Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike speak at a press conference Sunday afternoon | Photo: Illinois Information Service.

Governor Pritzker announced the biggest jump in coronavirus cases in a day — 1,105 new cases bringing the state’s total to 4,596 and 65 deaths.

Pritzker laid out the state’s efforts to improve COVID-19 testing capacity, speed, and access during his Sunday press conference.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said that there were 1,105 new cases and 18 new virus-related deaths since Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 4,596 cases.

Approximately 85% of fatalities are among patients 60 years of age and older, state health officials said. The number of people tested for COVID-19 so far is at 27,762, data shows.

Pritzker said on Saturday that a Chicago infant with coronavirus is the first in the U.S. to die after contracting the virus.

“There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant. A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike.

[Suggested Article]  Illinois lawmaker will not move forward with controversial bill that would prevent officers from performing certain traffic stops

“We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us,” Ezike said.

Pritzker said that the Army Corps of Engineers is working to convert McCormick Place convention center in Chicago into a field hospital for coronavirus patients.

Pritzker announced Friday the Illinois Department of Human Services is increasing monthly benefit amounts, expanding SNAP access, and expediting process and flexibility of the program. For many people, this will mean almost doubling their existing benefits, the governor’s office said.

The expansion will result in almost $80 million more for Illinois families. SNAP feeds nearly 1.7 million people, including low-income seniors, people with disabilities and working families.

“It is especially important now that we are doing all that we can to help all our residents through this crisis – we want every eligible person to be able to access our services as easily as possible,” Pritzker said.

[Suggested Article]  NWS warns of potential for thunderstorms, wind gusts as high as 45 mph in northern Illinois

An additional $7 million in funding has been made available to support housing and other services for people experiencing homelessness.

The majority of COVID-19 cases are in Cook County, followed by Lake and DuPage counties.