CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois public health officials reported 12,328 new COVID-19 cases Monday and 11 related deaths, marking the largest one-day increase in 2021.
There were also 11,426 new cases and 74 related deaths reported Saturday, and another 7,705 new cases and 26 related deaths reported Sunday.
There have been 1,975,515 total COVID cases, including 27,228 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 7.1%, a jump up from 6.2% on Friday. The last time test positivity was reported that high was on Jan 17, which was also 7.1%.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 210,023 new specimens for a total of 42,607,495since the pandemic began.
For Saturday, IDPH report 256,765 completed tests. That’s the largest one-day increase in tests on record.
"Hospital bed availability has reached a critically low level. Demand on resources is high," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director, Illinois Department of Public Health. "This is setting up to be a very deadly COVID Christmas and New Year’s."
As of Sunday night, 3,960 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19, the most since Dec. 31 of last year. Of those, 811 patients were in the ICU, which is also the most since Jan. 5. There are also 432 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators, which is the most since Jan. 6.
A total of 18,638,831 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Monday, and 59.94% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 65,382.
Cook County recommends businesses require proof of vaccination
Cook County Public Health officials confirmed a few more cases of the omicron variant Friday, which they say is an indicator that omicron is spreading in much higher numbers in the county. As a result, they’ve issued new recommendations ahead of the holidays.
For the first time, Cook County is urging establishments, including bars and restaurants, to require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 24 hours.
For now, it’s just a recommendation to those businesses and is not a mandate. But last week, Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago confirmed her office is in talks with the restaurant industry about additional mitigations, but offered no details.
This, as the Cook County Medical examiner announces a total of 186 COVID related death in one week, marking the counties largest number of COVID deaths in one week sin ce February 2021.
The city and Cook County often work in lockstep, and for now the county says the recommendations are just that.
"We don’t have any plans to issue a mandate at this time, but as you know, we always follow the data," said Dr. Kiran Joshi, co-lead, Cook County Dept. of Public Health. "People who are unvaccinated are 50 times as likely to end up in the hospital as compared to people who are vaccinated and boosted."
Officials also issuing recommendations for holiday gatherings, saying people who are unvaccinated should avoid indoor gatherings with other households.
And those who are fully vaccinated should get a booster, as well as wear masks indoors at gatherings and consider getting a test two to three days before the gathering, as well as the morning of the event.
Officials say those rapid tests that are available at drug stores can be effective if used as a series before a holiday get-together.
Dr. Fauci speaks one-on-one with ABC7’s Sarah Schulte
The nation’s top infectious disease expert issued a stern warning as we head into the holidays.
In an exclusive interview with ABC7’s Sarah Schulte, Dr. Anthony Fauci talked about the new omicron variant and what he says worries him the most.
As people head into the holidays hoping for a sense of normalcy, Fauci warns Americans the next few weeks could be anything but with the very contagious Omicron variant beginning to take hold in the United States.
"I have concern there are so many people still who are unvaccinated," Fauci said. "I thought the country would have embraced vaccines better than they did, rather than a year later still have having 50-60 million people unvaccinated. That is the big disappointment."
There are over 50 million unvaccinated people in the United States. In Illinois, over 5 million not fully vaccinated, with 650,000 in Chicago.
"Some of those people are going to get seriously ill, some of those people will be in the hospital and some are going to die, which is going to stress our healthcare and hospital system," Fauci warned.
While politically unpopular, Fauci said more vaccine mandates are necessary to get more people vaccinated. He is also appealing to the vaccinated to get booster shots, as less than 30% of those eligible have been boosted.
"You may not prevent infection, because there will be breakthrough infections, but you will have a good deal of protection against the disease," Fauci said.
Fauci also said it’s time for drug companies to develop a universal vaccine.
"There is an urgent need to get a universal coronavirus vaccine, namely a vaccine that would be against all variants and all kinds of coronaviruses," Fauci said.
The omicron variant has caused New York City’s positivity rate to double in three days, resulting in several Broadway cancellations. Fauci said this is just the beginning.
"What is happening in New York is happening everywhere in the country," Fauci said. "They are just the leader in the pack, unfortunately."
Despite the warnings about the surge, Fauci does not anticipate any new guidance from the CDC. His advice for gathering and traveling during the holidays is to assess your own risk depending on where you will be.
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via ABC7 Chicago
December 20, 2021 at 03:48PM