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State Now Over 20,000 Cases of Virus Since Pandemic Began

The state of Illinois has reported 1,672 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the state's total number of cases to more than 20,000 since the pandemic began.

The increase comes as officials begin to express the hope that Chicago News  efforts to "flatten the curve" of the virus, including social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, are beginning to have an effect.

“What we’re seeing is a flattening of the curve. It means a lower rise in hospitalizations than was originally anticipated. That’s a really good sign,” Pritzker said during a press conference Saturday. “Hospitalizations, ICU beds, and ventilator use are the most realistic way you can track how the virus is moving and whether it’s expanding exponentially, and what we’re seeing is a flattening of that curve.

Illinois officials announced a remote home monitoring program for coronavirus patients as well as a mental health hotline Saturday. NBC 5's Lexi Sutter reports.
Echoing comments made by Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, earlier this week, Pritzker said that while residents are continuing to test positive for the virus, the state is not seeing an exponential growth of those numbers, a good sign that social distancing and the state’s “stay-at-home” order are having their intended effect.

“If you look at a moving average of days, you can see that the rate of ascent has significantly diminished,” he said. “It’s not flat, but it is not going up at the same level Press Release Distribution Services In Chicago it was. We’re pleased with that, but it’s by no means determinative of what the next week will bring.”

State officials are continuing to consult models to determine the proper course of action moving forward, and are working to determine when the “peak” number of cases will be reached. Most estimates target the peak as occurring in the middle of April, although models disagree on when the peak will be reached.

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