Evanston reported just three new COVID-19 cases today — the lowest number in more than three weeks — but also reported two additional deaths as Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced new rules that could permit outdoor dining options at restaurants later this month.

Evanston’s COVID-19 case count now stands at 596 and its death toll at 24.

Chicago today reported 920 new cases for a total of 38,839 and 58 additional deaths for a total of 1,787.

Statewide the case count topped the 100,000 mark for the first time, with 2,388 new cases bringing the total to 100,418. And statewide there were 146 new deaths for a total of 4,525.

At the governor’s news conffence this afternoon, State Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike noted that the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms fell yesterday to 3,914. That’s the first time the count has been below 4,000 since sometime before April 12.

The state reported results of 21,908 more coronavirus tests today with a positive rate of 11.4%. In Evanston the IDPH reported 125 new tests conducted and 7 positives, a higher positive number than what the city reported. That would make today’s positive rate for Evanston 5.6%

Before today’s announcement by the governor, restaurants had not been scheduled to be able to reopen until Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, which wasn’t scheduled to take place until the end of June at the earliest.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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