30 IL Counties At ‘Warning Level’ As State Adds 2,149 New Cases

ILLINOIS — State health officials announced on Friday 2,149 new cases of the coronavirus and 20 additional deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. The statewide totals now stand at 229,483 confirmed infections and 7,997 known deaths. Another 1,417 probable cases and 209 probable deaths are not included in the official totals.

The latest deaths include:

  • Cook County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 4 males 80s, 1 female 90s

  • DuPage County: 1 male 70s

  • Hancock County: 1 female 80s

  • Jefferson County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s

  • Lake County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s

  • LaSalle County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 100+

  • Madison County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s

  • St. Clair County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 60s

  • Whiteside County: 1 female 70s

  • Will County: 1 male 60s

  • Winnebago County: 1 male 70s

Thirty Illinois counties are now at a “warning level” for a surge in infections. A county enters a warning level when two more more risk indicators increase past previously set thresholds, officials said.

The counties include Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Cook, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Greene, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Jasper, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Madison, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Sangamon, Shelby, St. Clair, Union, Warren, White, Will, and Williamson.

“Public health officials are observing people not social distancing, gathering in large groups, and not using face coverings,” according to a news release. “In some counties, local law enforcement and states’ attorneys are not enforcing important mitigation measures like social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.”

The state’s top doctor, Ngozi Ezike, earlier this week encouraged Illinoisans to wear masks and to wear them correctly to bring down the state’s infection rate. And state health officials on Thursday reminded Illinoisans of the importance of getting tested for the new coronavirus, including after close contact with someone who has tested positive, contradicting controversial new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that has since been walked back.

“In the face of increasing infections, we need to promote more testing, not less, to identify new cases and interrupt further transmission,” Ezike said. “Given that asymptomatic individuals have been linked to virus spread, we will maintain our more stringent guidance to support testing of any Illinois resident who thinks they may have been exposed, as well as asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases 5-7 days post exposure.”

New coronavirus mitigation efforts are now in effect in Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties. It joins Region 4, the St. Louis Metro East, which saw new restrictions last week and may be headed for more as soon as next week.

See how your region is doing here.

“Stop wearing your face coverings incorrectly,” Ezike said Tuesday. “You’re literally contributing to infection transmission by doing so … and potentially to an additional life that will be lost. To the people that say that face coverings don’t work, you’re simply wrong. It doesn’t matter what video you saw on the internet or fake headline you read. Please know that face coverings do save lives, but they must be used in conjunction with social distancing and hand-washing.”

As of Friday, 1,546 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. Of those, 352 were in intensive care and 132 were on ventilators, according to the state health department.

The statewide positive-test rate is 4.1 percent, an increase of a tenth of a percentage point from Wednesday. The number is a rolling, seven-day average. In the past 24 hours, labs in Illinois have processed 48,383 coronavirus tests, for a total of more than 3.9 million since the pandemic began. According to Johns Hopkins University, a positivity rate of less than 5 percent is a good measure of whether enough tests are being conducted, and state officials have said a rate higher than 8 percent will trigger new restrictions in a given region.

The United States now has more than 5.8 million confirmed coronavirus infections, and at least 181,265 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Based on the latest predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 196,000 to 207,000 Americans could be dead from the disease by Sept. 19.

Globally, more than 24.5 million people have been infected and 833,239 are known to have died.

Illinois Coronavirus Helpline:

Illinois officials say a state helpline has been set up to provide emotional support and quick answers to questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Illinoisans can test “TALK” to 55-2020 (or “HABLAR” for Spanish), and within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor. Residents can also text keywords such as “UNEMPLOYMENT,” “FOOD” or “SHELTER,” to the same number to receive additional information about those topics.

Here’s what’s happening with the coronavirus in Illinois:

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New Abbott Labs Rapid Coronavirus Test Receives FDA Authorization

The FDA says it’s the first COVID-19 antigen test where results can be read directly from a testing card — much like a pregnancy test.

Illinois Mail-In Voting: How To Get A Ballot, Drop Box Locations

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CDC Walks Back New Testing Guidelines After Public Outcry

Latest U.S. coronavirus news: UNICEF report reveals a “global education emergency”; unemployment claims above 1M; deaths approach 180,000.

Lord & Taylor Closing All Stores, Including 2 IL Locations

Lord & Taylor kicked off their going out of business sales Thursday at their 28 other stores and website after 194 years in business.

New Mask Guidelines Issued For Illinois Bars, Restaurants

Face coverings must be worn during any interactions between patrons and staff under revised statewide regulation taking effect Wednesday.

New Restrictions For Will County: No More Indoor Dining, Drinking

The restrictions will go into effect for region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, on Wednesday.

Pritzker Told ‘Reverse Your Decision’ On Restaurants, Bars

Joliet’s Chamber signed a letter joining several area chambers denouncing Governor Pritzker’s order closing indoor bars and restaurants.

District 33C Moving To Remote Learning On Monday

The decision to move to remote was based on current staffing issues, sub shortages and the positivity rate in Homer Glen and Lockport

Homer Glen Won’t Enforce New Coronavirus Guidelines: Mayor

In a statement released Tuesday, Mayor Yukich said the new requirements “do not appear to be based on science and seem to be arbitrary.

Al’s Steakhouse Not Happy With Pritzker’s New Restrictions

Al’s Steakhouse owners question why big box retail and hardware stores avoid coronavirus restrictions when it comes to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

8-Year-Old Boy’s Severe Illness Linked To Coronavirus: Report

The Niles second-grader was hospitalized in intensive care with multisystem inflammatory syndrome for nearly two weeks, his mother says.

Coronavirus by the numbers:

Illinois:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 229,483

  • Deaths: 7,997

  • People tested: 3,924,305

  • Recovered: Illinois does not provide exact numbers of recovered cases, but says the recovery rate is 95 percent.

Nationwide:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 5,889,652

  • Deaths: 181,265

  • People tested: 75,301,306

  • Recovered: 2,101,326

Global:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 24,551,207

  • Deaths: 833,239

  • People tested: No data available

  • Recovered: 16,051,262

Sources: Johns Hopkins University and IDPH

Tips from the CDC on dealing with coronavirus:

While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid virus exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends taking these actions to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

What to do if you’re sick:

Call head if you’re planning to visit your doctor:

  • If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Stay home unless you must see a doctor:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.

  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home:

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Avoid sharing personal household items:

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Masks:

  • CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

  • Face mask instructions — sew- and no-sew masks

To donate personal protective equipment (PPE), email PPE.donations@illinois.gov. For health questions about COVID-19, call the state coronavirus hotline at 800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

This article originally appeared on the Across Illinois Patch

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