COVID-19 has now killed one in every 1,000 Illinois residents
One in every 1,000 Illinois residents has now died from COVID-19, according to the most recent data released by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
"It is devastating, it's just devastating for the country, it's devastating for the state of Illinois, for all of us who are very focused on trying to save people's lives," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday. "I look at it and I say, 'How can people not follow the mitigations?'
"Watching the number of people passing away not just in Illinois but the thousands across the United States, I just hope that people are heeding the mitigations that we're asking them to follow now because that, ultimately, is going bring the death count down. We saw it work before in the spring."
State health officials announced 192 more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, bringing the state's death toll from the virus to 12,830 since the outset of the pandemic.
Illinois' 2020 population is just under 12.7 million residents, according to World Population Review estimates.
Illinois joins eight other states that have already reached the grim milestone. New Jersey has the worst rate among those states, with 17,803 deaths from the virus, nearly two in every 1,000 residents. Among those nine states, only New Jersey has seen more people die from COVID-19 than Illinois.
Across the country, the virus has claimed the lives of one in every 1,217 Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
In Illinois, one in every 800 Cook County residents has died from the virus since the outbreak began. It is the only county to hit the one-per-1,000 benchmark, according to IDPH figures.
Illinois is averaging 124 deaths each day over the past week. That's the highest daily average the state has seen during the pandemic, eclipsing the previous record of 117 deaths a day experienced in mid-May.
"I don't know if there's any other thing that should be more powerful in people's minds about why they ought to follow the mitigations and stay home right now than the number of people who are passing away," Pritzker said.
The entire state is operating under restrictions including 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, capped outdoor gatherings at 10 people and limited funerals to 10 relatives.
The U.S. recorded 3,157 deaths on Wednesday alone, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That shattered the old mark of 2,603, set on April 15.
State health officials also announced Thursday that 10,959 more cases of the respiratory disease were diagnosed, bringing the state's total number of COVID-19 cases to 759,562 since the outbreak began.
The state's seven-day average infection rate now stands at 10.4%, a decline after two days of slight increases.
Hospitals statewide reported 5,653 COVID-19 patients Wednesday, more than 100 fewer patients than the day before. Of those hospitalized, 1,170 were in intensive care.
Available hospital beds remain a concern in suburban health regions. Region 9, which consists of Lake and McHenry counties, is reporting fewer than 20% of hospital beds are unoccupied, and the number of open beds has been shrinking for four straight days.
Region 8, which consists of DuPage and Kane counties, shows less than 15% of hospital beds are available.
In suburban Cook County and in Will and Kankakee counties' Region 7, fewer than 20% of both standard hospital beds and ICU beds are available, according to IDPH figures.