Illinois hits its highest daily death toll from COVID-19

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Coronavirus Photo credit Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois on Wednesday reported 238 new deaths from COVID-19 — the highest daily death toll since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The latest tally brings the state’s total number of deaths to 12,639 from the virus.

The grim news comes as Illinois grapples with a second wave of coronavirus infections that has kept the statewide positivity rate at more than 10%. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 9,757 new confirmed or probable cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, which is lower than the 12,542 cases reported the day before.

Gov. JB Pritzker said the spike in the number of Illinois deaths from the respiratory illness could be attributed to a lag in reporting from the holiday weekend. Such a lag drove the state's previous daily record -- 191 deaths -- in mid-May, he said. But the governor noted the current high number of hospitalizations could be a factor, too.

He has issued restrictions across Illinois that include caps on the number of people allowed at retail stores and a ban on indoor dining and bar service.