Nearly 8,500 COVID-19 related deaths reported to date in Illinois, as U.S. marks 200,000 lost

Coronavirus Watch

Carmen Wilke places flags at a COVID Memorial Project install of 20,000 American flags on the National Mall as the United States crosses the 200,000 lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic September 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Nearly 8,500 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic, as the death toll in the United States passes the grim milestone of 200,000 lost Tuesday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said 1,531 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional coronavirus-related deaths were confirmed over the past day Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 8,486 reported deaths to date.

Deaths in the U.S. are running at a rate of close to 770 a day on average, according to Johns Hopkins, and a widely cited model from the University of Washington predicts the overall U.S. toll will double to 400,000 by the end of the year. Only Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Spain and Brazil rank higher in confirmed COVID-19 deaths per capita.

While it is the sixth most populous state in the U.S., Illinois ranks seventh in the country in COVID-19 related deaths according to Johns Hopkins.

The statewide positivity rate from September 15-21 in Illinois remains at 3.5 percent, while the 7-day testing average remains around 53,000 as well, data compiled by WGN shows. Health officials estimate 96 percent of confirmed cases have recovered to date.

Governor JB Pritzker touted Illinois’ testing numbers Monday, saying the state is leading the Midwest and is tied for third place in the country, behind New York and California, with more than 52,000 tests performed each day on average.

Illinois ranks 8th in the country and above other Midwestern states with 4.2 daily tests per 1,000 people as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins, while the state ranked 18th in the country in terms of its positivity rate.

Data from September 9-12 found 24 counties— mostly in central and downstate Illinois— met at least one of the state’s COVID-19 “warning” levels based on metrics like the number of new cases, cases per residents and test positivity rate.

Hospital resources and coronavirus hospitalizations remain well within state guidelines across the state, with 1,455 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday, including 367 in intensive care and 153 on ventilators.

Indiana health officials reported 652 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths Tuesday, while the statewide positivity rate from September 9-15 came in at 4 percent.

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control warns against door-to-door trick-or-treating and crowded events of any kind this Halloween.

Some seasonal activities were identified as “moderate risk,” including open-air parades, socially-distanced costume parties and visiting pumpkin patches or apple orchards.

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