Illinois tops 3K new COVID-19 cases for 1st time since May


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State health officials reported Thursday that 3,059 cases of COVID-19 have been newly confirmed across Illinois — the state’s highest new daily caseload since the pandemic initially peaked in May.

The state last topped 3,000 daily coronavirus cases on May 14, when infections were confirmed among 3,239 people.

While the Illinois Department for Public Health had reported more than 5,300 cases on Sept. 4, that figure was the result of a three-day data processing backlog.

The state agency also reported Thursday 32 more COVID-19 fatalities, raising Illinois’ death toll to 8,910.

The newly confirmed COVID-19 cases bring the total number of known infections to 310,700 statewide since the pandemic began.

Illinois has seen an average of about 2,100 new cases per day over the last two weeks. That’s nearly triple the state’s rate in early July, but still under the roughly 2,500 cases that were being added per day in early May.

Illinois’ testing capacity has surged since then, however. Thursday’s caseload was confirmed among 72,491 tests submitted to the state — the fourth highest total ever.

More than 58,000 tests have been processed per day on average over the last two weeks, compared to only about 17,300 per day in early May.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Public Health said “it is more informative to look at trends over time and using 7-day rolling averages” than daily case totals.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned Wednesday in his weekly COVID-19 update that Illnois’ progress in combating the pandemic had “cooled off a bit, across Illinois.”

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