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COVID-19 Illinois Today: IL announces 2,356 new coronavirus cases, 17 deaths; St. Charles School District 303 reports cases

CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois health officials reported 2,356 new coronavirus cases and 17 additional deaths Saturday. It’s the highest number of new cases since May 24, when there were 2,508.

The Illinois Department of Public Health now reports a total of 218,285 cases and 7,874 deaths.

Illinois also set a new record for daily testings on Saturday. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 56,766 specimens for a total of 3,649,685.

RELATED: Coronavirus testing: Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Illinois, Chicago area

The statewide positivity rate for the period of Aug. 15 – 21 stands at 4.3%.

As of Friday night, 1,488 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 322 patients were in the ICU and 127 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The additional deaths reported Saturday include:

Cook County: 1 female 20s, 1 male 30s, 1 male 40s, 2 females 60s, 2 males 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
Douglas County: 1 male 80s
Iroquois County: 1 female 80s

Kane County: 1 male 50s
Madison County: 1 male 60s
Sangamon County: 1 female 80s
Winnebago County: 1 male 90s

Health officials also said 20 Illinois counties are now at warning level for COVID-19. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

The counties include Bureau, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Jefferson, Logan, Madison, Monroe, Moultrie, Randolph, St. Clair, Union, White, Will and Williamson.

These counties saw cases or outbreaks associated with weddings, businesses, neighborhood gatherings, parties, long-term care facilities and other congregate settings, travel to neighboring states, bars, sports camps and spread among members of the same household who are not isolating at home. Cases connected to schools are also beginning to be reported, officials said.

Public health officials are observing people not social distancing or using face coverings. Additionally, there are reports of individuals who are ill attributing their symptoms to allergies or other illnesses, or not being forthcoming about their symptoms or close contacts.

The latest numbers come as a school district in west suburban St. Charles is reporting several COVID-19 cases.

Three positive cases were found within St. Charles School District 303, one at Thompson Middle School and two at Fox Ridge Early Childhood Center. District officials will not say if the patients are staff or students.

RELATED: U of I creates new saliva-based COVID-19 test

Young Will County residents make up most of the south suburban county’s COVID-19 cases right now, a health department spokesman said Thursday.

Will County is part of the state’s Region 7, and it’s at warning level for the coronavirus.

Its positivity rate is seeing the biggest rise locally, at 7.2%.

Will County Health Department spokesman Steve Brandy joined ABC 7 Chicago Thursday to discuss the issue.

He said a lot of younger people are testing positive; residents in their 20s make up the largest group.

Despite a rising positivity rate, the county is not taking any additional restrictive measures, Brandy said. Officials are telling people to call the health department COVID-19 hotline at 815-740-8977, if they see something violating existing COVID-19 guidelines.

Brandy said they are also using targeted messaging to get the word out about virus mitigation.

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