238 deaths reported, including some who may have died over the weekend
By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois marked what Gov. JB Pritzker called “a solemn milestone” Wednesday when public health officials announced 238 deaths from COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, by far the highest single-day fatality number since the pandemic began.
Although part of that number may have been attributable to reporting delays of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Pritzker said the rising number of new cases and hospitalizations indicated that the state is still in the middle of an infection surge.
“We’ll continue to watch these numbers closely in the coming weeks to have a better picture of our trajectory, but a life lost, reported late, following a holiday, is still a life lost,” Pritzker said.
That news came as the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 9,757 new confirmed and probable cases of the disease over the previous 24 hours out of 85,507 tests performed, making for a single-day case positivity rate of 11.4 percent. The preliminary seven-day rolling average positivity rate ticked up two-tenths of a point, to 10.6 percent.
As of late Tuesday night, there were 5,764 people reported hospitalized with the disease. That number has been trending downward for the last two weeks but remains well above the peaks that were seen in April and May.
That left 24 percent of the state’s total hospital bed capacity available. Of the state’s existing hospital beds, 17.6 percent were occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Of those in hospitals, 1,190 were in intensive care units, and 714 of those patients were on ventilators.
As of Nov. 29, the most recent day that regional data was available, Region 3, which includes Springfield and several surrounding counties in west-central Illinois, was the only region with a case positivity rate below 12 percent, one of the benchmarks for removing Tier 3 mitigation measures. That region’s positivity rate stood at 10.9 percent.
Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, had the highest positivity rate, at 16.6 percent, followed by Region 1, in northwest Illinois, at 15 percent.
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