Health officials reported 168 additional COVID-19 related deaths in Illinois Thursday, the biggest single-day increase since mid-May and the third largest rise since the start of the pandemic.
The latest update from the Illinois Department of Public health comes a day after the state passed 600,000 total COVID-19 cases and 11,000 deaths to date.
Illinois averaged 100 coronavirus-related deaths a day over the past week, data compiled by WGN-TV shows. The 168 deaths reported Thursday is the biggest increase since 191 deaths were reported on May 13, the highest single-day total of the pandemic.
Speaking Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker said COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death in Illinois behind heart disease and cancer. The elderly make up the majority of lives lost, with more than 70% over the age of 70. Roughly half of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities like nursing homes.
In addition to 168 coronavirus-related deaths, the IDPH reported 14,612 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases Thursday. After rising steadily since early October, the 7-day average of new cases of the disease has remained near 12,000 since November 13.