Illinois officials: 3 more dead, 422 now positive for virus

  • Social distancing practices are implemented as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago.

    Social distancing practices are implemented as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago.

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • A worker delivers supplies at the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook, Ill., Thursday, March 19, 2020.  The number of COVID-19 cases inside the nursing home in west suburban Willowbrook has increased.  Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said staff at the nursing home and at similar facilities statewide are being screened before they start work to prevent further spread of the virus to vulnerable residents.

    A worker delivers supplies at the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook, Ill., Thursday, March 19, 2020. The number of COVID-19 cases inside the nursing home in west suburban Willowbrook has increased. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said staff at the nursing home and at similar facilities statewide are being screened before they start work to prevent further spread of the virus to vulnerable residents. Associated Press

  • A truck passes the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center entrance sign in front of the facility in Willowbrook, Ill., Thursday, March 19, 2020. The number of COVID-19 cases inside a nursing home in west suburban Willowbrook has increased.  Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said staff at the nursing home and at similar facilities statewide are being screened before they start work to prevent further spread of the virus to vulnerable residents.

    A truck passes the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center entrance sign in front of the facility in Willowbrook, Ill., Thursday, March 19, 2020. The number of COVID-19 cases inside a nursing home in west suburban Willowbrook has increased. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said staff at the nursing home and at similar facilities statewide are being screened before they start work to prevent further spread of the virus to vulnerable residents. Associated Press

  • A mask is seen on the ground at the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook, Ill., Thursday, March 19, 2020.  The number of COVID-19 cases inside a nursing home in west suburban Willowbrook has increased.  Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said staff at the nursing home and at similar facilities statewide are being screened before they start work to prevent further spread of the virus to vulnerable residents.

    A mask is seen on the ground at the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook, Ill., Thursday, March 19, 2020. The number of COVID-19 cases inside a nursing home in west suburban Willowbrook has increased. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said staff at the nursing home and at similar facilities statewide are being screened before they start work to prevent further spread of the virus to vulnerable residents. Associated Press

  • A couple fish in Lake Michigan as the morning fog settles in the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium area Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago.

    A couple fish in Lake Michigan as the morning fog settles in the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium area Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • A woman waiting on a Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line train removes her protective mask to smoke Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago.

    A woman waiting on a Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line train removes her protective mask to smoke Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • A public service announcement about coronavirus prevention is displayed on an electronic traffic message board as an ambulance travels northbound on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway, Thursday, March 19, 2020.

    A public service announcement about coronavirus prevention is displayed on an electronic traffic message board as an ambulance travels northbound on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway, Thursday, March 19, 2020. Associated Press

  • Commuters wait for the Chicago Transit Authority's Orange Line train at the Roosevelt Street Station Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. The line services people to and from Midway International Airport into the city's famed Loop.

    Commuters wait for the Chicago Transit Authority's Orange Line train at the Roosevelt Street Station Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. The line services people to and from Midway International Airport into the city's famed Loop. Associated Press

  • An ambulance travels northbound on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway as a traffic message board displays a message about coronavirus prevention Thursday, March 19, 2020.

    An ambulance travels northbound on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway as a traffic message board displays a message about coronavirus prevention Thursday, March 19, 2020. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago.

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker responds to a question after announcing that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago.

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker responds to a question after announcing that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker liters to a question after announcing that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago.

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker liters to a question after announcing that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker responds to a question after announcing that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago.

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker responds to a question after announcing that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/19/2020 6:26 PM

CHICAGO -- Three more people have died after contracting the coronavirus in Illinois and 422 people statewide have now tested positive for the disease caused by the virus, public health officials announced Thursday.

A total of four people have died in the state as a result of COVID-19. The most recent patients to die are a man in his 50s from Will County, a woman in her 80s from Cook County and a Florida woman in her 70s who had traveled to Sangamon County.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the growth in positive tests for COVID-19 is tied to increased testing by state labs along with private labs and healthcare institutions.

Pritzker said more than 1,000 tests were administered statewide on Wednesday and officials hope to soon increase that to 2,000 tests per day.

Earlier Thursday, Chicago health officials announced that any resident with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or who is showing symptoms of the disease must stay indoors, formalizing advice they previously issued in the hopes of limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

Patients cannot leave their homes, go to work or visit any group setting except to seek medical care and 'life sustaining needs,' including medicine or food, according to a statement from the Chicago Department of Public Health. Anyone who violates the order could be cited by health officials or the police department.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot also extended the closure of Chicago schools for several more weeks, using a televised primetime address to quell city residents' concerns. The nation's third-largest school district will remain closed through April 20. School officials elsewhere in the country have taken similar actions, with the Kansas governor shutting down schools for the rest of the school year and California officials signaling they'll do the same.

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'I know these restrictions are causing hardships, but we are doing this to save lives, pure and simple,' she said.

Lightfoot said restricting the movement of patients and people with symptoms of COVID-19 'is the best way to prevent the virus from spreading further.'

'This move may seem severe to some but in this highly evolving situation it's absolutely what we need to do at this time as we work to contain this outbreak,' said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the health department.

The health department said symptoms of the acute respiratory disease include fever, cough, shortness of breath, nasal or lung congestion, sore throat, body aches or unusual fatigue.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild cases recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe ones can take three to six weeks to get better.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said none of the four deaths in Illinois are linked to a nursing home or senior living facility.

Forty-two positive cases, including 30 residents and 12 staff members, previously have been linked to a nursing home in DuPage County, which is just west of Cook County. Ezike said Thursday's updated results did not add to that count.

Pritzker ordered schools statewide to be shut this week through at least the end of the month and limited the size of gatherings. Restaurants and bars also were ordered to stop serving dine-in customers and to stick to carryout or delivery options.

Pritzker did not reject the possibility of added statewide restrictions to limit the virus' spread but said he's relying on the advice of medical and public health experts. He warned people not to hoard food or other essentials and said grocery stores, pharmacies and other necessary businesses would never be shut down.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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