Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and state officials speak at their daily press conference on May 26, 2020 | Photo: Illinois Information Service.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Illinois has seemed to “come off the peak” of COVID-19 as the state saw the first week-over-week drop in virus deaths.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said there were 1,178 new coronavirus cases and 39 additional deaths on Tuesday. The state’s COVID-19 case total is now at 113,195 positive cases and 4,923 deaths.

Laboratories have processed 17,230 tests in the past 24 hours, officials said. The total number of people tested so far in the state is at 786,794.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that there were 3,788 COVID-19 patients in Illinois hospitals Monday evening. Of those 3,788 patients, 1,035 were in the ICU and 590 were on ventilators.

“Looking at the numbers on a daily basis, looking at a weekly average basis, the answer is: We seem to have come off the peak,” Pritzker said on Tuesday.

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Ezike said she is hopeful this is the beginning of a downward trend but urged residents to continue doing everything they can to reduce transmission of the virus. She also said that the number of cases and deaths that were reported to IDPH this weekend could be low because of the holiday weekend.

The positivity rate has dropped from a high of 23% in late April to 9.2% in the past seven days, Pritzker said. COVID-19 related hospitalizations, which had been holding steady a few weeks ago,  have now dropped to a six-week low.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said that 92% of residents who tested positive for COVID-19, and did not die, have recovered.

Illinois has received a third shipment of the drug Remdesivir, which has shown good results in decreasing hospitalization days of COVID-19 patients, Ezike said.

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All four regions of Illinois are on track to move into Phase 3 of Restore Illinois on Friday. Pritzker released industry-specific guidelines on Sunday to allow businesses to reopen safely.

The guidelines cover manufacturing, retail, offices, service counters, youth sports, restaurants and bars, day camps, outdoor recreation, personal care services and fitness centers.

The guidelines can be viewed on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website here.

Moving into Phase 3 will allow hundreds of thousands of residents to go back to work. Pritzker said that all child care providers are being asked to reopen in Phase 3.

For the first four weeks, they can serve no more than 10 kids per classroom and after that the limit will increase.

Over 2,500 child care home and 700 centers have provided care during the stay-at-home order. Those child care facilities that have been open during the pandemic will be able to skip the four-week capacity limit and instead expand their capacity, Pritzker said.

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