Illinois Sets New Single-Day Record for COVID-19 Cases, Again

Outdoor dining tables line Rush Street in Chicago as state-imposed restrictions suspending indoor dining and drinking take effect Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (WTTW News)

State health officials reported 7,899 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the third consecutive day in which Illinois saw its highest number of new infections within a 24-hour period since the coronavirus pandemic hit the state.

Another 46 deaths were also reported Saturday, including 16 residents of Cook County ranging in age from their 40s to over 100.

More than 92,000 tests were processed in the past 24 hours, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percentage of total tests is 7.5%, IDPH reported Saturday. A week ago, that rate was 6.1%, according to IDPH. Test positivity across the state — the number of positive tests as a percentage of total tests — is 9%. That rate is slightly higher both in Cook County (9.1%) and Chicago (8.6%), IDPH regional data shows.

According to the IDPH, “Case positivity and test positivity rate are both relevant and offer insight into the bigger COVID-19 picture. Case positivity helps us understand whether changes in the number of confirmed cases is due to more testing or due to more infections. Whereas, test positivity accounts for repeated testing and helps us understand how the virus is spreading in the population over time.”

On Friday, tightened mitigation measures took effect in Chicago, where bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m. and can no longer serve patrons indoors. 

Illinois Restaurant Association President and CEO Sam Toia said Friday his organization would back operators around the state who had filed lawsuits challenging those restrictions in regions where COVID-19 is spiking.

A map of Illinois’ 11 regions. (Click to see full COVID-19 mitigation plan released by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.)

By early next week, 10 of the state’s 11 regions will be operating under mitigation restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Mitigations will go into effect in region 6 (East-Central Illinois) beginning Monday, and the lone region that’s currently not under mitigations (region 2) appears to be trending in the wrong direction, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office.