Illinois health officials: 3,400 COVID-19 cases possible within 1 week

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A lab technician begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 at Northwell Health Labs on March 11, 2020 in Lake Success, New York. An emergency use authorization by the FDA allows Northwell to move from manual testing to semi-automated. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO — Illinois health officials estimate as many as 3,400 people may test positive for the COVID-19 virus within a week if current trajectories continue. 

That would be a more than 700% increase over the current 422 cases in Illinois. 

The projection uses the assumption that 20% of these cases are severe, approximately 650 of the new cases could require hospitalization.

Illinois health officials are closely monitoring the state’s capacity to care people with significant health issues by keeping tabs on available ventilators, intensive care beds and isolation rooms.

Health officials underscore that social distancing measure such as school closures, working from home and no restaurant dining could disrupt the exposure levels. 

However, because the incubation period of the virus is 14 days, it’s not immediately clear the current effect of recent shutdowns.

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