Cases of COVID-19 rose by 546 Wednesday, as deaths from the virus grew by 87, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported, but that reflects an overall decline in daily results for June compared to May, so far.
The number of cases statewide stands at 134,185 since the pandemic began, while total fatalities are 6,485.
Also Wednesday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced public facilities including the court houses and clerk’s offices will reopen July 6. Residents will be required to undergo a temperature screening before entering, wear masks, and practice social distancing. Counters where people interact with county employees will be fitted out with plastic screens.
Meanwhile, state health department data shows the busiest state-run testing centers in Illinois are in the suburbs. Out of 11 community-based testing sites, the center with the most tests performed is in Harwood Heights, followed by facilities in South Holland and Aurora.
So far, the state has performed more than 1.2 million tests since the outbreak of the respiratory disease.
As of Sunday, health care workers had performed 44,790 tests at the Harwood Heights site since opening April 3, with a daily average of 553. The South Holland facility has conducted 30,615 tests in total or 528 daily; it originally opened in Markham on April 14 but relocated.
The Aurora testing site located at Premium Outlet Mall has done 25,650 tests, 503 a day, since opening April 23.
A facility in Waukegan ranked fourth with 18,294 tests total and 469 on average; it began testing May 3. A site in Rolling Meadows that started up May 22 has done 8,018 tests, 382 daily and is eighth-busiest out of 11.
Wednesday’s tally of COVID-19 cases — 546 — is overall lower than the June single-day average of 822, and much less than the May average of 2,156.
The daily count of people dying from COVID-19 — 87 — was higher than the June average of 66 but lower than the May average of 99.
Across the state, testing results showed a 3% positivity rate over seven days.
Those numbers will be closely watched as the state nears June 26, the date Illinois is anticipated to ease into Phase 4 of a five-stage, four-region reopening plan. The state is in Phase 3 now; Phase 4 would allow schools and movie theaters to reopen with restrictions, for example.
It’s unclear how easing numerous stay-at-home restrictions on May 29 to enter Phase 3 ultimately will affect COVID-19 results. So far, the region containing Chicago and the suburbs is meeting all health-related metrics set by the state to reach Phase 4, including a 6% positivity rate for COVID-19.