On a day when Illinois reported hitting a new high for COVID-19 testing, Evanston reported 19 new cases for a total of 499 while across the state there were 4,014 new cases for a total of 83,021.

Chicago reported 1,224 new cases for a total of 32,551.

Evanston reported one additional death today for a total of 16. Chicago reported 65 new deaths for a total of 1,441. Across the state there were 142 more deaths for a total of 3,601.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported somewhat different data for Evanston than the city’s health department, saying there were 21 new positive tests today from a total of 80 tests conducted. That amounts to a positive result rate of 26.25%.

That’s a much higher positive rate than the 7.69% reported for Evanston by the IDPH from Monday’s tests..

For the pandemic so far the state reports 497 positive cases in Evanston from 3,031 patients tested, for a positive test rate of 16.4%

The 29,266 tests reported today in Illinois was 63.3% above the average test count for the past seven days. And the number of positive tests reported was 64.7% higher than the average number of positive cases reported in the past seven days.

During the governor’s news conference this afternoon, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state health director said the increase in positive results is to be expected given the increase in testing.

However the results appear to counter the frequently stated assumption that increased testing would lead to a lower positive test result rate with the reservoir of undetected cases shrinking as testing expanded.

At the news conference Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on state lawmakers to return to Springfield to “begin to put our financial and economic house back in order.”

He urged them to provide relief for renters, homeowners and businesses harmed by the pandemic.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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