Illinois COVID-19: IL reports 3,113 new coronavirus cases, with 22 deaths

Kane, DuPage, Will and Kankakee 1 day away from meeting threshold to impose new restrictions

ByLiz Nagy and Alexis McAdams WLS logo
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As COVID-19 positivity rates continue to rise across Illinois, some Chicago suburbs could see new restrictions imposed.

Illinois public health officials announced 3,113 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, along with 22 additional deaths.

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker's COVID update on October 19, 2020

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois now stands at 347,161, with 9,236 deaths, the IDPH reported.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 48,684 specimens for a total of 6,824,237. The seven-day positivity rate from October 12 - October 18 is 5.4%. It is the 13th consecutive day the positivity rate has increased.

Since Sunday night, 2,096 people were hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19, with 485 in the ICU and 179 on ventilators.

Gov. Pritzker warned Monday that regions 7 and 8 - which include Kane, DuPage, Will and Kankakee counties - are potentially one day away from meeting the threshold to impose new restrictions. Both regions currently have positivity rates over 8%.

Region 5 has already surpassed that threshold, with a rolling positivity rate of 9.1% and will start imposing new restrictions on Thursday. Those restrictions include the temporary closing of indoor service in bars and restaurants, as well as limiting gatherings to 25 people.

"It didn't happen by itself," said Steve Brandy, spokesperson for the Will County Health Department. "People are being careless. People are getting cocky. People are thinking, 'It's not going to happen to me.' No. That is all wrong."

It's that kind of overconfident thinking health experts say is forcing a surge in statewide COVID-19 positivity rates to alarmingly high levels.

In Kankakee, Kane, Will and DuPage counties at least 8 in every 100 people tested has the virus.

WATCH: DuPage County positivity rate among fastest-growing in state

"Nearly every region in the state has seen an increase in COVID-related hospitalizations over the last week," Pritzker said. "Thursday we set a record high of cases, identified in one day. And then we beat that record on Friday."

According to the governor's "Restore Illinois" metrics, Will, DuPage, Kane and Kankakee could soon start operating under stricter restrictions. That could mean no indoor bar or dining service and much smaller limits on social gatherings.

"I think its hurting people's livelihood and the economy and everything else," said Tammy Richter, a Will County resident.

"I think it really irritates people and makes people upset because people just want to go out and about but don't understand that more things at stake because we don't have a vaccine," said Kylie Pool, another Will County resident.

And until there is a vaccine, health officials will be pressing the public to fight pandemic fatigue just as hard as the virus itself.

"You can't just assume, 'I know this person's name, they don't have COVID-19.' They could and you could and you don't know it, so keep the mask on over your nose and mouth," Brandy said.

According to the DuPage County Health Department, the county now has one of the fastest growing COVID-19 positivity rates in the state.

"We knew it was likely we would see more disease activity and over the past week to ten days it has jumped up and it is a concern for us," said Chris Hoff, DuPage County Health Dept. "The fact that we are increasing every day and that it is about 8% right now is really a concern."

Contact tracing efforts in DuPage County found that the largest COVID-19 outbreaks are linked to long-term care facilities, factories, general workplaces, restaurants, and places of worship.

To help curb the spike, DuPage County health authorities are now recommending all schools go back to remote learning.

RELATED: DuPage County COVID-19 surge prompts Elmhurst schools to go remote

"We know that when people are inside with large groups for extended periods of time that contributes to the spread," Hoff said.

Gov. Pritzker pointed out bars and restaurants specifically, as some areas have to now close their indoor dining.

In downtown Wheaton, restaurants have been using these outdoor dining tents. Jim Smith, the owner of the Egglectic Café, said those tents have been a lifeline. The added mitigations could be the final punch that leads to permanent closures.

Gov. JB Pritzker said during a press conference Monday that he will resume daily COVID-19 briefings amid the surge in cases.

The deaths reported Monday include:

-Carroll County: 1 female 90s

-Cook County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s

-DuPage County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s

-Fayette County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s

-LaSalle County: 1 female 80s

-Livingston County: 1 male 80s

-Monroe County: 1 male 80s

-Montgomery County: 1 male 80s

-Peoria County: 1 male 90s

-Wayne County: 1 male 90s

-Whiteside County: 1 female 90s

-Will County: 1 female 70s

-Williamson County: 1 male 70s

-Woodford County: 1 female 80s

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.