JOLIET, IL – As Illinois prepares to enter Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan on Friday, the state has avoided the spikes in confirmed coronavirus cases that other states are experiencing, the governor said Thursday.
The same goes for Will County, which surpassed 6,500 cases after county health officials announced 24 new cases on Thursday. In addition to the new cases, which takes the countywide total to 6,504, county health officials also announced one new death, which pushed the death toll among local residents to 316.
The latest death was a woman in her 80s. Females in their 80s are the highest age group for coronavirus-related deaths in the county with 56, according to county health data. State health officials announced two Will County death on Thursday with the other victim also being a woman in her 80s.
State health officials announced 894 deaths on Thursday with an additional 41 deaths, which took Illinois past 6,800 deaths since the pandemic began and 139,434 confirmed cases. The new total does not include another 1,000 probable causes and an additional 204 probable deaths.
The state's rolling seven-day positivity rate is now at 3 percent after the state processed 31,686 tests in the past 24 hours.
While Pritzker is warning residents to remain vigilant as the new phase of reopening begins Friday, the governor said that “Illinois has done better than almost every other highly populated state” in controlling the coronavirus. As new cases begin to spike across the country after weeks of declining steadily, Pritzker said that while he believes the state is ready to move on with reopening, he will be quick to reverse course if “we see a surge.”
The new phase of reopening will allow for museums, fitness centers, movie theaters and other businesses to reopen and for restaurants and bars to allow inside dining at reduced gathering limits. However, Pritzker warned that he will monitor the number of cases as health officials warn of a second wave of the coronavirus coming this fall.
"Ours will not be one of the states that takes no action," Pritzker said, adding that the road ahead will be difficult.