Amid fears a spike in COVID cases could occur after the Thanksgiving holiday, officials in Illinois reported their highest one-day tally since the summer.
According to measurements from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state reported 5,724 cases of the virus on Wednesday, the highest number of cases reported in a single day since Aug. 11.
Tuesday also saw a dramatic increase in cases over the previous days, with 2,536 cases reported.
The rise in cases has pushed up the state’s daily average, which now stands at 2,368 cases per day. That’s the highest level the state has seen since Sept. 23, according to IDPH data.
A total of 33 deaths have been attributed to the virus in the past two days, with the state now averaging seven COVID deaths per day.
The rise in cases comes nearly a week after the Thanksgiving holiday, with experts warning increases were possible due to family reunions and travel for the season.
Five different counties in Illinois are currently at “high levels” of COVID transmission, with the CDC recommending residents wear masks indoors in those locations. This list includes Adams, Knox, Pike, and Scott counties in western Illinois.
Around the Chicago area, most counties are at a “medium level” of transmission, including Cook, DuPage and Lake counties. Will, Kendall and Kane counties remain at a “low level” of transmission.
Nationally, cases are also starting to slowly increase as winter approaches. According to the CDC, 305,000 COVID cases were reported in the week ending Nov. 23, with new data expected in the coming days to reflect post-holiday increases.
Cases rose dramatically before and after the holidays in 2021 as the omicron variant made an impact for the first time in the United States At the height of the outbreak, more than 5.6 million cases were reported in a single week nationwide, and Illinois is averaging more than 32,000 cases a day, the most it has seen during the pandemic.