Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) officials announced April 24 the largest increase in COVID-19 cases to date, with 2,724 new cases and 108 additional deaths, bringing the state’s total to 39,658 confirmed cases and 1,795 deaths.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the IDPH, said the sharp increase is not a surprise as Illinois recently surpassed over 16,000 tests per day and the more tests performed, the more cases are found.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the key to battling the virus lies in testing, and surpassing 16,000 tests per day is a big step toward reopening the state. He said the new overall positive rate — how many people that are tested, test positive for COVID-19 — is around 17 percent.
Pritzker also said while antibody tests for COVID-19 — tests that have the ability to tell whether someone has antibodies for the disease — are promising, they are too new to be relied upon heavily. As the tests improve and more is learned about the 2019 novel coronavirus, antibody testing could be used to further battle the virus.
According to data from the IDPH website, there are 534 confirmed cases in the Rogers Park-Edgewater neighborhood — zip codes 60626 and 60660 respectively.