Illinois reports 75 coronavirus deaths Saturday and more than 2,300 new cases

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Illinois health officials on Saturday announced 2,352 new cases of the coronavirus, raising the state’s case total to more than 107,796.

There were also another 75 deaths from the disease in the last 24 hours, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The statewide death toll is now at 4,790. More than half of the deaths were in May.

Within the past 24 hours in Illinois, laboratories have processed 25,114 virus tests with a positivity rate of about 13%, keeping all four regions of the state on track to advance to Phase 3 of Governor JB Pritzker’s reopening plan on May 29. In total, the state has administered 722,247 tests.

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

Governor Pritzker on Friday announced another tweak to the statewide strategy for loosening restrictions, adding child care facilities to the list of industries that can reopen next week as some parents return to work.

Pritzker said 15% of child care facilities in Illinois have remained open since March for the children of essential workers, and there has not been substantial spread of the virus related to those businesses.

Reopened facilities must limit the number of children they care for at one time and submit reopening plans to public health officials with details on cleaning and staff training.

Capacity can expand after fours weeks. Most home-based care centers, which are smaller, can care for their typical number of children.

On Wednesday, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the state is seeing a decrease in the numbers of people hospitalized, people in the Intensive Care Unit, and people on ventilators associated with the virus.

Governor Pritzker also announced restaurants and bars in Illinois will be allowed to reopen earlier than expected, but with outdoor seating only.

In addition, he revealed that food stamp recipients across the state can begin purchasing groceries online using their SNAP Link card on June 2.

RELATED: CDC now says coronavirus 'does not spread easily' via contaminated surfaces

Last week, Governor Pritzker announced the virus positivity rate in Illinois continues to decline, as the state is on track to begin Phase 3 of his reopening plan by May 31.

The governor's five-phase plan, named Restore Illinois, is guided by public health metrics designed for reopening businesses, schools, and recreational activities in each phase.

RELATED: 'Restore Illinois': Pritzker reveals 5-phase plan to reopen state amid COVID-19 pandemic

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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.


Sun-Times Media Wire and Associated Press contributed to this report.