A woman in her 60s is the first coronavirus-related death in Illinois as the number of cases has increased by 50% to 160 cases statewide, officials said.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Tuesday the first death of an Illinois resident who tested positive for COVID-19. The woman was a Chicago resident in her 60s who tested positive earlier this month and had contact with a known coronavirus case.
“I am deeply saddened by the news that we’ve dreaded since the earliest days of this outbreak: the first COVID-19 related death in Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker.
“All of Illinois stands with this patient’s family and loved ones in mourning her loss and honoring her memory. May her memory be a blessing,” Pritzker said.
“There are going to be moments during the next few weeks and months when this burden feels like it is more than we can bear – this is one of those moments, but we will get through this together,” Pritzker added.
IDPH announced this past weekend the first resident in a long-term care facility in DuPage County had tested positive for COVID-19. Following testing at the facility, the IDPH announced an additional 21 cases at the facility, including 17 residents and four staff.
“In addition to the death we are sad to report today, we are also reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 in a long-term care facility,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
“Residents in nursing homes are our most vulnerable population and we are doing everything we can to protect them. We may see cases in other long-term care facilities, which is why it is so important that we all do our part to reduce possible exposure in the community to those who go in and out of these facilities as they provide care to resident,” Ezike said.
State officials issued new guidance for nursing homes, which includes restricting all visitation and volunteers except for certain end of life residents, canceling all group activities and communal dining, and implementing active screening of residents and health care personnel for symptoms.