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Coping with COVID: Cook County reaches warning level, state tops 8,000 deaths

Cook County is now among 30 counties that have reached the warning level because COVID-19 metrics are nearing the threshold that could trigger renewed restrictions. The state reached a grim milestone recently, passing 8,000 deaths due to COVID-19. Local case numbers continue modest increase but no additional deaths recorded. A better milestone: The state tops 4 million COVID-19 tests administered.

Cook County enters warning level: On Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that 10 more counties, including Cook, are on the warning list, meaning the COVID-19 metrics are nearing the point at which additional restrictions on business and social activity might be imposed. Nine counties, including Will and Kankakee, recently had new restrictions put in place as infections and other measures exceeded the levels established by IDPH.

Deaths top 8,000 in state. On Saturday, Illinois passed 8,000 deaths due to COVID-19. 

“Today is a solemn day in Illinois as we’ve now lost 8,000 lives to COVID-19,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “As we mourn the family, friends and neighbors who have been taken too soon, let’s do our part to prevent more senseless tragedy. Wear a mask. Watch your distance. Wash your hands. Every action counts.”


The average deaths per day in the past week was 20. That’s up from 16 in the last week of July but lower than the average of 33 per day the last week of June. 

Testing milestone. On Sunday, the state passed the 4 million mark for COVID-19 test specimens collected. The average specimens per day in August so far was nearly 44,000, about 8,500 more than the average in July. 

Local case numbers. Homewood saw nine new cases in the past week, bringing the total to 385, and Flossmoor’s total increased by eight for a total of 168. 

State health officials urge residents get tested. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding all Illinois residents of the importance of getting tested, including after close contact with someone who has tested positive. The advisory comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated guidelines, suggesting not everyone needs to be tested, even after exposure to someone who might have COVID-19.

The closest testing site is at South Suburban College in South Holland.

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