Illinois passes 6,000 coronavirus deaths

Illinois passes 6,000 coronavirus deaths 1

Illinois remained on an apparent downward trend from its coronavirus peak with the latest figures released by health officials Tuesday, even as the state passed a grim milestone of 6,000 deaths since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 797 newly confirmed cases of the disease along with 95 more deaths attributed to it.

That raises the death toll to 6,018 from among the 129,212 people who have contracted the virus in the state overall since late January.

On top of that, state health officials this week began reporting “probable” cases and deaths under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meaning they fit medical and epidemiological criteria, but the person wasn’t tested. As of Monday, the state reported 178 probable deaths and 724 probable cases since the start of the pandemic.

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Still, Tuesday marked the fourth straight day with officials reporting fewer than 1,000 new cases, and the fifth straight day with fewer than 100 deaths.

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The 95-death figure is closer to May, when the average daily death toll was nearly 100. So far, June has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, including two of the lowest daily fatality counts since April 2 and a handful of days hovering near or above the 100 mark.

The 797 new cases come a day after public health officials reported the lowest daily count since late March.

Since the start of June, 634 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, with two days topping 100 deaths.

Over the same nine-day period in May — as Illinois entered its peak — 1,010 deaths were reported, with seven days of 100 deaths or more.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration has voiced optimism that the gradually reopening state is slowly emerging from the pandemic — but has still urged people to maintain social distancing practices and wear face coverings.

The state’s rolling positivity rate for coronavirus testing continued to shrink, now standing at 4% over the last week. More than 20,300 test results were received Monday. Almost 1.1 million people have been tested overall.

Those numbers keep the four regions of the state on track to enter Phase 4 of Pritzker’s reopening plan as early as June 26. That would allow for gatherings of up to 50 people.

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