(The Center Square) – Public health officials announced more COVID-19 cases and deaths Wednesday and the state’s top doctor warned the situation could get worse still.
“The coming weeks are going to get more and more difficult as the number of cases and deaths continue to rise,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Wednesday. “But I’m not urging people to despair. Let’s be strong and courageous. Don’t be terrified. Don’t be discouraged.”
She encouraged people to wash their hands, stay at home as much as possible and clean frequently-touch surfaces to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus that emerged in late 2019.
Ezike announced 986 new cases of COVID-19, including 42 additional deaths. Health officials had confirmed a total of 6,980 cases statewide and 141 deaths as of Wednesday.
In addition, cases have been reported in Massac and Vermilion counties. Confirmed cases have been reported in 56 counties of the state’s 102 counties.