Gemini Middle School staff member Richard Kunz prepares for pick up meals to students, families, and members of the community in Niles, Ill., Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


Dr. Ngozi Ezike

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state public health director has issued a somber warning that Illinois residents can expect mounting numbers of illness and death in the new month from the vicious spread of the coronavirus.

The 6,980 cases of COVID-19 reported Wednesday by Dr. Ngoze Ezike are double the state’s total just last Saturday.

Along with 986 new cases reported Wednesday were 42 deaths, the largest single-day increase since the first was reported March 17, bringing the state’s total to 141. Ezike says: “The coming weeks are going to get more and more difficult as the number of cases and deaths continue to rise.”