Illinois surpasses 12,000 COVID-19 deaths (19% of those this month), 700,000 cases
Illinois has surpassed 12,000 COVID-19 deaths and 700,000 cases of the disease statewide.
State health officials announced Friday that 66 more residents have died from COVID-19, while another 7,574 new cases were diagnosed.
That brings the state's death toll from the respiratory disease to 12,029, with 705,063 people who've been infected since the outbreak began. Just 10 days ago, the state surpassed 11,000 COVID-19 fatalities.
Since Nov. 1, 2,272 residents have died from the virus, 19% of the total deaths, according to Illinois Department of Public Health figures.
The state's seven-day average infection rate continues to decline and is now at 10.1%. Less than 10% of today's 77,130 tests returned resulted in a new case of the disease, IDPH officials reported.
Hospitalizations were also down on Thanksgiving, with 5,829 patients treated Thursday, according to IDPH figures. That's 203 fewer patients than were treated the previous day, and the fourth straight day hospitals have recorded fewer patients. Of those hospitalized Thursday, 1,215 were in intensive care.
A full week has now passed since Gov. J.B. Pritzker imposed stricter rules statewide to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those new mandates included reducing capacity to 50% at grocery stores and 25% at other stores, suspending indoor group sports, closing casinos and video gambling terminals, and banning events at banquet halls, party venues and clubs. Other restrictions ordered by Pritzker temporarily shuttered movie theaters and limited outdoor gatherings to 10 people, and funerals to 10 relatives.
Meanwhile, seven-day average test positivity rates continue to decline in the four suburban regions, according to IDPH records. But none are below the 12% threshold that would ultimately help trigger relaxation of the restrictions currently in place. Average positivity rates and hospital bed availability are the metrics health officials use to determine the level of restrictions for the state's 11 health regions.
At 12.7%, Lake and McHenry counties' Region 9 has the lowest seven-day average test positivity rate in the suburbs as of Tuesday, which is the most recently available data, according to IDPH. The rate was at 16% 10 days earlier. Region 9 is also reporting standard and ICU hospital bed availability above the 20% warning threshold.
Suburban Cook County's Region 10 is reporting a 13.3% seven-day average test positivity rate as of Tuesday. Region 10 was also reporting a 16% positivity rate 10 days before. However, while standard hospital bed availability is above 20%, ICU bed availability has been below 20% for the past six days, according to IDPH figures.
In Region 8, which contains DuPage and Kane counties, the seven-day average test positivity rate is at 13.7% as of Tuesday. The decline has been more moderate there as the region recorded a 15.3% average positivity rate 10 days earlier. However, both standard and ICU bed availability is above 20% for the first time in a week.
In Will and Kankakee counties' Region 7, the seven-day average test positivity rate stands at 17.2% as of Tuesday, down from 20.7% 10 days before. Hospitals in the region are reporting that availability of standard hospital beds is above 20%, but available ICU beds remain below the warning threshold.