Springfield, Ill. (AP) — Illinois health officials say despite the 1,953 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 28 fatalities, the percentage of positive coronavirus tests is trending down, but hospitalizations are rising. The confirmed COVID-19 cases reported Thursday is the result of 48,982 tests within the past 24 hours, resulting in a seven-day statewide positivity rate of 3.8%. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 1,609 people were hospitalized late Wednesday as a result of COVID-19 infection. That is up from 1,481 a month earlier. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois since the pandemic began is now 255,643.