Illinois Coronavirus Update May 21: 100,418 Cases, 4,525 Deaths

·10 min read

ILLINOIS — State health officials on Wednesday announced 2,388 new cases of the coronavirus and 147 additional deaths from COVID-19, an uptick from earlier in the week. The statewide total now stands at 100,418 confirmed infections and 4,525 known deaths.

The most recent deaths include:

  • Clinton County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s

  • Cook County: 1 female 20s, 3 males 30s, 1 female 40s, 4 males 40s, 1 female 50s, 4 males 50s, 7 females 60s, 19 males 60s, 8 females 70s, 6 males 70s, 1 unknown 70s, 9 females 80s, 13 males 80s, 10 females 90s, 5 males 90s, 1 male 100+

  • DuPage County: 1 male 20s, 1 male 40s, 2 males 60s, 3 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s

  • Grundy County: 1 unknown 90s

  • Kane County: 1 female 40s, 2 males 40s, 1 female 60s, 3 males 60s, 3 females 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 2 female 90s

  • Kankakee County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s

  • Lake County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 1 female 70s, 3 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 2 females 90s, 1 male 90s

  • Madison County: 1 male 70s

  • McDonough County: 1 female 80s

  • McHenry County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 80s- Union County: 1 male 80s

  • Whiteside County: 1 female 80s

  • Will County: 1 female 60s, 2 females 90s

  • Winnebago County: 1 male 60s

  • Woodford County: 1 female 90s

One hundred of 102 Illinois counties now report cases of the virus, and statewide, deaths range from people younger than one year old to older than 100, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Experts say testing, contact tracing and health care capacity are keys to safely lifting lockdowns. Over the past 24 hours, labs in Illinois have processed 21,029 coronavirus tests for a total of 642,713 since the pandemic began. The state's rolling, seven-day postivity rate has held steady at 14 percent for several days now, officials said. According to the Johns Hopkins University, a positivity rate of less than 12 percent is a good measure of whether enough tests are being conducted in a given state.

"If a state's positivity rate is too high, that may indicate that the state is only testing the sickest patients who seek medical attention, and does not have enough testing capacity to accurately measure how prevalent the virus is within its communities," the university's coronavirus website says. "A low rate of positivity in testing data can be seen as a sign that a state is testing enough of its population to make informed decisions about reopening."

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that Illinois has now passed New York State in testing per capita, though how exactly the state is counting tests isn't clear.

"There's much more work to do to advance testing to make it even more widely available, but I do want to recognize, at this juncture, the folks who made this happen," he said.

Pritzker also reiterated what he said last week, that all regions of the state are on track to move into the next phase of Restore Illinois, his plan to reopen the state, on May 29. But he called on Illinoisans to "stay the course" to make sure that happens.

"As residents, businesses and employees gear up for phase 3, we will be providing specific safety and mitigation guidelines for work places and activities that are reopening," Pritzker said.

The United States as a whole has tested more than 12.6 million people for the coronavirus as of Thursday. After early testing failures that left officials unable to track the spread of the disease, that number is improving, but it still represents only a fraction of the U.S. population.

The United States now has more than 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus infections, according to Johns Hopkins University, and at least 93,439 Americans have died from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. Globally, more than 5 million people have been infected and 328,730 are known to have died.

Illinois Coronavirus Helpline:

Illinois officials say a state helpline has been set up to provide emotional support and quick answers to questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Illinoisans can test "TALK" to 55-2020 (or "HABLAR" for Spanish), and within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor. Residents can also text keywords like "UNEMPLOYMENT," "FOOD," or "SHELTER," to the same number to receive additional information about those topics.

Here's what's happening with the coronavirus in Illinois:

IL Restaurants, Bars Can Reopen In Phase 3 With Outdoor Seating

Gov. J.B. Pritzker offered a light at the end of the tunnel for bars and restaurants Wednesday by announcing they can reopen in Phase 3.

Emergency Rule Threatening Owners Of Open Businesses Withdrawn

After three hours of closed-door discussions among Democratic lawmakers, IDPH representatives announced the rule would be pulled.

McHenry County Challenges Pritzker's Executive Order

Illinois' defense of Gov. JB Pritzker's ban on large church gatherings "is on dangerous ground," argued McHenry County State's Attorney.

Illinois Surpasses New York In Testing Per Capita

There are currently seven state-run drive-thru testing facilities in Illinois.

Is Pritzker Administration Manipulating Coronavirus Test Totals?

KONKOL COLUMN: Illinoisans deserve to know whether the Pritzker administration is cooking the books on testing data like other states.

Illinois Launches Coronavirus Contact Tracing Collaborative

A pilot contact tracing program is launching in St. Clair and Lake counties, the governor announced Monday.

Church Postpones Reopening After Warning Letter

'Much prayer and consideration has gone into this decision," the pastor wrote in a May 15 Facebook post.

107-Year-Old Woman Lives Through Second Pandemic

A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, Laura Petruzzelli waited over 100 years to see her beloved Cubbies win a World Championship.

Town Votes To Begin Legal Action Over Reopening

They vowed to sue if reopening guidelines aren't loosened by June 1.

2 More Illinois Retailers Closing Stores

Pier 1 reportedly plans to close all stores, while JCPenney will close up to 200 stores nationwide.

Illinois Has Most Coronavirus Restrictions In Country: Study

Here's how strict Illinois has been with its stay-at-home order compared to other U.S. states, according to WalletHub.

Illinois Unemployment Website 'Glitch' Leaks Personal Information

State officials announced a "full-scale investigation" into how the new PUA system revealed Social Security numbers and other private data.

Ribfest Cancelled For The First Time In 33 Years

The popular summer fest was scheduled to make its debut in Romeoville.

Kane County Coronavirus Cases Jump Nearly 50 Percent In 1 Week

Thirty-eight people died in Kane County since last Monday, including 17 over the weekend, Coroner Rob Russell announced Monday.

Coronavirus by the numbers:


  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 100,418

  • Deaths: 4,525

  • People tested: 642,713

  • Recovered: No data available


  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 1,551,853

  • Deaths: 93,439

  • People tested: 12,647,791

  • Recovered: 294,312


  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 5,022,064

  • Deaths: 328,730

  • People tested: No data available

  • Recovered: 1,918,028

Sources: Johns Hopkins University and IDPH

Tips from the CDC on dealing with coronavirus:

While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid virus exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends taking these actions to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

What to do if you're sick:

Call head if you're planning to visit your doctor:

  • If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the health care provider's office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Stay home unless you must see a doctor:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.

  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home:

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Avoid sharing personal household items:

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.


  • CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

  • Face mask instructions - sew- and no-sew masks

To donate personal protective equipment (PPE), email For health questions about COVID-19, call the state coronavirus hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email

This article originally appeared on the Across Illinois Patch