Illinois nears 7,000 COVID-19 deaths – even as it maintains decline in daily fatalities, cases

While case surges in other states have forced officials to scale back reopenings, it’s now been almost a month since Illinois reported 1,000 or more new cases in a single day

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Caryl Agsalud processes nasopharyngeal swab samples positive for COVID-19 at Simple Laboratories in Harwood Heights, Wednesday afternoon, April 22, 2020.

Caryl Agsalud processes nasopharyngeal swab samples positive for COVID-19 at Simple Laboratories in Harwood Heights, Wednesday afternoon, April 22, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Another 36 people have died of COVID-19 in Illinois, raising the state’s coronavirus death toll to 6,987, health officials announced Thursday. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported an additional 869 people tested positive for the virus. Nearly 145,000 have contracted the virus over the last five months. 

While coronavirus surges in other states have forced officials to scale back reopenings, it’s now been almost a month since Illinois reported 1,000 or more new cases in a single day (June 5). 

Daily case and death totals have gradually trended downward since a record-high 4,014 Illinois cases were announced May 12. Officials in Florida announced more than 10,000 new cases Thursday, as that state’s searing COVID-19 resurgence continues. 

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An average of almost 100 Illinoisans died of the virus every day in May. That rate fell by almost half, to about 52 deaths per day in June, as the state’s pandemic curve apparently flattens. Monday’s 14 reported deaths marked the lowest daily count in three months. 

But with Illinois averaging about 32 daily coronavirus deaths over the last 10 days, the state’s toll is likely to eclipse the grim milestone of 7,000 deaths before the holiday weekend. 

The 869 new cases were confirmed among the latest 30,362 test results received by the state, a positivity rate of about 2.9%. The statewide rolling positivity rate over the last week is 2.6%, while almost 1.7 million tests have been administered overall. 

Not included in the state’s pandemic totals are an additional 201 deaths and 1,053 infections that officials consider “probable” but untested cases of COVID-19. 


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