State has 30 new deaths, 1,076 more COVID-19 cases

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY MITCHELL ARMENTROUT, STAFF REPORTER mar­men­trout@suntimes.com | @mitchtrout

An­other 1,076 peo­ple have tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19, health of­fi­cials said Tues­day, mark­ing a full week of four-digit daily caseloads.

The Illi­nois Depart­ment of Public Health also an­nounced an ad­di­tional 30 deaths have been at­trib­uted to the virus, the most re­ported by the state in a sin­gle day in nearly three weeks.

The lat­est cases were con­firmed among 28,331 tests re­ceived by the state, keep­ing the statewide test­ing pos­i­tiv­ity rate at 3.8% over the last week. But that num­ber has climbed up­ward from 2.5% three weeks ago.

It’s all part of the grad­ual rise in cases over the last month that Gov. J.B. Pritzker has warned could lead to state in­ter­ven­tions in ar­eas where out­breaks have ticked up­ward. Six of the eleven med­i­cal re­gions des­ig­nated by Pritzker’s of­fice — in­clud­ing sub­ur­ban Cook County and Lake County — have seen in­creases in test­ing pos­i­tiv­ity rates for at least a week, putting them on the brink of hav­ing the state step in.

To trig­ger those “mit­i­ga­tion” ef­forts by the state — which could in­clude busi­ness shut­downs — those ar­eas would also have to see ei­ther a sus­tained rise in hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions, or a de­cline in the num­ber of avail­able hos­pi­tal beds. None of those six re­gions has raised ei­ther of those ad­di­tional red flags.

But Pritzker’s of­fice has said it will step in im­me­di­ately if a re­gion’s rolling pos­i­tiv­ity rate tops 8%. That means the down­state Metro East re­gion near St. Louis could face reper­cus­sions sooner, with its rate just a hair un­der that thresh­old at 7.8%.

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