The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,622 new coronavirus cases and 86 new fatalities Friday. This brings statewide totals to 117,455 known cases and 5,270 known fatalities. 

As of midnight, a total of 3,599 individuals were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. A total of 980 of these patients are in intensive care units and 593 patients are reported to be on ventilators.

Illinois laboratories have conducted over 850,000 total tests since the beginning of the outbreak with 21,796 of these tests being reported in the past 24 hours.

The seven-day statewide positivity rate from May 22 to May 28 currently stands at 8%. 

These numbers come as Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home executive order expired Friday and Illinois moves into Phase 3 of his reopening plan. 

IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike highlighted the importance of contact tracing during Phase 3 as more Illinois businesses begin to reopen over the next few weeks. 

“It’s very important that you talk with this person who reaches out to you [known as] the contact tracer. They will let you know what you need to do and can answer your questions,” Ezike said. 

Ezike also reiterated that Illinois residents should be on the lookout for possible scams when contacted by contact tracers.

“There is no question [that] contact tracing plays a vital role in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19, but there will be scammers pretending to be contact tracers and potentially trying to take advantage of how this process works,” Ezike said.

“Please know that no contact tracers would be asking you for any money, asking for social security numbers or bank account numbers or credit card numbers.”

Pritzker announced during Friday’s briefing that he will be signing a new executive order that dismisses gathering caps on worship services and loosened restrictions on a range of businesses. 

Pritzker also highlighted that Illinois is the only state in the nation to meet all the federal criteria needed for reopening as the state was one of the first to put a stay-at-home executive order in place. 

“The path to this point has been tremendously difficult, no doubt, and we have lost over 5,000 of our fellow Illinoisans to this virus. It’s a harrowing number and it’s just over a few months,” Pritzker said.

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

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