Illinois reports 614 new coronavirus cases, 6 deaths on Monday as cases surge in other states

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO/AP) — The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 614 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 6 additional deaths.

– Champaign County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
– Cook County: 2 male 60s, 1 female 80s
– DeKalb County: 1 female 90

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 147,865 cases, including 7,026 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. 

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 21,134 specimens for a total of 1,782,840.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 29 –July 5 is 2.6%.

However, in Florida and Texas, hospitals are fast approaching capacity and the Miami area again ordered restaurants closed as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations began to climb.

Confirmed cases are on the rise in 41 out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and the percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus is increasing in 39 states.

Florida, which recorded an all-time high of 11,400 cases Saturday and has seen its positive test rate over the past two weeks reach more than 18%, has been hit especially hard, along with other Sunbelt states such as Arizona, California and Texas.

Officials in Texas likewise said hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed. Hospitalizations statewide surged past 8,000 for the first time over the July Fourth weekend, a more than fourfold increase in the past month. Houston officials said intensive care units there have exceeded capacity.

In Arizona, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 topped 3,200, a new high, and hospitals statewide were at 89% capacity. Confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and more than half of those infected, or over 62,000, are under 44 years old, state health officials said.

Around the country, health officials have warned that the surge is being driven in large part by younger people who are disregarding the social distancing rules and that they could easily spread the virus to older, more vulnerable people, such as their parents and grandparents.

The coronavirus is blamed for over a half-million deaths worldwide, including more than 130,000 in the U.S., according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed infections nationwide stood at 2.9 million, though the real number is believed to be 10 times higher.

New cases per day nationwide have hit record levels well over 50,000. The daily count has surged more than 80% over the past two weeks, according to an Associated Press analysis.

Average deaths per day have fallen over the same period from around 600 to about 510, in what experts say reflects advances in treatment and prevention as well as the large share of cases among young adults, who are more likely than older ones to survive COVID-19.

But deaths are considered a lagging indicator — that is, it takes time for people to get sick and die. And experts are worried the downward trend in deaths could reverse itself.

The trajectory of the virus following the July Fourth celebrations is being closely watched as states weigh whether to reopen schools in the coming months.

Meanwhile, three of the top U.S. medical organizations issued an open letter urging Americans to wear masks, social distance and wash hands often to help stop “the worst public health crisis in generations.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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