Illinois COVID-19 update: More than 1,100 new cases, 18 additional deaths

  • A man walks on the street next to Wrigley Field which is Chicago Cubs stadium in Chicago, Sunday, March 29, 2020.

    A man walks on the street next to Wrigley Field which is Chicago Cubs stadium in Chicago, Sunday, March 29, 2020. Associated Press

  • Gov. JB Pritzker updated the state's testing efforts Sunday, saying about 4,000 people are being tested a day, up from 2,000 a day a week ago. But it's still far short of the goal of 10,000 a day, he said.

    Gov. JB Pritzker updated the state's testing efforts Sunday, saying about 4,000 people are being tested a day, up from 2,000 a day a week ago. But it's still far short of the goal of 10,000 a day, he said.

 
 
Updated 3/29/2020 9:43 PM

Illinois added 1,105 confirmed COVID-19 cases Sunday, more than twice the number of new cases Saturday, dramatically illustrating the virus' rapid and exponential spread through the state.

Along with the new cases, state officials announced 18 additional deaths from the coronavirus, including that of a Kane County man in his 40s.

 

In all, 65 state residents have died as a result of the virus, and 4,596 have been sickened.

The deaths reported Sunday include 11 Cook County residents: a man in his 50s, two women in their 60s, two men and three women in their 70s, and two men and a woman in their 80s.

State officials also confirmed the death of a DuPage County man in his 60s and two Kane County men in their 90s.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said it would be weeks before Illinois reaches a peak in new cases, expected sometime next month.

During his daily news briefing Sunday, Pritzker focused on the state's testing efforts, saying about 4,000 people a day are now being tested, compared to 2,000 a day a week ago.

But that's still far short of a goal of 10,000 tests a day, a figure experts say is needed to get a clear understanding of the virus' spread in Illinois.

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"Where we are now is not where we want to be," he said. "Every day we are not at 10,000 or more is another day we are not able to get answers that will help us get past this current crisis."

Pritzker said he believes the state will get to 10,000 daily tests within the next 10 days. To get there, he said he is urging federal authorities to lift a cap that limits a facility to 250 tests a day.

"We're turning people away that we just shouldn't have to, and we ask the federal government to remove their restriction," he said. "We're also pressuring the federal government on the return timelines of these tests. The private labs contracted by the federal government are taking four to seven days and sometimes even up to 10 days to turn around results. That is far too long."

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, addressed Saturday's report of an infant in Illinois dying as a result of COVID-19, a case believed to be the first of its kind in the United States. She said an investigation into the death of the child from Cook County is ongoing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I know that there is a lot of concern hearing about the death of an infant who also had COVID and so we really want to get a complete report," she said.

For children, Ezike said, symptoms typically include a fever, sore throat and runny nose, and not the severe pulmonary problems that show up with adults.

Pritzker also addressed reports that nurses and other health care works are losing or being denied apartment leases by landlords fearing the spread of the virus.

"Let me be clear to everyone, that will not be tolerated in our state," he said.

Health care works still need personal protection equipment, officials say. To donate, email PPE.donations@illinois.gov.

For health questions about COVID-19, call the state hotline at (800) 889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

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