Illinois COVID-19 cases climb to more than 10,000; total number of deaths now 243

Illinois health officials on Saturday announced 1,453 new cases of the coronavirus, raising the state’s case total to 10,357.

There are also another 33 deaths from the disease in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The state’s death toll is now 243 people.

The virus has now been reported in 68 of the state's 102 counties. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.

Of the 33 new deaths announced Saturday, the youngest is a man in his 20s, while the oldest is a woman in her 100s, IDPH said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has issued a statewide stay-at-home order, on Friday recommended for the first time that people wear face coverings when venturing outside.

“This virus can be spread through droplets, like when you sneeze or cough,” Pritzker said. “So, blocking that by wearing a mask in public seems like a commonsense way to do what’s right for everyone. The most important thing you could do frankly is stay home.”

Early Thursday, a veteran officer in the Chicago Police Department died of COVID-19, officials said. The officer’s death is the first in the nearly 14,000-person department.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death.

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