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COVID-19: Illinois totals reach over 7,000 on Thursday, 157 deaths

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike announced 715 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths in Illinois on Thursday.

As of Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is now reporting a total of 7,695 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Illinois. The number of deaths as a result of the disease has totaled 157, 85 percent of which are individuals over the age of 60. 

At Gov. JB Pritzker’s Thursday press briefing, 715 new cases were announced with 16 deaths. Cases are now being reported in 61 Illinois counties. 

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that contracting the disease “doesn’t mean it’s a death sentence,” but that people of all ages should still be concerned. 

“No one is immune to contracting the virus and we have seen individuals younger than 1 and over 100 years contracting the virus,” Ezike said.

Illustration by Illinois Department of Public Health

In the greater Peoria area, the total number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 has reached 21. 

As of Thursday, Peoria County now has 11 residents that have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Peoria City-County Health Department, including two residents who are currently located outside of the county but included in the total case count.

In Tazewell County, two additional cases–both related to travel–were confirmed on Thursday, bringing the total to six. Woodford County also has six cases after confirming one case on Thursday that was related to a contact of a known positive case. 

No COVID-19 related deaths are reported in the Tri-County area. 

McLean County, which includes the Bloomington-Normal area, has 32 total cases and two deaths, two women in their 70s.

As of March 24, 26,000 general non-intensive care unit beds and 2,600 general intensive care unit beds were available in the state. Pritzker said those were about half of the non-ICU beds and less than half of ICU beds and more beds have likely become occupied in order to treat more COVID-19 patients.

In the past week, IDPH announced the largest single-day increase in deaths in the state so far, confirming 42 deaths on April 1. The largest single-day increase of confirmed cases in the state so far topped 1,105 cases on March 29.

As advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, White House officials are also considering a recommendation that Americans wear face masks in areas heavily affected by the virus.

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