Evanston reported six more COVID-19 tests today, raising the city’s total to 324. Statewide there were 2,219 new cases for a total of 48,102.

Chicago reported 912 new cases for a total of 19,594.

The state reported 142 new deaths for a total of 2,125. That was the highest one-day COVID-19 death toll in Illinois yet. Thirty-one of those additional deaths were in Chicago, bringing the city’s toll to 803.

Evanston’s death toll remained at 10.

The state reported that results of 14,561 tests for COVID-19 were received within the last 24 hours. That’s the second-highest test count for any day of the pandemic and the fifth day in a row that tests have exceeded Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s goal of conducting 10,000 tests a day.

Having reached that initial goal, state officials now say they likely will need to be able to perform many times that number of tests to have confidence that the pandemic is actually being brought under control.

At his news conference this afternoon Gov. J.B. Pritzker said State Rep. Darren Bailey’s lawsuit challenging the governor’s stay-at-home order was “a cheap political stunt” carried out just so Bailey “can see his name in headlines.”

The governor said Bailey’s downstate district has among the lowest hospital bed availability in the state and “would be uniquely ill-equipped to respond to a surge in cases” and that his district is also home to the county with the highst death rate per capita in Illinois.

He said the court order issued yesterday in the suit applies only to Bailey himself and leaves the stay-at-home order in effect for everyone else.

The stay-at-home order was well within the state’s legal authority, Pritzker said, and the state is immediately appealing the court decision.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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