More than 1,500 COVID-19 cases reported in Illinois; death toll reaches 16

State News

CHICAGO (WMBD) — There are a total of 1,535 positive COVID-19 cases in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state health officials said Tuesday.

This is a 250 person increase from Monday. A total of 11,485 people in the state have been tested for the virus as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Additionally, the death toll went up to 16, with four more deaths reported since Monday. The IDPH said the four deaths include a Chicago resident in his 50s, two Cook County residents both in their 60s, and a DuPage County resident in her 90s.

Pritzker provided an update on the state’s current testing and hospital capacity and laid out measures to increase that capacity to meet the anticipated need in the coming weeks.

“We’re using a two-pronged approach to make sure a worst-case scenario does not become our reality,” he said. “First, we put in place protective measures to suppress the spread, like our stay at home order, limits on gatherings and social distancing guidelines. Second, we are working to increase our health care capacity statewide so that when we do arrive at our next phase — which should not be our worst-case scenario but will be a point where hospitalizations significantly increase — we have the capacity to meet that need.”

Three labs across the state, including in Chicago, Springfield, and Carbondale, are running around 600 tests a day.

The Illinois National Guard (ILNG) has also opened the state’s first drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on the northwest side of Chicago, adding 250 tests a day to the state’s capacity. More than 130 Illinois National Guardsmen are currently supporting the state’s response to COVID-19.

There are also four commercial labs and 15 hospital labs operating across the state, which average about 1,500 tests per day. Several existing hospital labs are building out their capacity and are within two weeks expected to provide additional 2,805 tests a day, totaling more than 4,300 a day.

Hospitals across the state are meeting the current need, and the state is building additional capacity to treat patients that may need care in the future.

On April 6, IDPH projected that hospitals would need an additional 28,222 non-ICU beds, 9,407 ICU beds and 4,704 ventilators compared to current capacity without any protective measures.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has deployed 49 tents to area hospitals to set up triage centers outside their facilities to evaluate potential COVID-19 patients. In total, 66 of the state’s over 200 hospitals are currently operating with this expanded capacity. IEMA is working with 26 additional hospitals across the state to open new triage centers.

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