Illinois’ positive test rate drops, but reaches daily high of COVID-19 deaths

By Rebecca Anzel Capitol News Illinois

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, announces during the May 13 daily COVID-19 briefing that there were 1,677 new cases of the virus and 192 additional deaths reported in the past 24 hours. The number of deaths is the highest daily count yet in Illinois. (Credit:

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois hit its lowest daily percentage of positive COVID-19 test results in more than month Wednesday, May 13 but also reported the largest daily high of additional deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were 1,677 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. Laboratories throughout the state processed 17,668 tests. That yielded a rate of positive cases of about 9.5 percent, the lowest since it was 9.9 percent on March 27.

Department Director Dr. Nogzi Ezike also said 192 residents died over the past 24 hours in 13 counties, including a teenager in Cook County.

In all, Illinois officials have reported 84,698 cases in 99 of the state’s 102 counties, and 3,792 deaths. Edwards County has now reported its first COVID-19 cases.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he knows “this is hard,” but rebuked elected leaders who are calling for the economy to reopen sooner than medical experts, scientists and modeling suggest.

RELATED: Madison County votes to defy Pritzker, allow businesses to reopen

“This virus has taken many lives and destroyed many livelihoods. COVID-19 has turned our world upside down and stolen our sense of normalcy and stability,” Pritzker said. “I want this to end just as much as you do, and if I could take away the pain and the loss that you’re feeling right now, I would do it in a heartbeat. But this virus is still among us. This pandemic is not over, and to pretend otherwise is a misguided attempt to reclaim what we’ve lost and will only make this last longer.”

The percentage of COVID-19 tests with positive results daily in Illinois from March 10 to May 13. Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. (Credit: Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois)

State officials focused on long-term care facilities “very early on,” the governor said. Residents at nursing homes and others in congregate care settings are a vulnerable population and the governor said, “the state is doing everything in its power to protect them.”

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Department of Public Health are coordinating with facilities across the state in a “somewhat unprecedented” step to ship them personal protective gear.

Enough masks, gloves, face shields, hand sanitizer and shoe covers are delivered to these locations to manage 200 residents.