CHICAGO (WLS) — The Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 3,002 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 33 deaths Friday, as the state began taking action to address first signs of a possible resurgence of the virus.
IDPH reported a total of 1,232,900 COVID-19 cases, including 21,203 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic.
As of Thursday night, 1,302 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 264 patients were in the ICU and 120 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Since March 8, Illinois has seen 10 days of increases in the seven-day rolling average for hospital admissions. The COVID-19 test positivity on March 10 was 2.5%. Today’s reported test positivity is 3.3%. While these rates are certainly significantly lower than the peak, they represent a potential early warning sign about a possible resurgence.
Chicago has seen its daily case rate increase by nearly 50% since last week, along with six days of increases in test positivity. Suburban Cook County has seen its daily case rate increase more than 40%, along with nine days of increasing hospital bed usage. Region 1, the Northern portion of the state including Rockford and surrounding communities, has seen eight days of increasing hospital bed usage and six days of increasing test positivity.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 76,774 specimens for a total of 19,972,391 since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from March 19-25 is 3.3%. For the past 14 days, test positivity has either held steady or increased each day, climbing from 2.5% to 3.3%.
Gov. Pritzker gets COVID vaccine
A total of 6,146,815 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago, with an additional 414,900 doses allocated to federal government partners for long-term care facilities, bringing the total number delivered in Illinois to 6,561,715.
A total of 5,281,618 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday night, including 364,302 for long-term care facilities. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 99,449 doses. There were 126,710 doses reported administered in Illinois Thursday.
The IDPH said it is working with the federal government on possible discrepancies in the reporting of the number of vaccines administered. IDPH said it is possible the number of doses administered is underreported and that it will update its data if a discrepancy is found.
To address a concerning possible trend in increasing COVID hospitalizations and case rates, the state of Illinois is launching Rapid Response Vaccination Teams to five counties and expanding vaccine eligibility where demand appears to have waned. The Illinois Department of Public Health has seen vaccine demand slow in several counties throughout the state, with early signs of unfilled appointments and increased vaccine inventory. IDPH is authorizing those communities to begin vaccinating all residents 16 and older at their immediate discretion, in order to use the vaccine doses they currently have available.
“Recent increases in hospital admissions and test positivity are concerning new developments and we don’t want to go down the same path we’ve seen before and experience a resurgence in the pandemic, which is why Governor Pritzker directed us to use all our resources to halt these upticks,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “We cannot move forward if our metrics are going backward. The vaccine will help get us to the end of the pandemic, but we need to continue to reduce spread of the virus by wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds, keeping six feet of distance, getting tested after seeing others, and getting vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The federal government is projecting that Illinois will receive nearly 1 million doses next week for distribution, an all-time high.
Residents should contact their local health department to learn whether they have expanded eligibility.
“The number one goal for the state is to get as many people vaccinated, as quickly and safely as possible in order to stay ahead of variants,” Ezike said. “This shift is similar to what we saw when expanding vaccine eligibility from Phase 1B to Phase 1B+ where some parts of the state were ready to move forward, while others were not. Each county is different and local health departments know better how to vaccinate people in their communities as soon as and as equitably as possible.”
While all communities will continue to receive their baseline allocation of doses, new doses above that baseline will be allocated to high-demand areas where at-risk eligible residents face long waits for appointments.
Mobile rapid response vaccination teams will deploy over the next two weeks in five counties in Region 1 where IDPH epidemiologists have determined there is a need to administer doses quickly to blunt increasing trends. These doses are on top of the allocation to the local health departments. These mobile teams will be providing single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to county residents. Appointments will be coordinated by the local health department.
Residents of Region 1 are also encouraged to visit the existing mass vaccination site set up in Winnebago County.
While Illinois is on pace to reach 70% first doses for residents 65 years and older in the coming days, IDPH is monitoring an increase in new hospital admissions for COVID, which will need to be appropriately addressed and resolved before moving into the Bridge Phase. IDPH epidemiologists will continue to focus on the most recent 10 days to monitor any acute trends that prevent the state from reaching the Bridge Phase.
Chicago loosens COVID outdoor restrictions, maintain most indoor rules
Even with COVID cases rising, Chicago health officials announced Thursday they are
The deaths reported Friday include:
– Cook County: 1 teen, 1 male 40s, 1 female 60s, 2 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 3 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
– Johnson County: 1 male 60s
– Kane County: 1 male 70s
– Lake County: 1 male 60s
– LaSalle County: 1 male 70s
– Lee County: 1 male 60s
– Macoupin County: 1 female 60s
– Madison County: 1 male 30s, 1 female 50s, 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
– Marshall County: 1 female 30s
– McLean County: 1 male 90s
– Peoria County: 1 male 60s
– Sangamon County: 1 male 80s
– St. Clair County: 2 males 60s, 2 females 80s
– Will County: 1 male 70s
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March 26, 2021 at 12:51PM