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Illinois sees 2,128 new coronavirus cases, 27 deaths

State public health officials urge people to social distance, wear masks, wash hands as they gear up for the holiday weekend.

Mike Grono, 45, of Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood, gets his blood drawn for a coronavirus antibody test.
The statewide positivity rate was 4.5% as of Wednesday, health officials reported.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday announced another 2,128 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 27 dying from the virus.

Of the dead, eight were from Cook County, and all but one statewide was 60 years old or older.

Wednesday’s case count was the highest since Aug. 28, when the state reported 2,149 coronavirus infections.

As of Wednesday, the state’s positivity rate was 4.5% — a slight uptick from Tuesday, when the rate was 4.3%, according to the IDPH.

As of Tuesday night, 1,596 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19; of those, 347 patients were in intensive care and 142 were on ventilators.

During the past 24 hours, laboratories in the state have conducted 32,751 tests, with a total of 4,119,873.

Since the pandemic first took hold, 8,091 Illinoisans have died from the virus. The state has seen 238,643 cases.

Public health officials also urged residents to follow social distancing guidelines as people prepare to gather for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“We know that much of the spread that is occurring in Illinois is actually happening in these settings,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during a briefing to discuss the pandemic. “They are not public settings. They are often private settings, and people often let down their guard.”

Pritzker cautioned against listening to the “virus deniers.”

“Their new argument is, ‘It’s just new cases that are rising — not deaths — and the hospitals are fine so we don’t have to worry,’” Pritzker said. “As the White House’s own Dr. [Deborah] Birx said [Tuesday], Florida, Texas, Arizona and other southern sunbelt states thought that their increasing infection rates were unimportant and then, in no time at all, their hospitals were overrun. When that happens, a lot more people die. I won’t let that happen here.”