Illinois Coronavirus Update Aug. 21: 213,721 Cases, 7,833 Deaths

ILLINOIS — State health officials on Thursday announced 1,832 new cases of the coronavirus and 27 additional deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, bringing the statewide totals to 213,721 confirmed infections and 7,833 known deaths. Another 1,332 probable cases and 211 probable deaths are not included in the official totals.

The latest deaths include:

  • Champaign County: 1 male 50s

  • Cook County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 2 males 90s

  • DeWitt County: 1 male 80s

  • DuPage County: 1 male 70s

  • Jefferson County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 females 90s, 1 male 90s

  • Kane County: 1 male 80s

  • Lake County: 1 male 60s

  • LaSalle County: 1 female 90s

  • Madison County: 1 male 90s

  • Montgomery County: 1 female 90s

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

  • Peoria County: 1 female 80s

  • Perry County: 1 female 80s

  • Richland County: 1 male 80s

  • Rock Island County: 1 male 90s

  • St. Clair County: 1 male 60s

  • Whiteside County: 1 male 90s

  • Williamson County: 1 female 50s

  • Winnebago County: 1 male 70s

As of Wednesday night, 1,519 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. Of those, 357 were in intensive care and 124 were on ventilators, according to the state health department.

The statewide positive-test rate has climbed to 4.4 percent, up three-tenths of a percentage point from last week and 2 percentage points from last month. In the past 24 hours, labs in Illinois have processed 51,612 coronavirus tests, for a total of more than 3.5 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.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that the state has seen “troubling trends” in most of the state’s 11 emergency management regions. Postivity rates are climbing in all but three regions, including Region 4, where officials have instituted new restrictions on bars and restaurants.

Over the weekend, officials said seven counties in the St. Louis Metro East crossed the 8 percent positivity threshold. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolf, St. Clair and Washington Counties all saw positivity rates rise above 8 percent for three consecutive days. Those counties comprise Region 4 under the state’s coronavirus emergency plan.

Bars, restaurants and casinos in Region 4 will now close at 11 p.m., patrons will no longer be allowed to order, sit or congregate at the bar (bar stools should be removed, officials said), and reservations will be required for all parties to ensure capacity limits are followed. Meetings and social gatherings will be limited to 25 people or 25 percent of venue capacity, reception halls will be closed, and party busses will be outlawed.

If the positivity rate drops over the next two weeks, Region 4 could see the new restrictions lifted. If it remains above 8 percent, however, more stringent restricitions will be imposed, and bars and restaurants could be shuttered altogether, according to the state.

See how your region is doing here.

The governor said public health decisions will be driven by data, not politics, and warned that he “won’t hesitate” to tighten restrictions on other regions if the numbers continue in the wrong direction.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have made it clear that neither arbitrary dates on a calendar nor political pressure will dictate Illinois’ efforts to protect our people. If the data shows we need to go backwards in our reopening, I won’t hesitate to tighten restrictions to protect our collective health,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in a statement. “Region 4 of our statewide 11 reopening regions — the Metro East — has now surpassed an 8 percent seven-day rolling average positivity rate — a trend that I have made clear would trigger stricter mitigations when this plan was announced in July. Working with local officials in the Metro East region and across the border in St. Louis, we are implementing stricter mitigations that account for the unique factors in this region. Dr. Ezike and I are imploring local leaders and residents alike: if you haven’t been taking this seriously yet, now is the time to start.”

The United States now has more than 5.5 million confirmed coronavirus infections, and at least 174,306 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Based on the latest predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 187,000 to 205,000 Americans could be dead from the disease by Sept. 12.

Globally, more than 22.7 million people have been infected and 794,369 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:

Vote By Mail Poll: IL Voters Nervous Ballots Won’t Be Received

Readers divided on voting by mail: nearly 6,000 readers took our survey and expressed anxiety about the option for the Nov. 3 election.

New Saliva Coronavirus Test Could Be ‘Game Changer’ For IL, US

The University of Illinois received authorization Wednesday to use a saliva-based coronavirus test that’s cheaper and faster, officials say.

Man Pulled Gun On Group Not Wearing Masks: Police

A man is accused of asking a group in a Jewel parking lot, “How would you like to get shot in the head?” police said.

‘Troubling’ Coronavirus Trends In Illinois: Pritzker

Positivity rates are climbing in seven of Illinois’ 11 regions, Gov. Pritzker said, warning state officials “won’t hesitate” to step in.

Raoul Joins Lawsuit Against U.S. Postal Service Changes

The Illinois Attorney General added his name Tuesday to a federal lawsuit involving 14 states.

Northbrook Installing Ballot Drop Box For November Election

The Cook County Clerk’s Office announced Tuesday there will be more than 50 drop boxes around Cook County.

St. Charles Cheerleader Tests Positive For Coronavirus: Report

The positive-test report came just as District 303’s new school year got underway.

Bears Won’t Allow Fans At Soldier Field This Season

The team announced that after consulting health officials, “metrics show that it is not the right time to welcome back fans.”

Online Map Will Help Illinois Travelers Avoid COVID-19 Hotspots

Health officials say not to travel when you’re sick, and remember to wear a mask, keep 6 feet away from others and wash your hands often.

Father-And-Son Pizzeria Going Strong Despite Pandemic Challenges

Owner Mike Treve is singing the praises of Raimondo’s customers, who have nearly overwhelmed him with their support throughout the pandemic.

Deadline Extended For Illinois’ Coronavirus Rent Relief Program

Officials pushed the deadline back after 750,000 people lost power last week when a derecho and tornadoes tore through parts of Illinois.

Sovereign Faces Criticism For Staying Open Amid The Pandemic

Even though the eatery temporarily shut down after employees tested positive, a diner said they are putting “profits over people.”

La Grange Sees Biggest Virus Case Hike In Weeks

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in La Grange has stayed the same for weeks, figures show.

Coronavirus by the numbers:

Illinois:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 213,721

  • Deaths: 7,833

  • People tested: 3,541,183

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

Nationwide:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 5,579,142

  • Deaths: 174,306

  • People tested: 70,031,936

  • Recovered: 1,947,035

Global:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 22,722,058

  • Deaths: 794,369

  • People tested: No data available

  • Recovered: 14,568,845

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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