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133 more Illinois coronavirus deaths with positivity rate trending upward into new year
Since COVID-19 claimed its first Illinois victim March 16, an average of about 57 people have died with the virus every day — or about one fatality every 25 minutes.

Thursday, December 31, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times
by Mitchell Armentrout

Illinois closed out 2020 with 8,009 new cases of COVID-19 and 133 more deaths attributed to it, keeping the state’s pandemic numbers slowly creeping upward as the battered state heads into the new year.

With one year elapsed since the first reports of a novel new respiratory disease began circulating out of China — and about 11 months after it first surfaced in Illinois — the coronavirus has infected at least 963,389 people across the state and killed 16,490 of them.

The roller-coaster pandemic has been marked in Illinois by a mid-May peak that gave way to a summertime lull, followed by an exponential, record-breaking November resurgence that has eased up only slightly while the virus continues claiming lives at a dizzying rate.

Now, after a gradual, month-long decline, some of the state’s key metrics are inching back up, while Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s health team pleads with families to cancel holiday gatherings to stave off another spike.

Graph not displaying properly? Click here.

The latest cases announced Thursday by the Illinois Department of Public Health were detected among 99,426 tests, raising the state’s average positivity rate for a fourth straight day, up to 7.7%.

That key indicator of transmission is still down from 13.2% in mid-November — but has increased almost a full percentage point since Christmas.

It’s still too early to say whether holiday transmission is contributing to Illinois’ slight uptick. Experts say it takes about two weeks for that to show up in the data.



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