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42 new coronavirus-related deaths, nearly 1,000 new cases reported in Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and state officials speak at a press conference Wednesday afternoon | Photo: Illinois Information Service.

Illinois state officials announced 42 new coronavirus-related deaths — the largest number in a single day — along with nearly 1,000 new confirmed cases on Wednesday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the state’s COVID-19 total has reached 6,980 cases and 141 deaths. The number of people tested so far is at 40,384, data shows.

Governor J.B. Pritzker asked residents to continue staying at home and reminded residents to complete the Census.

On Tuesday, Pritzker extended the state’s stay-at-home order, disaster proclamation and school closures until April 30. The stay-at-home order was initially set to end on April 7 before Pritzker extended it by 23 days.

“Each step we have been forced to take by this pandemic has made things more challenging for our residents. The cascading consequences of these steps weigh on me every minute of every day,” Pritzker said at his daily press conference.

Pritzker said that 41% of ICU adult hospital beds and 68% of ventilators are available in the state as of Tuesday.

“But from all the modeling we’ve seen, our greatest risk of hitting capacity isn’t right now but weeks from now. The virus’ spread is growing, so are its risks,” Pritzker noted.

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On Monday, Pritzker said that the first phase of the McCormick Place field hospital will be completed this week. It will ultimately have 3,000 beds and be used for those minor symptoms who do not require advanced care.

“Based on science, data, and the guidance of health experts, our approach to fighting this virus is two-pronged: suppress the spread and increase hospital capacity to meet the need,” Pritzker said.

“A critical component of increasing our capacity is identifying and building out additional facilities across the state to support our existing hospitals and healthcare system. In partnership with the City of Chicago and the U.S. Army Corps we are planning to increase capacity, so we’re prepared to treat patients and save lives,” Pritzker added.

The state is also working to create temporary bed capacity at MetroSouth Hospital in Blue Island and at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.

Pritzker said that personal protective equipment is being shipped out from the state’s stockpile to counties throughout the state.


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