Press briefing

Gov. J.B. Pritzker addresses reporters during a news conference on Wednesday in Chicago.

Coronavirus infection rates appear to be declining in most parts of Illinois, including two regions that are currently under enhanced mitigation measures such as the closing of bars and restaurants to indoor service.

In Region 7, which includes Kankakee and Will counties, the rolling average test positivity rate fell to 6.4 percent, according to the latest data. That’s a tenth of a point below the 6.5-percent benchmark that would allow for the lifting of those restrictions.

“IDPH will continue to watch that positivity over the next few days, and if that trend holds for three days, we will remove the resurgence mitigations and return the entire region to Phase Four of the Restore Illinois plan,” Pritzker said.

In Region 4, which includes the Metro East area across the river from St. Louis, the rolling average test positivity rate stood at 8.9 percent. That’s still above the 8-percent threshold that triggers the enhanced mitigation efforts, but well below the 9.6-percent rate the area recorded just three days earlier.

Pritzker noted that the positivity rate has held steady or declined in all but two regions of Illinois over the past two weeks. The statewide positivity rate stood at 3.7 percent as of Wednesday, an increase of one-tenth of a percent from the day prior.

On Wednesday, IDPH reported 1,941 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to 266,151. The department also reported an additional 35 virus-related fatalities, bringing the statewide death toll to 8,367.

As of Tuesday night, 1,565 people in Illinois were being hospitalized for COVID-19. That included 345 patients in intensive care units, of whom 143 were on ventilators.

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