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Illinois ends June with about half the daily COVID-19 deaths and new cases as in peak month of May

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 23 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 724 newly confirmed cases of the virus. That raises the state’s death toll to 6,923, among the 143,185 people who have tested positive for the virus since late January. 

A nurse takes her gloves off as she walks out of a COVID-19 patient’s room April 28 at Roseland Community Hospital.
A nurse takes her gloves off as she walks out of a COVID-19 patient’s room April 28 at Roseland Community Hospital.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

As coronavirus cases flare to record highs in other states that reopened earlier, Illinois closed out the month of June with another round of low daily numbers Tuesday, indicating the state’s pandemic curve is still arcing downward — for now.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 23 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 724 newly confirmed cases of the virus. That raises the state’s death toll to 6,923 among the 143,185 people who have tested positive for the virus since late January.

The state averaged about half as many new cases and deaths each day in June compared to May, when Illinois hit its apparent coronavirus peak.

The state suffered almost half its overall caseload and death toll in May, with about 67,300 positive diagnoses and 3,076 lives lost. That means officials announced an average of about 99 deaths and 2,172 new cases per day.

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Compare that to June, which saw 1,547 coronavirus deaths and almost 23,000 new cases. As the state reported some of its lowest daily counts since March, June averaged about about 52 deaths and 764 new cases announced per day.

Overall, the state has seen about 66 coronavirus deaths daily since the first was confirmed in mid-March.

An additional 201 deaths and 1,053 infections spanning the pandemic are considered to have been “probable” but untested cases of COVID-19.

And an outsize portion of the effect of the coronavirus has been felt in Illinois’ nursing homes and other long-term care facilities: 3,772 deaths among 22,170 cases.

Laboratories received more than 31,000 test results and have tested more than 1.6 million people, with the rolling positivity rate in the last week standing at 2.6%.

Officials are hoping those numbers continue on a downward trajectory — unlike those skyrocketing across the South and West — after Illinois’ Phase 4 reopening Friday.

The state apparently has managed to avoid a case surge after weeks of widespread protests, but it will take awhile to see any potential effects from the reopening of gyms, indoor dining and other businesses.

Illinois isn’t expected to reopen fully until a vaccine or an effective COVID-19 treatment is available.