The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday announced another 2,514 people had tested positive for COVID-19 and 25 more deaths from the virus.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate — the number used to gauge how quickly the virus is spreading — between Sept. 18 and 24 is 3.6%, up slightly from the 3.5% positivity rate recorded earlier this week.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 69,793 specimens for a total of 5,363,471 since the pandemic began.
As of Thursday night, 1,637 coronavirus patients in Illinois were hospitalized, 371 were in intensive care units and 124 were on ventilators.
“Were starting to see an increase in the number of daily cases,” IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said. Daily death counts and the number of patients in intensive care and on ventilators have been steady, she said.
Additionally, 17 counties were at a warning level, IDPH announced Friday. The designation is a way of telling a county: “Hey you’re starting to go in the wrong direction,” Arnold said.
The counties are: Bond, Boone, Cass, Christian, Clinton, Crawford, DeWitt, Fayette, Grundy, Hamilton, Macon, Menard, Peoria, Putnam, Washington, Wayne, and Winnebago.
Last week 24 counties were at a warning level.
“Although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with university and college parties as well as college sports teams, large gatherings and events, bars and clubs, weddings and funerals, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, schools, and cases among the community at large,” according to the IDPH.
IDPH is reporting a total of 283,885 cases, including 8,563 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.
Illinois has averaged 19 deaths a day in August and September — an average that, should it continue, puts Illinois on track for more than 10,400 deaths by the end of the year.
Across the United States, nearly seven million cases have been recorded, with a national death toll that’s exceeded 202,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.