Illinois sets single-day COVID-19 record, again tops 12,000
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois set another single-day record for coronavirus infections Tuesday, pushing the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the state since the pandemic began past 500,000.
State public health officials reported 12,623 newly confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, nearly 15% higher than the previous record set Saturday, when cases also topped 12,000.
In Chicago, officials reported a daily average of 1,686 new cases, four times higher than a month ago. “There are no signs of slowing,” Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.
Deaths are on the rise, too. The state reported 79 more fatalities Tuesday. Illinois has seen an average of 59 deaths per day in the past week, compared with 45 deaths daily in the seven days prior to that.
Hospitalizations jumped 7.5% in one day to 4,742, and the number of more seriously ill patients is also on the rise, with those in intensive care units up to 911 and those on ventilators numbering 399.
The state was able to process more than 100,000 tests in a 24-hour period for the first time. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker says testing is key to containing the virus and more tests are needed.
Chicago officials also rolled out an updated travel order, organizing states into three threat levels but advising against all travel to nearly every state.
Arwady said Chicago is seeing increases in cases across all ages and ethnicity groups, though Latinos remain most disproportionately affected.
“Now is not the time to be traveling. Now is not the time to be gathering,” Arwady said. “It is not the time to have people into your home who do not already live there.”
To comply with the travel order, visitors to the city must quarantine for two weeks with few exceptions. The order also applies to Chicago residents returning from a visit to a designated state. Those violating the order could face hefty fines.
Thirteen states, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana are at the highest level.
Only six states and Washington, D.C., are at the lowest threat level with fewer than 15 daily cases per 100,000. While no two-week quarantine is required for those states, city officials are still cautioning against nonessential travel. They include New York, California and Vermont.
Tareen reported from Chicago.
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