Another 44 people have died of COVID-19 in Illinois as health officials on Friday announced the latest batch of 692 confirmed cases.
With the state still managing to avoid the massive case spikes seen in other states with loosening coronavirus restrictions, a total of 6,580 deaths have now been attributed to the virus in Illinois.
The latest reports bring the state’s total confirmed cases to 135,470, almost five months since the first person tested positive for the coronavirus in Illinois.
Another 1,000 are considered to have been “probable” cases, while an additional 204 deaths haven’t been officially added to the Illinois toll because those people were never tested.
Still, the recovery rate inched up to 94% with the latest figures, which also marked two full weeks since the state last tallied more than 1,000 new cases in a single day, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
And that’s as testing capacity has expanded statewide. More than 27,000 test results were reported Friday, and about 1.3 million people have been tested overall.
Outbreaks at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities continue to account for an outsize brunt of the pandemic: more than half Illinois’ coronavirus deaths (3,649) and almost a fifth of the case tally (21,476).
But a day earlier, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office issued a guidance for long-time care facilities to begin allowing open-air visits, with nursing homes deciding if, how and when the reunions can happen, along requirements set by the health department.
“This is a positive step in the recovery process for nursing homes,” Pat Comstock, director of COVID Response for the Health Care Council of Illinois, said in a statement. “After many months of virtual contact with their spouses, children and other loved ones, we know our residents will have many joyful reunions in the days ahead.”
The state’s rolling positivity rate for tests over the last week is 3%, and all regions are on track to advance to Phase 4 of Pritzker’s reopening plan June 26, allowing more businesses to reopen and gatherings to include up to 50 people.
That advancement will be delayed about a week for Chicago, but before then, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said restaurants can welcome customers inside at 25% capacity beginning next Friday.