Amid second COVID surge, everyone in Illinois should get tested for virus: State health director

Illinois public health officials say COVID is spreading rapidly in the state, and everyone should be tested whether they have symptoms or not.

“The virus is spreading, and every region of the state is suffering from its insidious, invisible contagion,” Gov. JB Pritzker said Wednesday at his administration’s latest coronavirus briefing.

Pritzker said at the beginning of last month, the state was averaging 23 COVID-related deaths every day. Now, it’s almost double that, to an average of 45 deaths a day.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,538 new cases of coronavirus, including 55 deaths. Among those victims was woman in her 30s in Cook County. The statewide positivity rate is 10.1%.

Because the state is “fully into a second surge,” Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike recommends residents get tested for the virus.

“I think everyone should get in the habit of getting tested whether they have symptoms or not,” she said. “Because with this amount of disease in our community, it’s hard to think that you could go anywhere and not potentially be exposed.”

Testing — which is more accessible at this stage of the pandemic, at little or no cost to individuals — helps health authorities keep better track of the virus’ spread.

IDPH has posted the locations of private and state-run testing sites.

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