238 more Illinois coronavirus deaths, most ever reported by state throughout pandemic

Rush University Medical Center staff collect swab samples to test people for the coronavirus at the hospital’s drive-thru testing site on Nov. 19. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

A total of 1,634 lives have been lost to COVID-19 over the past two weeks, an average of about 117 per day. That’s almost five times the rate compared to two months ago.  Illinois public health officials attributed an additional 238 deaths to the coronavirus Wednesday, the highest daily number of viral fatalities reported by the state throughout nine months of the pandemic.
That figure, which shatters the previous high of 191 deaths on May 13, includes some death that occurred over the long Thanksgiving weekend. The Illinois Department of Public Health previously logged a total of 362 coronavirus deaths from the holiday through Sunday.
A total of 1,634 lives have been lost to COVID-19 during the past two weeks, an average of about 117 per day. That’s almost five times the rate compared to two months ago.
Seventy-one of the latest victims were from Cook County. Another 56 lived in the collar counties.

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Five of the state’s 10 highest-ever daily death counts have come in the last month as the state has weathered an unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
The death rate has increased fivefold in Chicago, too, compared to five weeks ago. About 15 Chicagoans are dying of the virus each day, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Since March, the virus has killed at least 12,639 Illinoisans among almost 749,000 residents who have contracted it.
The latest case tally included 9,757 new infections that were detected among 85,507 tests reported to state public health officials. That raises the average statewide positivity rate from 10.4% to 10.6%.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike are urging residents to stay home as much as possible, especially in anticipation of a potential “surge upon a surge” of cases after family gatherings for Thanksgiving.
Hospital admissions are slowly trending downward in the state after reaching an all-time high about two weeks ago, but they’re still well above anything Illinois experienced in the first wave.
As of Tuesday night, 5,764 coronavirus patients were hospitalized, with 1,190 in intensive care units and 714 on ventilators.
“Stay home as much as possible. Assume you were exposed and assume more of your co-workers or friends were exposed than ever before,” Pritzker said Tuesday. “It’s the safest thing that you can do for the people that you love and for the health care workers who risk their lives to help you when you need them.”

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