CHICAGO - Coronavirus cases continue to soar in Illinois, with public health officials on Friday reporting a staggering 15,415 new cases— the highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
The new cases are nearly 3,000 higher than the previous record set Thursday, when the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 12,702 cases.
More than 133,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the first 13 days of November, blowing past May’s entire caseload of 67,000 positive tests — when the state saw its first peak.
The new cases were among 106,540 test results submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health, raising the state’s overall total positive cases to 551,957.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate, which measures how quickly the virus is spreading, has been raised to 13.2% from 12.6% the day before. That number has nearly quadrupled since Oct. 1, when the positivity rate was 3.5%.
Health officials also reported 27 new deaths tied to the virus, including four Chicago-area residents. Those fatalities have raised the state’s death toll to 10,504.
The health department issued guidelines to help cease the spread of the virus, urging people “to stay home as much as possible, leaving only for necessary and essential activities, such as work if working from home is not an option, buying groceries, and visiting the pharmacy.”
“In our current situation, with a rising prevalence of the virus, attending even small gatherings that mix households, or traveling to areas that are experiencing high rates of positivity, is not advised,” the health department said in a statement.
As of Thursday night, 5,362 people in Illinois were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 990 in the ICU and 488 on ventilators.