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Health director: ‘Everything is heading in the wrong direction’

Evanston had a record number of new coronavirus cases today. The state recorded a record number of tests. Positive rates rose across Illinois.

Evanston health officials reported 60 new COVID-19 cases among city residents today — the second record high in as many days — along with one more death.

Statewide there were 15,415 new cases, and the state reported 22 more deaths today for a total of 10,504.

State officials said the death count today was understated because of reporting difficulties and that Saturday’s death report is expected to be much higher.

Evanston health officials issued an advisory today urging all residents to stay home except for essential activities, limit gatherings and non-essential travel and practice proven preventive measures, like wearing a face mask.

The state reported 106,540 tests today, a single-day record, up from 100,617 on Thursday.

The seven-day positive test rate statewide was 13.2% today. That’s up from 10.9% a week ago.

The seven-day positive test rate in suburban Cook County is now at 14.4%, up from 11.5% a week ago.

The IDPH reported tests of 1,426 Evanston residents today. It found 51 positive cases for a daily positive rate of 3.6% The seven-day positive rate here is now 3.2%

The state now says Evanston has had a total of 1,860 cases.

Evanston’s health department reports a total of 1,838 cases. The city’s COVID-19 death toll increased by one today to 81.

Here are the latest seven-day positive rates for some neighboring communities:

  • Chicago 13.8%, up from 10.1% a week ago.
  • Skokie 11.4%, up from 7.5% a week ago.
  • Wilmette 10.9%, up from 6.5% a week ago.

Chicago reported 2,699 new cases today for a total of 126,599. Its coronavirus death toll increased by seven today to 3,176.

Suburban Cook County reported 2,556 more cases today for a total of 110,118 and one more deaths for a total of 2,549.

Those who died in Cook County today included two women a man in their 50s, a woman and two men in their 70s and a woman and a man in their 80s.

The state now has had 536,542 COVID-19 cases.

As of last night, 5,258 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 956 patients were in the ICU and 438 of those were on ventilators.

The latest COVID-19 charts for Evanston and Illinois

At today’s coronavirus news conference, the state’s health director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, said that regarding COVID numbers, “everything is heading in the wrong direction.”

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