Illinois reports highest single-day death toll from coronavirus

Illinois health officials on Wednesday announced 238 additional deaths from COVID-19 statewide, the highest number of single-day deaths during the entire pandemic.

There are now 12,639 deaths in Illinois attributable to the coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The health department also reported 9,757 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 748,603.

In the last 24 hours, state labs have processed 85,507 coronavirus tests. In total, Illinois has administered 10,699,586 virus tests.


The seven-day positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1 is 12.5%.

Public health officials report 5,764 people were hospitalized late Tuesday with COVID-19, with 1,190 patients in intensive care units and 714 patients on ventilators.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said it’s possible that some of the additional deaths announced Wednesday occurred earlier and that the Thanksgiving holiday delayed reporting. But he noted that such timing makes no difference to grieving families.

“This virus is a killer,” Pritzker said during his daily COVID-19 briefing in Chicago. “Let’s honor those that it has taken by doing everything that we can to prevent more people from getting sick and dying. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Stay home whenever you can. We’ll get through this.”

Deaths fell dramatically after the treacherous spring as medical professionals learned more about the new virus and ways to treat it.

But with a fall surge in cases, they began creeping up again in November. While it took 68 days for deaths to increase from 8,000 to 10,000 on Nov. 5, the state recorded 12,000 deaths just 22 days later, according to an Associated Press analysis of Illinois Department of Public Health data.

Associated Press contributed to this report.