IL Reports 7,214 New Coronavirus Cases As Vaccine Rollout Begins

ILLINOIS — Illinois on Monday reported 7,214 new cases of the coronavirus and 103 more deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. Those numbers are on top of nearly 16,000 new cases and 242 deaths reported over the weekend — the same weekend an FDA advisory committee voted to approve an emergency use authorization for a new vaccine from drugmaker Pfizer. CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield accepted the committee’s recommendation on Saturday, and vaccinations were expected to start across the country on Monday.

Pfizer said that clinical trials have shown its vaccine, which has also been approved for use in the United Kingdom and Canada, is about 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19. The CDC says health care workers and residents of nursing homes should be among the first to receive the vaccine, but it will ultimately be up to states to set priorities and distribute the shots.

“It’s going to take multiple weeks of distribution to get our health-care workers their first of two doses they require while also getting to our long-term care residents,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said previously. There are 654,598 front-line health-care workers and 109,227 residents in long-term care facilities in Illinois.

The latest deaths include:

  • Boone County: 1 male 80s
  • Cook County: 1 male 20s, 1 female 40s, 2 males 40s, 3 females 50s, 3 males 50s, 11 females 60s, 14 males 60s, 9 females 70s, 7 males 70s, 5 females 80s, 12 males 80s, 11 females 90s, 9 males 90s
  • Fayette County: 1 female 80s
  • Jackson County: 1 male 60s
  • Kane County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Lake County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
  • LaSalle County: 1 female 80s
  • Mason County: 1 male 60s
  • McHenry County: 1 female 90s
  • Monroe County: 1 male 70s
  • St. Clair County: 1 male 70s
  • Wabash County: 1 female 80s
  • Will County: 1 female 70s

With more than a hundred Illinoisans dying every day, the vaccine couldn’t come soon enough. Chicago doctors say mass vaccination is our “ticket out” of the pandemic. Without it, the U.S. could see hundreds of thousands more dead and years of social distancing. With the vaccine, life could be back to normal by June — but only if enough people get the shot.

State public health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike last week implored Illinoisans to delay holiday gatherings until the vaccine is widely available.

“Let’s think about this: If we’ve made it this far in the pandemic, with the finish line starting to come into sight, you deserve for you and your family and your friends to make it all the way to the other side,” she said. “We’ve come too far to turn back now.”

Hospitalizations fell about 3.7 percent from last week. As of Sunday night, 4,951 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across Illinois, including 1,070 in intensive care and 621 on ventilators.

The statewide case positivity rate — a rolling, seven-day average — is now 8.7 percent.

(The positivity rate is the number the state has reported since the start of the pandemic and is calculated by dividing total cases detected by total tests performed. Another way to calculate the positivity rate is to divide the number of positive tests by total tests performed. By that calculation, the test positivity rate is 10.3 percent.)

According to Johns Hopkins University, a positivity rate of less than 5 percent is a good measure of whether enough tests are being conducted, and state officials have said a rate higher than 8 percent will trigger new restrictions in a given region.

See how your region is doing here.

The United States now has more than 16.2 million confirmed coronavirus infections, and at least 299,455 Americans have died from COVID -19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Based on the latest predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 332,000 to 362,000 Americans could be dead from the disease by Jan. 2.

Globally, more than 72.4 million people have been infected and more than 1.6 million are known to have died.

As local and state economies slowly emerge from pandemic lockdowns, it’s often hard for customers to know the conditions under which local businesses are open. The business center contains easily accessible and up-to-date information about scores of local businesses, including everything from operating hours to the availability of by-appointment services, quick website links and other contact information. It’s free to use and free for businesses to join.

Here’s what’s happening with the coronavirus in Illinois:

“There is still time to change your holiday plans,” IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said, reminding residents a coronavirus vaccine is coming.

Concealed carry license holder numbers in Illinois grew from 90,301 in 2014 to 343,299 in 2020, according to the Illinois State Police.

Following the decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Americans could start receiving the Pfizer vaccine by Monday.

The risk of coronavirus transmission in DuPage County is “substantial,” according to the health department.

Wesam Doleh, owner of Savino’s Beef & Gyros in Plainfield, said without the community, “there would be no business.”

There is now public data showing how close your local hospital is to being at or over capacity.

Top doctors with Advocate Aurora Health say vaccines up for approval are safe and effective. They plan to start inoculating staff next week

Patch obtains the memos given to police department supervisors about pandemic enforcement.

Without a vaccine, staff and students will “continue to spread the virus,” said Association of Plainfield Teachers President Dawn Bullock.

The Lake County Health Department created an online portal for residents to register to be notified when a coronavirus vaccine is available.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that the “worst-case scenario” he has been trying to avoid is “now our reality in LaSalle.”

Illinois Coronavirus Helpline:

Illinois officials say a state helpline has been set up to provide emotional support and quick answers to questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Illinoisans can test “TALK” to 55-2020 (or “HABLAR” for Spanish), and within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor. Residents can also text keywords such as “UNEMPLOYMENT,” “FOOD” or “SHELTER,” to the same number to receive additional information about those topics.

Coronavirus by the numbers:


  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 832,951
  • Confirmed Deaths: 14,050
  • People tested: 11,586,296
  • Recovered: Illinois does not provide exact numbers of recovered cases, but says the recovery rate is 97 percent.


  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 16,293,597
  • Deaths: 299,455
  • People tested: 217,114,386
  • Recovered: 6,298,082


  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 72,446,947
  • Deaths: 1,616,191
  • People tested: No data available
  • Recovered: 47,408,528

Sources: Johns Hopkins University and IDPH

While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid virus exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends taking these actions to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

What to do if you’re sick:

Call head if you’re planning to visit your doctor:

  • If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Stay home unless you must see a doctor:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home:

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Avoid sharing personal household items:

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.


  • CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
  • Face mask instructions — sew- and no-sew masks

To donate personal protective equipment (PPE), email For health questions about COVID-19, call the state coronavirus hotline at 800-889-3931 or email


via Across Illinois Patch

December 14, 2020 at 12:09PM

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