Evanston health officials reported 12 new COVID-19 cases today and the state reported 2,084 new cases. Both were the highest daily counts in more than two months.

Evanston’s case count now stands at 898 although its death toll has remained unchanged for weeks at 71.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that 13 counties, most in central or southern Illinois, are now considered to be at a warning level for the disease. Grundy, Iroquois and Winnebago counties are the closest to Evanston on the list.

The state considered a county to be at a warning level if two or more of eight indicators show increased COVID-19 activity.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker today said this is a “make or break moment for the state of Illinois” as he announced new penalties for businesses that don’t require employees and customers to wear masks.

Chicago reported 317 new cases today for a total of 63,124 and seven more deaths for a total of 2,807.

Suburban Cook County had 535 more cases today for a total of 46,878 and one additional death for a total of 2,113.

Deaths in Cook County today ranged from a man in his 30s to two women in their 90s.

The statewide death toll rose by 19 today to 7,613 and the total case count statewide hit 190,508.

The IDPH reported results of 46,868 COVID-19 tests today with a positive rate for the day of 4.7% compared to the seven-day average of 4%

The state reported test results for 211 Evanston residents today and said it found 10 positive cases for a positive rate of 4.7%.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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