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Daily Journal
     April 8, 2020      #50-99 KDJ

County's coronavirus cases sprint past 100

Daily Journal staff report

On Monday, Kankakee County was nearing the 100 mark for confirmed cases of coronavirus. On Tuesday, the county sprinted past that milestone, ending the day with 128 confirmed cases. Tuesday also brought a new coronavirus-related death in the county, bringing the total to six.

Twice-daily reports on the Kankakee County Health Department’s Facebook page had been hovering in the single-digit range. It was a different story on Tuesday. The department’s morning update brought 18 new cases and its afternoon update brought 20.

“As you have seen, there has been a surge in positive cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours,” said a post on the department’s Facebook Tuesday afternoon.

The department attributed the jumps to increased testing at long-term care facilities with active outbreaks, as well as an increase in testing being performed by healthcare agencies in the community.

“There will continue to be a rise in numbers as more individuals are tested, this is no cause for panic,” the post continued.

During Tuesday’s daily press briefing in Chicago, Illinois officials announced the largest single-day increase of novel coronavirus-caused deaths in the state — 73 new fatalities in 14 counties — bringing the total to 380.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, added that 1,287 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours. There are now 13,549 cases in 77 counties, as of Tuesday’s afternoon briefing.

The number of actual cases is likely higher, as testing is not widely available, Gov. JB Pritzker said. About 19 percent of the 68,732 people tested for the virus in Illinois have tested positive, he added.

Pritzker added “these terrible numbers” should caution Illinoisans that the novel coronavirus pandemic is “deadly serious.” Residents should continue to follow the stay-at-home and social distancing orders, frequently wash their hands, sanitize regularly-used objects and surfaces and wear a face covering when going outside, the governor said.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has advised the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

In an IDPH survey of those who received a positive COVID-19 test seven days ago, 43 percent responded they had already recovered, Ezike said, calling it “positive news.”

“The solution [for COVID-19] isn’t coming tomorrow or next week or next month, but it is coming,” Pritzker said. “Every day that we support our health care systems, every day that we flatten the curve, that’s another day that the incredible roster of scientists and researchers and innovators in the world come a little bit closer to finding solutions in the fight against COVID-19.”

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