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Daily coronavirus cases top 15,000 in Illinois for the first time, setting a record for the fourth straight day

Daily coronavirus cases top 15,000 in Illinois for the first time, setting a record for the fourth straight day

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Pritzker says Madigan should step down as party chairman

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2020, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks in Springfield, Ill. Central and west-central Illinois, including the capital city, became the latest region of the state to face restrictions on social interaction Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, because of an elevated rate of positive tests for COVID-19. The Region 3 restrictions which take effect Sunday, halt indoor bar and restaurant service, closes those establishments at 11 p.m. and limits the size of gatherings to 25 people or 25% of a room's capacity. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

The number of new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus in Illinois topped 15,000 for the first time Friday, setting a record for the fourth straight day.

The 15,415 cases state public health officials reported was 2,713 more than the previous record set Thursday. Over the past week, the state is averaging 12,345 cases of COVID-19 per day.

The staggering number comes after Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County public health officials all have urged residents to stay home except for essential trips, such as grocery shopping or going to the pharmacy.

Pritzker warned Thursday that the state could be headed for another stay-at-home order if the current surge of the virus doesn’t come under control.

State health officials also reported 27 more fatalities Friday, bringing the statewide death toll to 10,504 since the pandemic began. While there were fewer deaths reported Friday than in recent days, the state has averaged 61 deaths per day over the past week, up from 41 at the beginning of the month.

In all, there have been 551,957 known cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, according to state health officials.

For the week ending Thursday, the average number of cases as a share of total tests was 13.2%, up from 8.1% at the beginning of the month and 3.4% at the beginning of October.

Hospitalizations, which are a key indicator of how the virus is spreading, also continue to surge. As of Thursday might, 5,362 people were in the hospital with COVID-19, 990 of them in intensive care and 488 on ventilators. Over the past three days, there have been more coronavirus patients in the hospital each day than at any time during the first wave in the spring.

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