Illinois surpasses 3,000 COVID-19 deaths

Chronicle Media and Capitol News Illinois

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Illinoisans should honor their mothers this weekend by staying healthy and staying home. (Credit:BlueRoomStream)

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Thursday, May 7 announced 2,641 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 138 additional deaths.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 70,873 cases, including 3,111 deaths, in 97 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have processed 17,783 specimens for a total of 379,043.

There were 17,783 test results reported in the last 24 hours, meaning the positivity rate for those tested in that span was about 15 percent. A total of 379,043 tests have been conducted thus far, about 3 percent of the state’s population.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike  said 4,862 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of midnight, with 1,253 of them in intensive care unit beds and 766 on ventilators.

With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, Ezike said it is still important to observe social distancing.

“Please let’s honor our elderly mothers and our grandmothers this Mother’s Day by keeping them safe,” she said. “To do that, please stay at home. Please wear your face coverings. Please wash your hands frequently.”

In the Northeast region of Illinois, she added, the infection rate is slightly higher than 20 percent. In the other three regions outlined in the governor’s plan to reopen the state’s economy, that rate is “well under” 20 percent.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he thinks a viable COVID-19 treatment may be available before a vaccine, a development that would help the state’s regions begin to reopen.

“An effective treatment, I think, is potentially on the horizon and that will change everything,” he said. “(The Rebuild Illinois) plan can evolve. I’ve said we’re going to change the playbook — we need to because things will change as we go forward.”

A breakdown of the newly reported deaths by county are: ((view map)

Other notes

  • Pritzker said national sports leagues moving to restore their seasons is good for residents’ “psyche,” but his primary concern is ensuring their safety.

There is no state in the U.S. that can safely have thousands of people gathering in stadiums, Illinois included, the governor said. In speaking with sports officials, he said he learned many plan to resume games without fans physically present.

  • When asked whether the Nov. 3 general election will continue as planned, the governor said the General Assembly needs to pass a law allowing for mail-in ballots. He confirmed there will be in-person voting and how the state implements that with IDPH’s guidance “will be important.”
  • Pritzker said child care should not be a concern for parents because even under the stay-at-home order, 2,500 facilities were available. He added his administration convened a task force to ensure those services continue to exist.
  • Pritzker also announced his daily briefings will no longer occur on weekends.