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Illinois records 1,462 new COVID-19 cases, 14 additional deaths

After two consecutive days of logging 2,000 or more new coronavirus cases, Illinois saw a significant drop in its daily caseload Sunday.

Illinois processed 46,890 coronavirus tests in the last day.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

After two consecutive days of logging 2,000 or more new coronavirus cases, Illinois saw a significant drop in its daily caseload Sunday as public health officials announced another 1,462 people have tested positive for the virus.

The newest infections, which bring the state’s total to 261,371 cases over the last seven months, were detected among 46,890 tests processed in the last day, keeping the state’s seven-day positivity rate to 3.7%.

After seeing daily caseloads dip significantly in June and the early part of July following the peak month of May, Illinois has grappled with a second wave of the virus.

The state averaged about 1,812 new infections each day in August, up sharply from July’s daily average of 1,150. In September, Illinois is averaging about 2,026 new COVID-19 infections each day, though that number is slightly skewed due to the state’s record-setting 5,368 caseload on Sept. 4 that officials attributed to a testing backlog.

Illinois has also seen a dramatic increase in testing capacity. In total, Illinois has processed more than 4.7 million COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began.

Illinois’ positivity rate — the figure health officials use to gauge how quickly the virus is spreading — dipped below 4% this week for the first time since July 31. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he was “pleased” with the way numbers have trended following a mid-summer resurgence.

However, officials warned the state’s fight against the virus continues and urged residents to keep taking precautions seriously.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced 14 more COVID-19 patients have died, raising the state’s pandemic death toll to 8,309. Cook County accounted for five of those fatalities, which included a Cook County man in his 30s and a McHenry County man in his 20s.

The recovery rate for Illinois coronavirus patients is 96%. Most people who contract it show mild or no symptoms.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations dropped by 5.7% over the last day. As of Saturday night, 1,422 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Illinois, with 328 of those patients in intensive care units and 136 on ventilators, which is still well below the state’s capacity, officials said.