79 more deaths, 5,059 new cases as Illinois COVID-19 positivity rate ticks up

The state’s seven-day positivity rate — a gauge of how fast the virus is spreading — rose from 8.3% on Sunday to 8.6% on Monday.

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Rush University Medical Center staff collect nasopharyngeal swab samples to test people for the coronavirus last week at the hospital’s drive-thru testing site.

Rush University Medical Center staff collect nasal swab samples to test people for the coronavirus at the hospital’s drive-thru testing site in November.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

State health officials on Monday announced another 79 Illinois residents have died of the coronavirus in the last day and 5,059 new positive cases.

Forty-one of those 79 deaths were in Cook County, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Though a teen was among the fatalities, the majority of deaths — in both the county and state — involved people at least 60 years old.

The state reported 81 deaths and 4,469 positive cases on Sunday.

As of Monday, Illinois had recorded 16,834 deaths due to COVID-19, with more than 984,000 positive tests across the state since the pandemic’s outbreak last year, according to IDPH.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate — the metric used to gauge the speed at which the virus is spreading — ticked up from 8.3% on Sunday to 8.6% on Monday, state health officials said. Eight days ago, the positivity rate was 6.8%.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations are on the rise, as well. As of Sunday night, 3,948 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 — 131 more people than the day before. Of those patients, 816 were in intensive care units and 471 were on ventilators, according to IDPH.

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