Illinois’ COVID-19 rise continues with second straight 2,000-case day

Illinois has averaged 1,733 new cases per day over the first eight days of August — almost a thousand more cases per day than the state averaged over the first eight days of July.

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Simple Laboratories phlebotomists draw blood for coronavirus antibody testing and collect nasopharyngeal swab samples to test for COVID-19 in Harwood Heights in May.

Simple Laboratories phlebotomists draw blood for coronavirus antibody testing and collect nasopharyngeal swab samples to test for COVID-19 in Harwood Heights in May.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Illinois logged more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases for a second straight day Saturday, once again ratcheting up concerns of a severe viral resurgence across the state.

Over the last 10 days, the state has recorded six of its highest daily caseloads since Memorial Day weekend, with the latest 2,190 additional cases confirmed by the Illinois Department of Public Health setting yet another two-month high.

Illinois has averaged 1,733 new cases per day over the first eight days of August — almost a thousand more cases per day than the state averaged over the first eight days of July.

The newest cases were confirmed among more than 48,000 tests, raising the statewide positivity rate over the last week to 4.2%. More than 3 million people have been tested overall.

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A total of 192,698 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Illinois since March. Almost a quarter of all cases — 43,266 of them — have been confirmed in the last month.

During a peak monthlong stretch that included the state’s apex — 4,014 cases on May 12 — the state reported almost 70,000 cases, or more than a third of Illinois’ pandemic total.

Health officials on Saturday also announced the virus has killed 18 more residents, raising Illinois’ toll to 7,631.

An additional 209 deaths aren’t included in that total because the deceased weren’t tested, but the public health department considers them “probable” COVID-19 fatalities. Another 1,300 nonfatal infections are suspected as well.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s health team has blamed much of Illinois’ steady rise on young people ignoring masking and social distancing guidelines, but the virus is still claiming lives at nursing homes at a brutal clip.

The state reported at least two dozen more coronavirus deaths at those long-term care facilities over the last week. They’ve now accounted for 4,162 of Illinois’ COVID-19 deaths, among 25,464 cases.

As of Friday night, 1,538 Illinois coronavirus patients were hospitalized, with 338 in intensive care units and 125 on ventilators.

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