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Coronavirus

Illinois announces 18 more deaths, 1,105 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

A woman walks on the sidewalk in front of NorthShore Skokie Hospital sign in Skokie on Friday. Gov. JB Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state, which went into effect on March 21, and lasts through at least April 7.
A woman walks on the sidewalk in front of NorthShore Skokie Hospital sign in Skokie on Friday. Gov. JB Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state, which went into effect on March 21, and lasts through at least April 7.

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Illinois has an additional 18 deaths and 1,105 new cases of COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Sunday. Both are new single-day highs for the state.

Illinois now has seen 4,596 confirmed cases and 65 deaths. The state has tested 27,762 people.

According to IDPH data released Sunday, Chicago has seen 2,026 confirmed cases.

The rest of Cook County has seen 1,419 cases. Lake County has 300, DuPage 274, Will 192, Kane 100, McHenry 52, Kendall 15, DeKalb eight, La Salle four, Grundy and Whiteside three and Bureau one.

Among new deaths announced Sunday included a DuPage County man in his 60s, a Kane County man in his 40s, two Kane County men in their 90s, a Kendall County man in his 60s and a La Salle County man in his 80s.

Gov. JB Pritzker believes the state will have the capacity to test about 10,000 people per day within the next 10 days, he said Sunday at his daily news conference. The state is currently testing about 4,000 people per day. Less than a week ago, it was testing only about 2,000 people per day.

“That [10,000] marker is significant,” Pritzker said. “It’s the number of tests per day that the scientists and experts tell us that we need to get a truly holistic understanding of the virus in each of our 102 counties.”

Pritzker said Friday that there are still too many symptomatic individuals who can’t access a test, and that many of those people are being told to assume they have the virus.

The governor and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reiterated for people to stay home whenever possible.

“There are many who are ill with only mild, minimal symptoms, who still may be, annoyingly, transmitting this virus to some of our most vulnerable populations,” Ezike said.

Abbott Laboratories, headquartered in Abbott Park, announced Friday that it has developed a test that can detect COVID-19 in as little as five minutes. Pritzker said he spoke with the lab’s president and CEO in separate phone calls Friday night to get Illinois at the top of the list for availability.

“I’m proud to say that they expressed their real dedication to taking care of their home state and will be very helpful to us here in Illinois as their production ramps up,” Pritzker said.

The state announced it opened a second state-run drive-through testing facility. A new McLean County facility joins the already operating Harwood Heights state-run facility. There are also federal sites in Bolingbrook, North Lake and Joliet.

Pritzker said symptomatic first responders, health care workers, seniors and people with underlying health conditions are eligible to visit these state-run sites. He said the state is looking at additional locations throughout Illinois to open drive-through testing sites.

The governor is pressuring the federal government to allow these state-run testing sites to perform more tests. They are currently capped at 250 tests per day. Pritzker said the Harwood Heights location is reaching its testing limit by early afternoon each day.

The state believes it could test more than 400 people per day at these sites.

“We have the capacity to do so,” Pritzker said. “So we’re pushing the federal government to change their requirements and allow us to test more than 250 people. We’re turning people away that we just shouldn’t have to.”

Pritzker also said he is pressuring the federal government to improve return times on testing results. Some private labs have taken as much as a week or 10 days to return test results.

Additionally, Ezike was asked Sunday for any more information regarding an infant who died and who had tested positive for COVID-19. The story made national headlines Saturday. Ezike said the investigation is still ongoing.

“We are trying to gather all the data before speaking,” Ezike said.

“I would remind parents out there that this is highly uncommon,” added Pritzker. “That isn’t to say that every infant is safe, but it’s so uncommon that – when I started to listen to the experts about it – I got at least some comfort in the idea that this is not something we should expect to hear a lot more of because it’s just not happening very often at all.”

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