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Monroe County has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in Illinois, governor says

The virus has taken the lives of Illinois residents in 42 counties. The two counties with the highest death per capita rate are Jasper and Monroe

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and other state officials are holding a daily briefing on the state's response to COVID-19.

On Monday, the state announced 50 more residents died in the last 24 hours due to the coronavirus. An additional 1,980 people were tested positive.

During the daily briefing, Gov. Pritzker also took a moment to "address those who think that coronavirus is just a Chicago or a Cook County problem and that downstate Illinois is immune or doesn't need restrictions."

"Folks, that's just not how this virus operates," Gov. Pritzker stressed. "COVID-19 knows no county or regional boundaries."

The governor said residents shouldn't just focus on the total number of cases but should also look at the infection rate.

The top five Illinois counties by infection rate are:

  1. Cook County
  2. Jasper County
  3. Lake County
  4. Will County
  5. Randolph County

Randolph County has 109 confirmed COVID-19 cases. According to the U.S. Census website, there were an estimated 31,782 residents in Randolph County in July 2019.

The virus has taken the lives of Illinois residents in 42 counties throughout the state.

The two counties with the highest death per capita rate are Jasper and Monroe counties. As of Monday afternoon, there are 10 COVID-19-related deaths in Monroe County. According to the U.S. Census website, there were an estimated 34,637 residents in Monroe County in July 2019.

"That means you're more likely to die of COVID-19 if you live in either of those two counties than if you live in Chicago or in Cook County," Gov. Pritzker said.

The governor acknowledged Cook County and the "collar counties" represent the largest segment of coronavirus cases.

"But it would be doing a massive disservice to our downstate residents if we governed only by raw numbers. No matter where you live, I want you to be healthy and safe," Gov. Pritzker said.

The governor said he has made decisions with the health and safety of all Illinois residents in mind, and he has consulted with local leaders across the state in helping him make the right choices for everyone in the state.

There have been 1,983 deaths due to COVID-19 in Illinois as of April 27 and 45,883 confirmed cases, according to data on the state's website. There have been 227,628 tests performed. Over the last 24 hours alone, there have been 12,676 tests performed on Illinois residents.

Illinois now has the fourth most coronavirus cases of any state in the U.S. Gov. Pritzker addressed this in his briefing Monday by saying the state is now testing more residents than ever, averaging about 10,000 tests a day over the last several days.

Gov. Pritzker said the number of people in the hospital with the virus increased by 73 patients over the last week, going up to 4,672 people as of Monday morning. COVID-19 patients are using 34% of the state's intensive care unit beds. There are 763 coronavirus patients on ventilators, which means 23% of the state's ventilators are being used by COVID-19 patients. The governor pointed out this continues a downward trend in the number of virus patients on ventilators.

Pritzker announced last week the state will remain under a stay-at-home order through the end of May and he is expected to sign the official order this week. The order, which takes effect May 1, requires most people to wear face coverings when they go out in public. 

Pritzker holds daily briefings at 2:30 p.m.

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