Illinois sets record for coronavirus cases for third day in a row

Rosemary Sobol, Chicago Tribune
·2 min read

Illinois continues to shatter records for new known coronavirus cases, setting another high mark for the third day in a row.

State public health officials on Saturday reported 7,899 new COVID-19 cases, eclipsing Friday’s single-day record of 6,943 cases. On Thursday, the state reported 6,363 cases, which set a record at the time.

Along with the record number of new cases, state health officials announced 46 more fatalities on Saturday bringing the statewide death toll to 9,757 since the pandemic began.

The high number of cases comes as Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike urged people to make “pandemic-guided decisions” and to avoid in-person gatherings on Halloween weekend.

Ten of 11 Illinois regions are now operating under tighter restrictions under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, including a ban on indoor dining and bar service, as the coronavirus continues its statewide resurgence.

A chunk of east-central Illinois that includes Champaign-Urbana and Decatur is the latest to join the list after its seven-day rolling positivity rate on coronavirus tests hit 8.6% on Tuesday, exceeding the state-established threshold of 8% for the third straight day and triggering the reopening rollback. The restrictions also include a 25-person limit on gatherings, down from 50.

The return of restrictions has proved controversial, with some restaurants vowing to continue indoor dining. Pritzker ordered closures for indoor dining last week in DuPage, Kane, Will and Kankakee counties. A similar restriction took effect in suburban Cook County on Wednesday and in Chicago on Friday. Lake and McHenry counties are to follow Saturday.

The state has reported 410,300 confirmed infections since the pandemic began. The seven-day statewide positivity rate, covering Oct. 24-30, — is 7.5%.

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