Illinois surpasses 5 million COVID-19 tests as infection rate drops
State health officials announced Saturday that 25 more Illinois residents have died from COVID-19, while 2,529 new cases of the respiratory disease were diagnosed.
The state's death toll now stands at 8,436 and 272,856 residents have contracted COVID-19 since the outbreak began.
The state recorded 74,286 new test results Saturday, which saw the state's seven-day rolling average infection rate drop to 3.5%, the lowest level since July 24. The state has also performed more than 5 million COVID-19 tests during the pandemic.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 declined slightly on Friday, which is not uncommon to see on weekends. Of the 1,469 patients hospitalized with the virus, 326 are being treated in intensive care units.
Illinois Department of Public Health officials are reporting 96% of those who have contracted the virus have fully recovered, though medical researchers believe those who were sickened by COVID-19 may be more susceptible to future blood-clotting maladies.
IDPH is also reporting that while Chicago, suburban Cook County and the five collar counties all averaged more than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents between Sept. 6 and Sept. 12, that was the only countywide risk metric exceeded during that time frame in those areas. None of the suburban counties are under a warning for increased exposure risk, according to the IDPH risk tracking website.
However, 24 downstate counties exceeded multiple risk metrics during that week and travelers are warned to avoid those areas. The counties at warning levels are: Bond, Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Edwards, Effingham, Greene, Jasper, Jo Daviess, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Rock Island, St. Clair, Shelby, Washington, Wayne, Williamson, Wabash and Union.
"Although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with university and college parties as well as college sports teams, large gatherings and events, bars and clubs, weddings and funerals, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, manufacturing plants, schools and cases among the community at large," IDPH officials noted in a news release. "General transmission of the virus in the community is also increasing."