Evanston health officials reported no new COVID-19 cases in the city today on the eve of the state’s moving to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan that will further loosen pandemic-related restrictions on business and social activity.

However, Chicago reported 271 more cases today for a total of 51,267 along with 18 more deaths for a total of 2,558.

Across Illinois 894 more cases were reported for a total of 139,434 and 40 more deaths for a total of 6,810.

Evanston’s case count now stands a 777. The city also reported no additional COVID-19 deaths today, so the death toll here remains at 68.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported testing 31,686 people for the novel coronavirus disease — a new one-day record high. Today’s positive rate was 2.8%, slightly above the seven day average of 2.6%.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker cautioned residents at a news conference this afternoon that despite the reopening tomorrow, it’s still critically important to take simple steps to prevent spread of the disease — wear a mask, watch your distance and watch your hands.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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