Death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 7,000 in Illinois

Chicago News USA

Cases of COVID-19 rose by 868 and deaths increased by 18 Friday, a week after the state lifted multiple restrictions intended to reduce the spread of the respiratory disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

Statewide, the number of Illinoisans infected with COVID-19 stands at 145,750 and people perishing from the virus totals 7,005.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Tests for the disease surpassed 1.7 million and the seven-day average positivity rate was 2.6%.

On June 26, the state shifted to Phase 4 of a five-phase reopening plan, permitting gatherings of 50 or less and allowing multiple businesses, including movie theaters, to resume operating under IDPH rules.

That came on the heels of entering Phase 3 on May 29, the first step toward easing many strict stay at home rules such as reopening restaurants for outdoor dining.

Since then, the average number of daily cases in June was 756.5, compared to an average of 855 cases in the first three days of July.

As Illinois enters a hot, holiday weekend, Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged residents to wear masks in public while warning businesses, like bars, to follow current rules limiting the number of customers.

“If establishments cannot abide by capacity requirements, I will not hesitate to close them to keep people safe,” Pritzker said.

Effective Monday, Chicago has instituted a two-week quarantine for city residents and visitors to Chicago returning from states with COVID-19 outbreaks. Those states comprise: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The actions do not affect other parts of the state but beg the question of whether Pritzker will follow suit.

So far, the state is not considering implementing a statewide travel order, Pritzker spokesman Jason Rubin said.

“Municipalities have the ability to issue more stringent guidance for their communities. With other cities in the country experiencing spikes as Independence Day weekend approaches, the governor believes extra caution is warranted, especially when advised by public health experts.”

On May 29, Illinois entered Phase 3 or Recovery of a allowing gatherings of 10 or less and let multiple business reopen with caveats such as outdoor dining only for restaurants.

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