new cases as Illinois avoids sharp spikes seen elsewhere
A blood sample is taken for a coronavirus antibody test earlier this month in the parking lot of St. Rosalie Catholic Parish in Harwood Heights.

A blood sample is taken for a coronavirus antibody test earlier this month in the parking lot of St. Rosalie Catholic Parish in Harwood Heights.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Another 37 people have died of the coronavirus in Illinois, raising the state’s pandemic death toll to 7,063, health officials said Tuesday.

That’s the highest number of Illinois deaths announced in a single day since June 26, when the state reported 39 lives lost as more businesses were allowed to resume operations with the fourth phase of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan.

It’s also more than the number of deaths announced over the previous three days combined, which included Illinois’ two lowest daily death tolls in more than three months — six deaths each reported Sunday and Monday.

And just shy of two weeks since the latest reopening phase kicked in, Illinois so far has apparently avoided a major case spike like those seen in other states. The rise in parts of the South and West has prompted Mayor Lori Lightfoot to impose a two-week quarantine order for anyone arriving to Chicago from more than a dozen COVID-19 hotspots.

At the height of the Illinois’ outbreak in mid-May, an average of about 100 people were dying of the disease per day. That rate fell to about 52 deaths per day in June, while the state has averaged about 20 deaths per day through the first week of July.

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And with the Illinois Department of Public Health announcing the latest batch of 587 confirmed coronavirus cases, it’s been more than a month since the state topped 1,000 new cases in a single day (1,156 on June 5).

But Tuesday’s total marked the first time the daily caseload has fallen below 600 since June 22. Since the state hit a nearly three-month low of 462 cases on that day two weeks ago, officials have reported an average of about 748 new cases per day.

At least 148,452 people have tested positive for the virus overall in Illinois, among more than 1.8 million tests administered, including nearly 27,000 reported Tuesday. An additional 210 deaths and 1,122 infections are considered to have been probable but untested COVID-19 cases.

The recovery rate is 94%, while the state’s rolling testing positivity rate over the last week is 2.5%. Nursing homes have accounted for more than half the state death toll (3,856) and about 15% of overall cases (22,833).

As of Monday night, 1,385 were hospitalized across the state with COVID-19, with 320 of them in intensive care units and 153 on ventilators — all well within the state’s hospital capacity.


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