SPRINGFIELD — Deaths from COVID-19 in Illinois topped 100 Friday for the third day in a row, and the continuing deluge of new cases helps explain why then nation hit an all-time high on Thursday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 126 deaths related to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, along with 13,012 newly confirmed infections.
The pandemic is shaking the nation with its virulence, by some measures topping its disastrous spring start. The nearly 188,000 new cases reported Thursday was an all-time high, as were the more than 80,000 who are hospitalized. Nationally, an average of 1,300 are dying daily.
One reason, but certainly not the only reason, for the Illinois surge is the growing number of tests officials are turning around, including a record 116,000 in a 24-hour period ending Friday.
But the state's overworked health care system continues to take on more sickness. There were 6,111 people hospitalized with about 1,200 in intensive care and 604 on ventilators, which represents a 24% increase from just a week earlier.