The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,268 new coronavirus cases and 87 new deaths Thursday. 

This brings statewide totals to 102,686 known cases and 4,607 known deaths. 

As of midnight, 4,107 individuals were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. 

Of these individuals, 1,088 were reported to be in intensive care units and 609 were reported to be on ventilators. 

“We are still learning the answers to [many questions]. We are trying to learn them as quickly as we can,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. 

“But we must use what we do know to be true to help protect ourselves and stop additional spread.”

Illinois has now reached the highest total for the number of COVID-19 tests produced in a single day as laboratories have conducted 29,307 tests over the past 24 hours. 

This brings the statewide total to 672,020 tests. The statewide seven-day positivity rate between May 12 and May 18 stands at 14%. 

While many have expressed concern about the spread of infection through objects such as groceries or mail, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released updated guidance stating that the virus “does not spread easily” from touching surfaces or objects. 

Thursday’s daily briefing mostly consisted of Gov. JB Pritzker taking questions from the press. 

Questions ranged from opportunities to vote by mail to public concern about employees going back to work who rely on the childcare system. 

As far as the state budget and employment goes, Pritzker stated that he has talked with legislators and is working to update the funding for the future. 

“First, we are working with them on making sure we’re getting the right funding levels for IDES,” Pritzker said. 

“Secondly, we are working to use that funding to upgrade the systems that exist and the people because there has been a drop in the number of employees.”

KELLIE FOY is News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at vidette_kafoy1@ilstu.edu  Follow her on Twitter at @kellie_foy 

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