30 new COVID-19 deaths, 1,337 cases, 2.8% daily positive test rate, and frustration in Will County

  • Instructor Kimberly Morgan hands a test kit through a window to a driver at the DuPage County COVID-19 testing site in Wheaton.

    Instructor Kimberly Morgan hands a test kit through a window to a driver at the DuPage County COVID-19 testing site in Wheaton. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Steve Chirico is running for a second term as Naperville mayor in the April 2, 2019 election.

    Steve Chirico is running for a second term as Naperville mayor in the April 2, 2019 election. Courtesy of Steve Chirico

 
 
Updated 9/10/2020 7:09 AM

New COVID-19 cases totaled 1,337 Wednesday as the state's daily positive test rate for the virus dropped to 2.8%, the lowest since July.

But the Illinois Department of Public Health also announced 30 new deaths, including four in Cook County, one in Kane County, two in Lake County and one in Will County. The other 22 are downstate.

 

Meanwhile, virus-related restrictions that ban indoor dining remain in place for Will and Kankakee counties, a situation that's causing hardship for business owners, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said.

In late August, the two counties hit a COVID-19 test positivity rate of 8% or higher for three days, triggering state actions intended to stop a virus surge.

The state clampdown began Aug. 26 and was to be monitored for 14 days to see if mitigations could be lifted or continued. As of Sunday, Will and Kankakee counties show a 7.4% average daily positivity rate, above the 6.5% metric required to ease restrictions, according to IDPH data. The two counties fall into Region 7 of 11 Illinois public health sectors.

Bar and restaurant owners in the Will County portion of Naperville "feel that splitting up a city into two regions is a bad strategy," Chirico said. Instead, cities should belong to the region where their city hall is located, retailers suggest, and "I would have to agree," Chirico said. Naperville City Hall is in DuPage County, which is not on alert status.

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Also Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker discussed deploying a virus test developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that uses saliva to get a rapid result.

"We're trying to expand it across the state and especially to our college campuses and here to ISU," Pritzker said during a briefing at Illinois State University in Normal.

Pritzker cast doubt on a virus vaccine being ready before the Nov. 3 election, contrary to President Donald Trump's expressed hopes.

"We going to make sure that whatever we're distributing is safe," he said. The state is "well on the way" to putting together a distribution plan that would initially prioritize those most at risk, such as front-line health care workers, Pritzker said.

Statewide, the virus caseload comes to 253,690 and the number of Illinoisans dying from the respiratory disease stands at 8,214.

The COVID-19 seven-day positive test rate is 3.7%. Labs reported 48,029 test results in the last 24 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The number of deaths in the last week is 127, compared to 139 from Aug. 27 to Sept. 2.

New cases for Wednesday, 1,337, are less than the seven-day average of 2,149.6, but on Friday, the IDPH recorded an unprecedented 5,368 infections because computer problems caused a delay in processing lab results. The health department said the lag lasted about 1 days.

People in Illinois hospitals with the virus came to 1,580 as of Tuesday night, which is higher than the seven-day average of 1,551.

The Region 7 restrictions also include closing eateries and bars by 11 p.m. and reducing the size of public gatherings, meetings and events to 25 patrons or 25% of room capacity, whichever is less. Elsewhere, the maximum gathering is 50 people.

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