Evanston reported 16 new COVID-19 cases today, raising its total number of cases to 304. And, for the second day in a row, it reported one additional death, raising the death toll here from the pandemic to 10.

Statewide 2,119 new cases were reported, for a total of 41,777. Seventy-nine more people died across the state bringing that toll to 708.

Of the new cases statewide, 997 were reported in Chicago, raising that city’s total to 17,109.

Skokie reported 26 new cases today for a total of 397. Skokie’s death toll remained unchanged today at 16.

This was the second day in which the state exceeded Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s long-time goal of testing more than 10,000 people a day for the coronavirus.

With 11,985 tests reported today, 17.7% returned positive results. That’s up from 16.7% positive results on Friday when 16,316 tests were reported. Previously, with less than 10,000 tests being conducted per day the positive rate had been running from 20% to 24% in recent days.

At the governor’s daily news conference, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state public health director, said there’s been an increase in calls to the state’s poison control hotline since President Trump earlier this week suggested ingesting household disinfectants as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Ezike strongly cautioned resident against doing that, saying ingesting, injecting or snorting disinfections is dangerous and potentially deadly.

“Listen to scientists and health experts,” she urged residents.

She said that as of midnight last night 4,699 Illinois residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms with 1,244 in intensive care units and 763 on ventilators.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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