Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday that there are now four coronavirus-related deaths and 422 cases of the virus in the state.
The three new deaths include a Will County resident in his 50s, a Cook County resident in her 80s, and out-of-state resident in her 70s who was staying in Sangamon County.
Illinois’ first coronavirus-related death was announced on Tuesday — a Chicago woman in her 60s.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said the 422 cases, which is 134 more cases since Wednesday, span across 22 counties in the state. Five additional counties are now reporting cases: Jackson, Kankakee, LaSalle, Washington, and Williamson counties.
There are now 37 cases in Lake County and six cases in McHenry County, according to state data updated Thursday afternoon.
“The number of COVID-19 cases being reported is rising quickly, partly because of the increase in testing by commercial and hospital laboratories. Because testing is becoming more available in these labs, IDPH will prioritize testing for our most vulnerable populations, such as those who work or live in nursing homes and other congregate facilities,” state health officials said.
Cases have occurred in ages ranging from 9 to 99. Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike emphasized that no place or person is immune from COVID-19.
“I am saddened to announce three more people in Illinois with coronavirus disease have passed away,” Ezike said.
“We ask everyone to please, stay home as much as possible so we can reduce the number of people who are infected and potentially suffer serious illness, including death,” Ezike added.
Pritzker also emphasized that Illinoisans will continue to have access to essential services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
The governor’s office announced on Wednesday they have launched a new website relating to the coronavirus that provides helpful information and resources for residents. It can be found at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
Pritzker activated the Illinois National Guard on Monday. That activation will bring 60 service members to assist with logistical support and medical staffing at hospitals.
Those experiencing coronavirus symptoms should call a health care provider who will help arrange medical treatment in order to not put others at risk of exposure.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has a statewide COVID-19 hotline to answer questions from the public that can be reached at 800-889-3931.