Illinois reports  8,322 new coronavirus cases, lowest test positivity rate in more than two weeks

Illinois reports 8,322 new coronavirus cases, lowest test positivity rate in more than two weeks

Rush University Medical Center staff collect swab samples to test people for the coronavirus at the hospital’s drive-thru testing site. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

As of Sunday night, 6,171 people with the virus were reported to be in the hospital.

State public health officials reported 8,322 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Monday as well as 47 additional deaths.

As of Sunday night, 6,171 people with the virus were reported to be in the hospital; 1,206 patients were in intensive care units and 635 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The 8,322-daily caseload, while still higher than in previous months, was the lowest since Nov. 4 and only the seventh time this month when the figure was below 10,000.

And they were detected among almost 91,562 tests, lowering the statewide average testing positivity rate to 10.9%, the lowest it’s been since Nov. 8.

The announcement of the new cases follows news of another drugmaker, AstraZeneca, reporting late-stage trials of a potential vaccine for the deadly virus being up to 90% effective in preventing the disease.

The state has seen a “hint of leveling” in its new cases and positivity rates, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week, though he warned it was too early to tell if the dip in daily case counts was a “meaningful trend or an anomaly, but we’re glad to at least have a pause in our upward movement.”

Pritzker and Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the head of the state’s public health department, also warned the state’s residents not to dine with those outside of their immediate household for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday to try to curb the spread of the virus.

“I’d like to remind everyone that this is a time-limited sacrifice,” Ezike said. “The more we can reduce the spread of the virus now then, when a safe and effective vaccine does come out — and it looks like it may be coming soon — the quicker we can then get back to normal. Please let’s do what we know is right. We’re almost there.”