Illinois surpasses 200K coronavirus cases, adds 24 deaths Thursday

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Illinois has surpassed 200,000 with the Department of Public Health’s announcement Thursday of 1,834 new cases.

The department reported 200,427 confirmed cases of the virus. Health officials also say 24 additional residents have died from the coronavirus, bringing the state’s death toll to 7,696.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the number of COVID-19 cases ballooned over the past month due to outbreaks among young people and that it continues to trend upward, adding he is concerned about the increase.

“Distancing, masking, washing your hands, just following some basic rules — we can get through this,” Pritzker said during an appearance in Bloomington. “We all should pray for those who are developing those (coronavirus vaccines), and in the meantime, let’s just be kind to each other and stay healthy by following the mitigation rules.”

The cases announced Thursday were determined through 46,006 tests, slightly lowering the statewide COVID-19 positivity rate to 4%. After reaching a peak in May, daily case numbers declined to an average of about 682 per day over the last two weeks of June. It has since more than doubled over the last two weeks.

As of late Wednesday, 1,628 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus, with 383 in intensive care units and 127 on ventilators.