The Effingham County Health Department announced Monday that three deaths are being investigated for COVID-19.
Two of the deaths were announced on Saturday by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Both of these deaths were males; one in his 70s and the second in his 80s.
The third death is a female in her 70s.
Effingham County Health Department also received notice on Tuesday of six new positive cases of COVID-19. The cases range in age from teens to 70s.
Ten new cases of the virus were reported from Saturday through Monday. There were three cases on Saturday, five cases on Sunday and two cases on Monday. The cases range in age from younger than 10 to 60s.
The health department notes that all data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered and cases investigated, the department stated in a new release.
Meanwhile, a staffer who recently traveled with Gov. J.B. Pritzker has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the governor and others to self-isolate for a period of two weeks, his office announced Tuesday.
The unnamed staffer tested negative last Wednesday during weekly testing, but was tested again Monday after showing symptoms and was confirmed positive.
According to the governor’s office, the staffer attended events with Pritzker on Wednesday in Chicago, Thursday in Marion and Sunday in Marseilles. Contact tracing efforts have begun and event organizers at those locations have been contacted.
Those who had contact with the staffer will isolate for 14 days, and all staff who report to the governor’s office must test negative before returning to work, according to a news release. A spokesperson for the governor said everyone who works in the office was tested after the positive result was revealed, and they were all negative.
The governor still plans to hold occasional COVID-19 updates, according to his office.
When a staffer tested positive earlier this year, the governor did so virtually.
Meanwhile, Region 1 of the state’s reopening plan saw a second straight day with a COVID-19 test positivity rate exceeding 8 percent, according to the most recent data, as it increased to 8.3 percent. One more day above that threshold, and the state could levy increased mitigations in the region, including closing it to indoor dining and drinking.
The region includes the northwest part of the state from Winnebago County to the western edge of Illinois.
Region 4, which includes the Metro East area on the St. Louis border, saw its positivity rate tick up by one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.2 percent. That region must fall below 6.5 percent and remain there for three days in order for added mitigations to be lifted.
Other positivity rates range from 2.2 percent in east-central Illinois’ Region 6 to 6 percent in southern Illinois’ Region 5.
Also Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced another 1,362 cases of the virus and 23 more deaths in COVID-19-positive individuals.
The death total is now at 8,637 in Illinois, and there have been 291,001 confirmed cases among more than 5.5 million test results reported. There were 45,624 test results reported over the previous 24 hours, making for a one-day positivity rate of 3 percent, which brought the rolling seven-day average rate to 3.6 percent.
At the end of the day Monday, there were 1,535 people reported hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois, including 363 in intensive care unit beds and 151 on ventilators. Those numbers fluctuate considerably daily but have been trending slightly upward in recent weeks.