Illinois passes 150,000 coronavirus cases as state confirms over 1,000 new infections

CHICAGO — Illinois health officials said 1,018 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed over the past day Thursday, reporting the highest single-day total in a month as the total number of cases in the state passes 150,000.

According to the Illinois Department of Health, 1,018 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 related deaths have been confirmed since Wednesday. This is the second-straight day the number of new infections has been higher than has been reported since reported cases continued their decline in early June.

This is still far below states that are seeing a spike in cases in recent days, including Arizona (over 3,000), California (over 7,000) and Florida (over 9,000), according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

To date, Illinois has confirmed 150,450 cases and 7,119 deaths related to COVID-19, although officials estimate 94 percent of those with confirmed cases have recovered.

While cases have risen over the past two days, the statewide positivity rate from July 2-8, which measures the percent of COVID-19 tests which come back positive, remains stable at 2.6 percent. The number of cases also remains well within the Phase 4 guidelines in all regions outlined in the state’s “Restore Illinois” plan.

Health officials in Lake County report they’re seeing an upward trend in new COVID-19 cases among teenagers and young adults over the past two weeks. They credit the rise in part to young people attending parties and otherwise spending time with friends without social distancing.

All summer sports programs in the Lake Zurich district were shut down after several athletes tested positive for COVID-19. Health officials said they were particularly concerned about a party attended by several students.

Hospital resources dedicated to coronavirus patients also remain at a relatively low level in Illinois, with 1,507 reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19, including 317 in intensive care and and 153 on ventilators.

A group tasked with guiding Chicago’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic released an advisory report Thursday, 10 weeks after the Task Force was formed. A group of 200 industry experts, policymakers and community-based partners contributed to the report.

More than 1.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a historically high pace that shows that many employers are still laying people off as a spike in virus cases has forced six states to reverse their move to reopen businesses.

Starbucks says it will require customers to wear a facial covering while entering any of its company-owned cafe locations in the United States starting July 15.