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Illinois tallies 1,828 more coronavirus cases, 5 additional deaths

Elderly residents accounted for Saturday’s fatalities, including a Cook County man in his 80s and a DuPage woman in her 90s. 

A technician handles a blood sample to test for COVID-19 at a Harwood Heights facility on April 22.
A technician handles a blood sample to test for COVID-19 at a Harwood Heights facility on April 22.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Public health officials on Saturday announced another 1,828 people have tested positive for COVID-19 across Illinois, as five additional deaths were attributed to the virus.

Since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the state in early March, a total of 7,726 people have died among at least 204,519 who have contracted the respiratory disease.

Elderly residents accounted for Saturday’s fatalities, including a Cook County man in his 80s and a DuPage woman in her 90s.

But the Illinois Department of Public Health has attributed most of the state’s case rise over the last month to outbreaks among young people, mostly clustered downstate.

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The latest cases were detected among 44,414 tests received by the state, lowering Illinois’ positivity rate over the last week to 4%.

That number has crept up from 2.5% about a month ago, indicating COVID-19 is spreading more widely after cases declined from a mid-May peak through June, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s health team.

Fourteen counties, including Kane and Will in the Chicago area, are considered to be at a “warning level” due to risk indicators of hospital admissions and transmission rates set by the state health department.

The state has averaged about 1,717 new cases per day over the last two weeks. That’s almost triple the rate at which the state closed out June, when about 682 new cases were being confirmed daily.

So far in August, Illinois has seen some of its highest case counts in nearly three months, surpassing 2,000 daily cases three times. Previously, the state hadn’t eclipsed that mark since late May.

More than 3.3 million people have been tested for the virus overall.

As of Friday night, 1,538 Illinois coronavirus patients were hospitalized, with 330 in intensive care units and 127 on ventilators.