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73 more dead from COVID-19 in largest single-day spike yet

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SPRINGFIELD – COVID-19 has claimed 73 lives in the past 24 hours and a member of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s staff has tested positive for the virus and is on home isolation, he announced at a daily briefing Tuesday.

The largest single-day increase in deaths pushed the number of casualties from the virus in Illinois to 380, while the total number of confirmed cases in the state grew to 13,549, an increase of 1,287 from Monday. The virus is now confirmed in 77 Illinois counties.

The latest deaths occurred in people aged in their 30s to their 90s in 14 counties – Champaign, Christian, Cook, DuPage, Ford, Kane, Kankakee, Lake, Madison, McHenry, Monroe, Tazewell, Will and Winnebago.

Coles, Lawrence, Richland and Shelby counties each reported their first confirmed cases.

Pritzker said at his daily briefing in Chicago that the share of intensive care beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in Illinois grew to 43 percent, from 38 percent last Tuesday, and the share of available ventilators used by COVID-19 patients grew to 29 percent Tuesday, from 24 percent last week.

Pritzker said the employee from his office started to feel ill on Thursday, March 26, and immediately went home, at which time the governor’s office was thoroughly cleaned. The employee has been in self-isolation for 12 days and no other people from the office have shown symptoms, Pritzker said.

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“Following the staffer’s exit from the office, we reduced in the office staff in the governor's office even further to a critical few, asking all of those who are staying at home to self-isolate as the medical professionals advised,” Pritzker said.

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This story will be updated.

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