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COVID-19: Illinois numbers steady, Cook County reports 81 deaths

By Jim Hagerty

CHICAGO – State officials reported 136 COVID-19-related deaths Wednesday, 81 of which occurred in Cook County.

The deaths also included two Winnebago County residents in their 70s.

Labs processed 14,974 tests in last 24 hours, resulting in 2,270 new cases or coronavirus disease and a statewide total of 68,232–a number the includes those who’ve already recovered. It also includes presumptive positives.

There were 4,832 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus disease or symptoms of the respiratory sickness in hospitals across Illinois as of Wednesday. That includes 1,231 people in intensive care and 780 people on ventilators.

According to state officials, about 30% of those who are sickened with COVID-19 in Illinois have required hospital care. The majority of those who have died have been 65 or older and suffered from at least one preexisting health condition.

“Almost 90% of the fatalities had an associated comorbidity,” Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “We’ve seen that in data across the world. And I have to add age. Age isn’t necessarily a comorbidity, but it puts you in a higher risk status. We have seen people over the age of 65. We’ve talked about heart disease, we’ve talked about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, diabetes. So, there is a list of conditions which are quite common in our population, along with elevated age.”

Of the COVID deaths Wednesday, 104 patients were 70 or older.

Pregnant women, or women who have recently been pregnant, are also at risk of becoming seriously ill if they’re infected with coronavirus, Ezike said.

There are now cases of COVID-19 in 97 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

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