The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 125 new deaths related to COVID-19, the greatest number of deaths in a 24-hour period reported so far in the state. The number of deaths as a result of COVID-19 totaled 1,073 in Illinois as of Thursday afternoon.
The total number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 patients in the state has reached 25,733. Between April 9 and April 16, there were 9,311 new cases confirmed in Illinois, with an average of 1,330 cases each day.
On April 12, IDPH announced the largest single-day increase of confirmed cases in the state at 1,672 cases.
“While these numbers are disheartening, I don’t want people to despair,” IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said at the Thursday press briefing. “Instead, I want them to renew our collective resolve to do what is needed to end the pandemic.”
Gov. JB Pritzker announced on Thursday that Peoria soon will have a testing site set up at the Heartland Health Services. Pritzker also announced there will be other test sites in communities in Chicago, Southern Illinois and counties bordering Cook County.
“These new sites will feed specimens to our network of expanded laboratory capacity,” Pritzker said on Thursday.
In the greater Peoria area, the total number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 has reached 66, up 27 since April 9. The death toll in the Tri-County is at four after another death was reported in Tazewell County on April 13.
In Peoria County, there are 39 total cases including 16 cases in home isolation, four hospitalized cases, 13 recovered cases and one death. In Tazewell County, 22 total cases and three total deaths are reported, while in Woodford, there are 11 confirmed cases.
Ezike noted that new research would allow individuals to become more cautious and avoid spreading the virus. She cited a new study that suggests individuals carrying coronavirus may be the most contagious a day or two before they start showing symptoms.
Ezike also cited an article published in “Nature Medicine” this week that indicates that a person has the highest viral load, time of most contagiousness, at the time of symptom onset.
“We continue to learn and amass new information about this virus every single day,” Ezike said. “Remember, we have only known about this virus in the last five months and we have only known it to be in our state for four months.”
The hospital systems of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, UnityPoint Health Proctor, UnityPoint Health Pekin and UnityPoint Health Methodist report that there are eight intensive-care unit (ICU) beds filled with COVID-19 patients and 11 filled with people under investigation (PUI).
Twenty-three non-ICU beds are in use for confirmed cases or PUIs.