CHICAGO — Health officials said more than 50,000 COVID-19 tests were performed in Illinois over the past 24 hours Wednesday, reporting the biggest single-day increase in testing as new cases hit the highest level since late May.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 50,299 COVID-19 tests were performed over the past day, while 2,295 new cases and 25 coronavirus-related deaths were confirmed as well.
This is the first time officials reported more than 50,000 tests were performed over a 24 hour period, as testing continues to expand across Illinois. The state came close on August 14 and July 31, when over 49,000 tests were reported.
The 2,295 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday is the biggest single-day increase since 2,508 new cases were confirmed on May 24. A similar spike in cases occurred on a recent day when a near-record number of tests were also reported, as 2,264 cases were confirmed on August 14.
Illinois’ positivity rate from August 12-18 rose slightly to 4.4 percent, and has been near 4 percent since the beginning of August. The 7-day testing average since the beginning of the month has risen from around 38,000 to around 42,000.
New state-imposed restrictions including limits on gathering sizes and bar and restaurant hours went into effect in the Metro East region outside St. Louis Tuesday after the positivity rate there exceeded the 8 percent limit set in the “Restore Illinois” plan.
The positivity rate in the Metro East region as of August 16 is 9.5 percent, and remains above the 8 percent limit. Every other region remains within the state’s guidelines for both their positivity rate and hospital admissions.
Hospital resources and coronavirus-related hospitalizations remain within state guidelines as well, with 1,519 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 state wide, including 334 in intensive care and 144 on ventilators.
Indiana health officials reported 506 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14 coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday, while the 7-day positivity rate remains relatively stable at 7.7 percent as of August 12.
University of Notre Dame officials canceled in-person classes for two weeks Tuesday, citing an increase in the positivity rate among students on campus. Notre Dame Rev. John Jenkins said most of the cases were found among students who lived off-campus, and attended gatherings with no masks or social distancing.
In Chicago, health officials temporarily shut down five restaurants over the weekend for breaking its rules for Phase 4 of reopening. One owner said they only skirted the rules because they are growing desperate as restrictions limit capacity in restaurants across the city.