SPRINGFIELD – The statewide COVID-19 test positivity rate decreased again Wednesday, the same day added restrictions took effect in two regions of the state that are considered hotspots for the virus.

The seven-day rolling average positivity rate for tests completed decreased to 4 percent after rising as high as 4.4 percent on Thursday, Aug. 20.

Region 4 in the Metro East area on the Missouri border had a 9.7 positivity rate as of Aug. 23, while Region 7’s positivity rate was 8.3 percent in Kankakee and Will Counties. Those were the only two regions topping the 8 percent threshold leading to further state-imposed economic restrictions.

Southern Illinois’ Region 5 has a positivity rate of 7.1 percent, followed by suburban Cook County’s Region 10 at 6.8 percent, and Region 2 in north-central Illinois at 6.5 percent. Region 6 in east-central Illinois had the lowest rate a 1.6 percent, while the other regions, including Chicago at 5.3 percent, ranged from 5 to 5.8 percent.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced another 37 deaths related to the virus and 2,157 confirmed cases among 50,362 tests completed over the previous 24 hours. That made for a one-day positivity rate of 4.3 percent. The deaths ranged from a female younger than 20 to multiple residents in their 90s.

More than 50,000 test results have been reported daily for six of the past eight days.

IDPH has now reported 7,954 deaths of COVID-19-positive individuals among 225,627 confirmed cases since the pandemic first reached Illinois. More than 3.8 million test results have been rported.

At the end of Tuesday, hospitalizations for the virus in the state remained slightly above their pandemic lows. There were 1,573 COVID-19-positive individuals occupying hospital beds, including 350 in intensive care unit beds. Of those, 132 were on ventilators.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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