Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 7,178 new coronavirus cases, 57 deaths as travelers return from Thanksgiving holiday trips

COVID-19 continues spread, Illinois faces post-holiday surge
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 7,178 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 along with 57 deaths Sunday.

WATCH: Illinois positivity rate decline could be sign mitigations are working, Pritzker says

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Officials say Illinois' declining positivity rate could be an indication some mitigations are starting to work, but there's concern that could be reversed in the coming days.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 720,114, with a total of 12,193 deaths.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 62,740 specimens. In total there have been 10,431,018 test specimens tested since the start of the pandemic in Illinois.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Nov. 22 - 28 is 12.1%.

As of Saturday night, 5,858 people in Illinois were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 1,185 patients were in the ICU with COVID-19 and 723 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

Officials in Illinois and across the nation pleaded Americans to limit travel during the Thanksgiving holiday to help prevent the surging coronavirus outbreak from spreading farther and faster.

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Dr. Robert Citronberg discussed the anticipated COVID-19 surge in Illinois after Thanksgiving.

RELATED: Chicago hospitals brace for post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge following holiday travel weekend

But millions of people disregarded the warnings and left home this week. Experts fear it will mean even more infections and deaths in the coming weeks at a time when colder weather is forcing people indoors and closer together.

Chicago-based United Airlines has begun shipping the first batches of the COVID-19 vaccine on charter flights, a source told ABC News.

The source is familiar with the operation, according to ABC.

RELATED: Where to find COVID-19 testing in Chicago area

The deaths reported Sunday include:

- Bureau County: 1 male 70s
- Champaign County: 1 female 50s
- Cook County: 1 male 40s, 3 females 50s, 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 4 males 60s, 5 females 70s, 3 males 70s, 9 males 80s, 1 female 90s, 5 males 90s
- DuPage County: 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s
- Fayette County: 2 males 80s
- Fulton County: 1 female 90s
- Kane County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 70s
- Knox County: 1 male 80s
- LaSalle County: 1 male 80s

- Logan County: 1 female 80s
- Madison County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- Mason County: 1 female 90s
- Massac County: 1 female 70s
- Ogle County: 1 female 80s
- Peoria County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 90s
- Rock Island County: 1 male 50s
- Whiteside County: 1 male 90s

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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