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Coronavirus Kills 106 More Illinoisans, But Chicago Seeing ‘Real Progress’ As New Cases, Positivity Fall

At least 16,179 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 1,417 deaths are probably related, according to the state.

COVID, mask, Chicago, winter, Little Village, Coronavirus, file photo
Mouhamed Gueye of Bronzeville poses for a portrait in a mask as folks line up for free COVID-19 tests at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood on Monday, November 30, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Another 106 Illinoisans were killed by coronavirus, the state reported in the past day.

The most recent victims included 32 people from Cook County, including a woman in her 40s and six people in their 50s.

At least 16,179 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 1,417 deaths are probably related, according to the state.

The state also reported 5,644 confirmed cases in the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 948,006.

There is growing hope as the virus’s spread has slowed in Illinois, though new cases and positivity rates remain high. More than 112,000 people have been vaccinated in Illinois and more than 20,000 vaccinations have been done in Chicago.

Chicago’s top health official, Dr. Allison Arwady, said she was thrilled to be vaccinated Tuesday. The city has also started vaccinating outpatient health care workers and people living and working in long-term care facilities.

“Every person, every vaccine that we give here in Chicago takes us one step closer to normal,” Arwady said during her public vaccination. “It is a responsibility for people, for themselves, for their families, for society” to get vaccinated.

But officials have cautioned it will be months before vaccines are widely available.

That means people are still at risk and will have to take precautions for much of 2021, officials have said. People should keep wearing a mask, staying socially distant, washing their hands frequently, not gathering, not traveling and not having people into their home, experts have said.

RELATED: A Coronavirus Vaccine Is Coming. Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Getting One In Chicago

Every region in Illinois remains under Tier 3 restrictions. The rules close museums, casinos and theaters; cut capacity at stores; stop indoor sports and put stricter rules in place at gyms and salons, among other things.

Gov. JB Pritzker has said those mitigations will likely remain in place for some time into January as officials hope they can help prevent a post-holiday surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

The city has a stay at home advisory that recommends everyone stay at home as much as possible, only leaving for essential activities like work and to get groceries. Arwady has also said people should not travel to other states since COVID-19 is surging across the United States.

Testing fell dramatically over the holiday weekend, but Illinois’ and Chicago’s positivity rates are still down.

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rose to 7.4 percent Tuesday with 66,786 tests reported. It was at 7.2 percent Monday. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests.

Illinois’ seven-day test positivity, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, rose slightly to 8.8 percent Tuesday. It was at 8.7 percent Monday.

As of Monday night, 4,313 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 904 people in the ICU and 506 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, 14 deaths and 903 confirmed cases were reported in the past day. There have been at least 4,102 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 202,346 confirmed cases, according to state data.

Chicago has made improvement, with its number of daily new cases and its positivity rate falling steadily after a post-Thanksgiving spike. Officials are waiting to see if there will be a bump in cases after the winter holidays, Arwady said. The city’s goal is to get under 400 new cases per day — but, ideally, Chicago should have fewer than 200 new cases per day, Arwady said.

The city is seeing an average of 17 deaths per day, down from an average of 19 deaths per day the week prior.

An average of 1,075 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 16 percent decrease from the previous week.

The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 8.5 percent, down from 10.7 percent the week before.

The fact Chicago’s positivity rate is falling, as its number of daily new cases, “does let us know we are making real progress,” Arwady said.

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