Illinois reports 73 more COVID-19 deaths, highest single-day spike

Illinois reports 73 more COVID-19 deaths, highest single-day spike

Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration announced 73 more COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday, the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began. That pushes the total to 380.

“There are so many tragedies here,” Pritzker said during his daily press conference. “The countless family members, loved ones, friends and neighbors who grieve, the indefinite delay of funerals and celebrations of life and the fact that this will not be the last day that we say goodbye to our fellow Illinoisans because of the terrible toll of COVID-19.”

Officials reported 1,287 new confirmed cases, bringing the state’s number of positive tests to 13,549 in 77 counties. There have been 68,732 individuals tested in Illinois.

As of Monday, 3,680 COVID-19 patients and suspected COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. Of that number, 1,166 were in an intensive care unit and 821 patients were using a ventilator.

Pritzker said that 65 percent of the state’s available ICU beds were occupied and 43 percent of available ventilators were in use.

He noted that beds are filling up faster in certain parts of the state, including Chicago. As of Monday, only one-quarter of the city’s ICU beds were available. In some suburbs, the percentage of open beds was even lower.

Downstate regions have also started to see bed capacity fill up. In Peoria, 60 percent of ICU beds were in use, and in Edwardsville, ICU beds at area hospitals were two-thirds full.

“As this situation evolves, I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure every patient receives what they need,” he said. That effort includes the McCormick Place field hospital and the repurposing of three formerly closed hospitals in the Chicago area and one in Springfield to treat COVID-19 patients.

Additionally, Pritzker announced Tuesday that California is lending 100 additional ventilators to Illinois. And he said the state has received 450 ventilators from the federal government.

Officials also announced Tuesday that a member of Pritzker’s staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual, who does not have regular contact with Pritzker or Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, has been in isolation since March 26 when they first began to feel ill.

No other staffers have shown symptoms since that day. Pritzker and Ezike both said they have not shown symptoms and have not been tested for the virus.

Pritzker also addressed the latest in the back-and-forth with him and President Donald Trump. During his Monday press conference, Trump said that Pritzker told Vice President Mike Pence during a governors’ call that he was “happy” with the federal government’s response to the pandemic – in contrast to Pritzker’s comments to reporters.

Pritzker said Tuesday that his “happy” comment was in response to the work done by the Army Corps of Engineers to prepare McCormick Place, as well as some of the work done by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Look, I’m happy when they make promises, and then deliver upon those promises,” he said. “I am unhappy when they do not deliver on promises, or when lies are spoken. I’m gonna fight for the people of Illinois in all circumstances, but I’ll praise somebody when they do something right.”


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