State public health officials said Thursday that seven more people had died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in Illinois to 26.
There have been 673 new positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Illinois in the past 24 hours, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. That brings the total to 2,538 people to test positive for the disease statewide. Across the country there were more than 68,400 cases as of noon Thursday and nearly 1,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the IDPH, urged people to continue to practice social distancing and adhere to the stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of the virus.
“To those that continue to be outside disregarding social distancing guidelines, I’m begging you to think of your fellow man, woman and child,” she said Thursday during the daily news briefing from Chicago. “The interconnectedness between all of us is so clear, and we need our entire community to perform these important tasks or else we suffer the consequences for all.”
People in 37 of the state’s 102 counties have now tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. There have been eight cases in Winnebago County, and no new cases were reported Thursday. It was the first time in seven days that no new cases were reported in the county.
“Even if you happen to live in a county that does not have a case right now, you should absolutely take precautions and follow all of the same guidance as if you knew the virus was circulating in your community, because it is,” Ezike said. “Please take the same precautions and stay home as much as possible.”
Ezike said residents need to remain vigilant and cannot become complacent about the social distancing guidelines.
“Let’s actively work together for the betterment of all. I know that as the weather warms up you’re tempted to get together and socialize, but we need look forward and look for the big picture. There’s a lot at stake and we can’t go for short-term wins at the cost of our society,” she said.
“We have to reduce the number of people who get ill. We have to reduce the number of deaths. We can end this pandemic.”
Kevin Haas: email@example.com; @KevinMHaas