Illinois COVID-19: 1,360 new coronavirus cases, 25 deaths reported; Memorial service honors state's COVID-19 victims

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, September 4, 2020
Illinois honors more than 8,000 COVID-19 victims at memorial service
Lynika Strozier, a Field Museum researcher, was among the 8,000 Illinois victims of COVID-19 honored at a memorial service Thursday night.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials announced 1,360 new COVID-19 cases Thursday along with 25 new deaths.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois now stands at 240,003 with 8,115 deaths.

The preliminary seven-day positivity rate from August 27-September 2 stands at 4.4%, down from 4.5 % the previous day.

Within the past 24 hours, the state has processed 40,795 tests for a total of 4,160,668. Health officials said that a data processing issue is responsible for the lower number of tests reported.

As of Wednesday night, 1,620 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 360 patients in the ICU and 144 patients on ventilators.

The new deaths reported Thursday include:

-Alexander County: 1 male 60s

- Coles County: 1 male 80s

- Cook County: 1 female 60s, 2 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s

- Edgar County: 1 female 80s

- Kane County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s

- Kendall County: 1 male 50s

- Lake County: 1 female 70s

- LaSalle County: 1 male 80s

- Macon County: 1 female 70s

- Madison County: 2 males 70s, 1 female 90s

- Montgomery County: 1 male 60s

- Peoria County: 1 male 90s

- Rock Island County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s

- St. Clair County: 1 male 50s

Memorial service honors Illinois COVID-19 victims

The state of Illinois paused to remember the more than 8,000 lives lost to the virus so far at a memorial service Thursday night on the University of Chicago campus.

It was a moment aimed at healing at time when how we mourn has also been taken from us.

"Even the simplest things we're not able to do anymore. A hug, a hand on a shoulder, a visit to the hospital, a trip to the nursing home, a gathering with family and friends," said Rabbi Steven Stark Lowenstein, Am Shalom.

The interfaith memorial service at Rockefeller Chapel honored the more than 8,000 Illinoisans who have died from coronavirus. The husband of Joyce Pacubas-Le Blanc, a UIC nurse, offered a searing testimonial to loss.

"I'm still in deep grieving, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of this," said Lawrence Le Blanc, whose wife died from COVID-19.

Also honored was Lynika Strozier, a Field Museum researcher.

"They called her the scientist with the golden hands," said Sharon Wright, Strozier's grandmother.

And Ernesto Guzman, who was just 12 years old.

"Bright-eyed. Cheery smile. A spirit that never quit," said Theresa Cullen, his teacher.

It's hard to reconcile the last six months. But there was hope for a way forward at Thursday night's memorial.

"There will come a day when you can sit with the memory of the person that you lost without feeling lost yourself," Gov. JB Pritzker said. "I promise you."

There were moments of gratitude tonight as well. The son-in-law of Wally Blase, a Vietnam veteran and longtime firefighter, said his death reminded the family of what remarkable life he lived.