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Evanston reported eight new COVID-19 cases today raising the city’s count to 261 while Illinois reported 2,049 more cases statewide for a pandemic total so far of 35,108.

Chicago reporterd 840 new cases for a total of 14,394.

Evanston’s death toll from the pandemic remained at 8. Chicago reported 35 new deaths for a total of 604. Statewide there were 98 new deaths for a total of 1,566.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker this afternoon announced the opening of new drive-through testing sites in Aurora and Rockford and said that with the increased testing capacity statewide anyone who believes they’re suffering from COVID-19 symptoms can get a test, without getting an order from their doctor first, as has been required previously.

The number of tests reported today rose to 9,349, the highest daily count of the pandemic, but the percentage of tests returning positive results remained around 21 percent, as it has for the past 10 days, suggesting that the reported count of cases still understates the spread of the disease in Illinois.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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