KANKAKEE – Two new deaths have been reported by local health officials as 82 people have now succumb to the pandemic in Kankakee County.
On Thursday, local officials reported a record 189 cases in a single-day locally. Before numbers released this week accounted for two or more days, including Election Day and weekend reporting numbers. As of Thursday, 1,350 COVID cases remained active locally, the most at any time to date, accounting for over 30.5% of all cases of the pandemic locally since March.
The new numbers come as Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on local authorities to step up mitigation measures met to keep the virus in check in Illinois, warning locals of a ‘very dark, dark path’ Thursday.
“I can tell you that these numbers are drastically increasing,” Pritzker warned Thursday. “I can tell you that until I’m blue in the face. But if local leaders don’t step up, if high-risk industries don’t act accordingly, if families don’t put off that gathering or dinner party, if people don’t wear a mask. We’re heading down a very dark, dark path towards where we were last spring. Let’s not let that happen.”
Local health officials asked residents to be patient as the agency as stopped publishing ages and genders of local cases due to the overwhelming numbers.
“Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases, we will not be reporting age and gender of cases until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we need to focus all of our time on contact tracing and mitigating the spread.” Kankakee County Health Department (KCHD) reported Thursday.
Last week, local officials asked residents to please pick up calls coming in from a 312 area code that could be contact tracers attempting to reach out to area residents. That number is 312-777-1999 and should come across as “COVID CONTACT TRACING.”
There are now 38 residents hospitalized in Kankakee County.