5/15/2020 11:08:00 AM All four regions of state still on track for recovery phase 3,239 new COVID cases reported; 138 new deaths
ILLINOIS — The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,239 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday among 22,678 tests, for a positive rate of just over 14 percent. More than half a million Illinoisans have been tested, which is about 4 percent of the population, and 87,937 have tested positive.
IDPH also reported 138 new deaths from the virus, bringing the state’s total to 3,928.
“The number of cases that we're identifying is proportional to the number of tests,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said during Thursday’s virtual briefing. “And we've increased our cases because we've increased the amount of testing we've done, and we hope to keep doing that.”
There were 4,473 people hospitalized with the disease in Illinois as of midnight, including 1,132 in intensive care and 689 on ventilators.
All four regions outlined by the governor’s Restore Illinois reopening plan are on track to move into the next phase of reopening on May 29, according to IDPH data, including a case positivity rate for each region of less than the 20 percent maximum.
“Every region is so far meeting all the metrics,” Pritzker said.
Phase 3, titled “Recovery,” allows offices, retail shops, barbershops and salons to reopen to the public with safety precautions and limited capacity. Mandatory face coverings and social distancing will still remain, as well as the 10-person limit to social gatherings.
Pritzker said that even if one county in a region does not meet IDPH’s metrics for moving into the next phase, then that county would still be allowed if the region as a whole meets the metrics.
“There will be some areas that will be a bigger hotspot than another area within a region. But we didn't want to hold back a region because there's one hotspot,” Pritzker said.