SPRINGFIELD — Numbers released by the Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday show the COVID-19 infection rate in the state is improving for the first time in weeks.
The department reported 2,587 new coronavirus cases from among 62,406 tests administered for a positivity rate of 3.8%. It is the first time the positivity rate has fallen below 4% since April 6.
Effingham County also saw a recent decline in cases. The health department reported four new cases over Sunday and Monday, ranging in age from 20s to 60s. The county’s seven-day rolling positivity rate dropped to 3.7% through April 17 — the lowest it has been in over three weeks.
However, the health department cautioned it is still seeing a lot of COVID cases presenting with gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. The department advises residents experiencing these symptoms to get tested for COVID sooner rather than later.
Hospitals across Illinois are still feeling the effects of the uptick of COVID-19 cases, according to public health officials. Victims of virus took up 2,288 beds statewide late Monday, the highest number of admissions since the first week of February.
The nine deaths reported Tuesday brings the number of Illinoisan killed by COVID-19 to 21,694. More than 1.3 million residents have tested positive.