There are now 542 COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths in Lake County along with 12 long-term care facilities that have confirmed cases, health officials announced Thursday.
The Lake County Health Department reported 77 new cases of coronavirus and five new deaths since Wednesday — the largest increase in a single day.
The five deaths were among residents who all had underlying health conditions, a risk factor for severe illness from COVID-19, according to the health department.
The deaths include a man and woman in their 60s, two men in their 70s and a man in his 80s.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families who have lost their loved ones,” Lake County Board of Health President Tim Sashko said.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to you, to all residents who are battling this disease, and to all Lake County families bearing an immense emotional burden of uncertainty during this difficult time,” Sashko added.
The Lake County Health Department is investigating 12 long-term care facilities in the county that have two or more confirmed cases. The 12 facilities have a combined total of 70 confirmed coronavirus cases.
The health department said they are working closely with the facilities to prevent further spread of the virus and to equip them with personal protective equipment.
“At this point, it is clear there is substantial community-based transmission of COVID-19 in Lake County,” Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister said.
“This is why we have been urging residents to stay home. Even when going out for necessities like groceries, limit your time in stores and use delivery, drive-through, or curb-side pick-up whenever possible,” Pfister said.
The Lake County Health Department said they have a crisis care hotline for residents that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 847-377-8088.
“Starting today, in addition to the mental health counselors who staff the hotline, the Health Department has added certified addiction counselors to provide support for people with substance use disorders,” health officials said in a statement.
“During this time when many substance use treatment centers have reduced availability and staffing and many support groups are unable to meet due to the stay at home order, help is available over the phone,” officials added.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said on Thursday the state’s COVID-19 total has reached 7,695 cases and 157 deaths. The number of people tested so far is at 43,656, data shows.