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Gov. J.B. Pritzker conceded Wednesday that Illinois has failed to increase its COVID-19 testing capacity to be able to run 10,000 tests a day — the goal he had set 10 days earlier.

Pritzker blamed a variety of problems with acquisition and deployment of new testing equipment for the delay, but said he still hoped to hit that goal soon — and that having that testing capacity would play a key role in determining when the state might be able to ease social distancing restrictions and be able to let life return to something closer to normal.

State Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said she was encouraged that the rate of growth in new COVID-19 cases appears to be slowing across the state.

And an updated model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington now projects that the number of deaths from the disease will peak in Illinois on April 12 at 91 death and that deaths could decline to as few as one per day by April 30.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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