11 ILLINOIS COUNTIES HIT ‘WARNING LEVEL’ FOR COVID-19
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s public health team on Friday put 11 counties on notice across Illinois for hitting a “warning level” as the state’s rebound in coronavirus cases hit another apex with 1,941 newly confirmed cases.
That’s the state’s highest single-day caseload since May 24 — eclipsing the two-month high tally set just a day earlier.
The latest cases were confirmed among a record 49,782 tests received by the state, but it was still enough to raise Illinois’ rolling positivity rate over the past week to 3.9%. That number, which indicates how quickly the virus is spreading, was 2.6% at the end of June.
The state hasn’t topped 2,000 daily cases since late May, when it suffered its peak COVID-19 impact with an average of almost 2,200 new cases and 100 deaths reported per day. Illinois closed out the month of July averaging 1,150 new cases per day, compared with 764 in June when the state’s curve flattened.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday also announced another 21 deaths have been attributed to the virus, raising Illinois’ pandemic toll to 7,495.
And a day after Pritzker warned that the steady rise in cases has the state “at a danger point,” the Illinois Department of Public Health sounded the alarm on 11 counties with outbreaks tied to risky activities — mostly among young people — ranging from graduation ceremonies and soccer tournaments to crowded bars, churches and restaurants.
Those 11 counties are scattered from one end of the state to the other. But the largest cluster is in the state’s southern tip — including St. Clair, Randolph, Jackson and Perry in the Metro East region near St. Louis, and Gallatin, Saline and White near the southeastern edge.
“Residents of many communities are not wearing face coverings that have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the health department said. “Public health officials are finding that most contacts to cases are testing positive as well.”