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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker confirmed that all four of the state's health regions will move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan on Friday, June 26, according to statements made in a special news conference Tuesday afternoon.
"The responsible decision-making by most Illinoisans should give us all confidence as we move toward the new school year beginning in the fall," Pritzker said.
Pritzker also announced that he has released safety guidelines which will allow all K-12 schools, colleges and universities to reopen for in-person learning in the fall.
"Classroom learning provides necessary opportunities for our students to learn, socialize and grow," he said. "The benefits of in-person instruction can't be overstated."
The governor warned that teachers, students and families should be prepared to return to remote learning if the state experiences another spike in COVID-19 cases over the school year.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 601 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 38 additional deaths.
This brings statewide totals to 137,825 confirmed cases and 6,707 related deaths, according to IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
The state's daily COVID-19 case count as well as the number of COVID-19-related deaths have declined week over week for the past five weeks, Ezike said.
"Lives are in your hands and you've saved so many lives with your actions," she said.
The results of 20,507 COVID-19 tests conducted in Illinois were received in the 24 hours leading up to Tuesday afternoon for a total of 1,399,510 tests conducted thus far. The seven-day rolling average of the state's positivity rate is currently at 2%.
As of Monday night, there were 1,648 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois. Of those people, 424 were in intensive care units and 236 were on ventilator support.
Now that elective procedures are allowed, Ezike urged Illinois residents to take this time to ensure that children are up to date on their vaccines going into the fall school semester.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Northeast region (Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, McHenry, Lake and Will counties) reported an average positivity rate of 5%. The region reported an average availability of 33% of medical/surgical beds, 42% of ICU beds and 73% of ventilators.
The North Central region (Bureau, DeKalb, La Salle, Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, Carroll, Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Putnam and Jo Daviess counties) reported an average positivity rate of 3%. On average, the region has enough medical/surgical beds to accommodate a 47% surge in COVID-19 cases. The North Central region reported that 58% of ICU beds are available and 77% of ventilators are available.
The Central region reported an average positivity rate of 1%. On average, there was an availability of 42% of medical/surgical beds, 54% of ICU beds and 81% of ventilators as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Southern region had an average positivity rate of 3%. On average, there was an availability of 44% of medical/surgical beds, 53% of ICU beds and 76% of ventilators.
Newly reported deaths:
Boone County - 1 male 60s
Cook County - 1 female 40s, 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 3 males 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 3 females 90s, 2 males 90s, 2 females 100+
DuPage County - 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
Jefferson County - 1 male 70s
Kane County - 1 male 60s, 1 male 80s
Kankakee County - 1 female 60s
Kendall County - 1 male 90s
Lake County - 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 2 males 80s
Macon County - 1 male 80s
McHenry County - 1 female 80s
St. Clair County - 1 female 60s
Will County - 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s
Winnebago County - 1 female 50s