The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois hit its lowest single day increase since the pandemic first began its spread in late March, and that trend is also reflected in the number of new cases locally, according to information from the Cook County Department of Public Health.

State health officials on June 15 reported just 473 new cases of COVID-19 throughout the state and 19 deaths as a result of the disease.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 1,818 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 67 virus-related deaths during the three-day period from Friday afternoon through Monday afternoon. That’s an average of 606 new cases and about 22 deaths per day.

That brings the statewide totals to 133,016 cases, including 6,326 deaths, since the pandemic began early this year.

Laboratories have now processed more than 1.2 million tests for the virus. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate for June 8-14 was 3 percent.

The slowdown in the number of new cases statewide reflected a similar slowdown of the virus in Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside during the past week.

As of the morning of June 16, there were just two new cases reported in the prior week in both Brookfield and Riverside, while health officials actually subtracted one case from the North Riverside total of June 9.

The rate of increase of new cases in both Brookfield and Riverside week over week was less than 2.5 percent, their lowest since the first cases of COVID-19 began appearing locally in the last week of March.

As of the morning of June 16, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported Brookfield was 167. The total for Riverside was 92 and the total for North Riverside was 75.

Four Brookfield residents have died from the disease, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health. The number of fatalities in Riverside and North Riverside have been two each. No new fatalities have been reported locally since June 6. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week that Illinois is on pace to enter the next phase of reopening after COVID-19-related shutdowns later this month, and added he doesn’t expect a second surge of the virus in the fall as long as safety guidelines are followed.

“If you go to the [Illinois Department of Public Health] website you’ll see that every one of the metrics, every one of the metrics by which the epidemiologists say we should be measuring our progress is going in the right direction,” the governor said. “Every one of them, and it’s because of what everybody has done across the state.

Speaking at an appearance in Moline on June 10, he said that while his was “not an epidemiological opinion,” he said “we shouldn’t have a second spike” as long as face covering, social distancing and other rules are followed.

“Now we know what the mitigations are that we can put in place,” he said. “We know how to manage through, making sure that our health care system doesn’t get overwhelmed. But I pray, and I think we should all pray, that the fall doesn’t bring the kind of spike that some people expect. But we are much better prepared for that now than we were a few months ago when this first hit.”

Under the current schedule, the state could enter Phase 4 as early as June 26. During that phase, gatherings of 50 or fewer people would be allowed; all health care providers would open; public schools, higher education, summer programs and child care would be allowed to resume under safety guidelines; all outdoor recreation would be allowed; and all barbershops, salons, spas and health and fitness clubs would be allowed to open with capacity limits and IDPH-approved safety guidance

Bars and restaurants, which are currently restricted to outdoor seating, carryout or delivery service, would be allowed to reopen with capacity limits and other safety guidelines.

Capitol News Illinois also contributed to this report.