Illinois health officials reported more than 4,000 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, a record high, and 53 additional deaths.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 4,015 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases Thursday, setting a new record and bringing the total to 331,620 cases. The 53 additional deaths brought the total death toll to 9,127 deaths since the pandemic began.
A total of 67,086 tests were performed in the past 24 hours, officials said, a significant increase from the previous day.
State health officials said that as of Thursday, the IDPH had included both molecular and antigen tests in the number of tests conducted across the state. The IDPH said antigen tests in the past accounted for less than 1% of tests performed and were not previously included due to “a limited number of antigen tests and limited information on the accuracy of the antigen test.”
However, Illinois health officials said Thursday that antigen tests are becoming more readily available, and will therefore be included in daily measurements.
The high number of cases cannot be fully attributed to the large number of tests performed, however, because although a large number of tests were reported, the 7-day rolling rate of positive positivity also increased from 4.6% to 4.9% in Thursday, continuing to rise once again.
As of Wednesday night, 1,932 people in Illinois were reported to be in hospital with COVID-19. Of these, 388 patients were in the ICU and 147 patients were on ventilators.
The latest figures came a day after Gov. JB Pritzker warned Illinois was moving in a “worrying direction,” and the state’s 11 health care facilities have seen an increase in positive scores.
“Unfortunately, in all 11 regions there was an increase in positivity compared to where we were in last week’s update. Across the level, our positivity rate has increased by more than one percentage point in the last week alone. And in most regions “COVID-like Hospital admissions have increased over the same period,” he told a news conference Wednesday.
“To date, Illinois has been relatively successful in keeping this virus at bay, and we still do better than many of our neighbors, but we can not let it go – and those numbers show a relative direction,” he said.