- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) - State health officials reported on Tuesday that another 125 people in Illinois have died from COVID-19.

In a news release, the Illinois Department of Public Health said the latest deaths - a total that was nearly three times higher than the 47 deaths announced Monday - brings the death toll to 11,677 since the pandemic began earlier this year.

The health department also reported another 9,469 confirmed and probable cases. Though the total was more than 1,100 higher than the total announced Monday, Tuesday also marked the second consecutive day that the number of cases was below the 10,000 mark after four days when the totals crossed that threshold and climbed as high as 14,612. Overall, Illinois has reported 674,089 cases of COVID-19.

The health department also reported that 6,134 people reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,203 were intensive care units and 668 people were on ventilators. Those totals are roughly the same as those reported on Monday.

The latest figures come as Gov. J.B. Pritzker and public health officials in Illinois and around the country are urging to forego their traditional Thanksgiving plans and only celebrate the holiday with people already living in their homes to slow the spread of the disease.

As television news programs on Tuesday were showing crowded terminals at Chicago”s O’Hare International Airport, Pritzker and the health department’s director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, implored state residents to stay home over Thanksgiving.

“If you’re planning to travel right now, I urge you to rethink that, ”Pritzker said Tuesday during his daily press briefing.

“I believe this is the only year you’re going to have to do this,” he said. “Next year, we will be able to have the robust Thanksgiving everybody loves to have.”

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