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Coronavirus Kills 117 Illinoisans As State Reports 6,642 More Cases

The most recent victims included 21 people from Cook County, including a man in his 40s and a woman in her 50s.

Amity Tyler of the Old Town neighborhood wears a mask in Chicago as fears of COVID-19 rise on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Another 117 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.

The most recent victims included 21 people from Cook County, including a man in his 40s and a woman in her 50s.

At least 17,743 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 1,754 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

The state also reported 6,642 confirmed cases during the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,040,168. The state hit and surpassed the 1 million mark Thursday.

But there are signs of hope, officials have said: Chicago and Illinois are weeks into vaccinating people, and new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped in the city and statewide since a mid-November peak.

“By and large, we are in a much, much better place than we were,” and Chicago is doing much better than most of the United States, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Monday news conference.

Gov. JB Pritzker the state will peel back some of its coronavirus safety restrictions Friday if regions continue to see progress in their fight against COVID-19. State officials are also waiting to see if there will be a post-holiday bump.

More than 343,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout Illinois, including 60,000 doses of vaccine administered to Chicagoans. State vaccination data will be online beginning Tuesday, Pritzker said.

Pritzker said Monday he’ll announce this week when Illinois will move into Phase 1B, when people who are 65 or older and frontline essential workers can be vaccinated. Some parts of the state — but not Chicago — have already started vaccinating people in Phase 1B because they finished Phase 1A quickly, Pritzker said.

But Arwady said Chicago could also soon allow health care practices to vaccinate their most at-risk patients.

Still, officials have cautioned it will be months before vaccines are widely available to the public.

That means people are still at risk and will have to continue taking 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.

The city has a stay at home advisory that recommends everyone stay at home as much as possible, only leaving for essential activities such as 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.

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell slightly to 7.5 Tuesday with 93,491 tests reported. It was at 7.6 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, fell to 8.6 percent Tuesday. It was at 8.9 percent Monday.

As of Monday night, 3,553 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 757 people in the ICU and 409 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, eight deaths and 1,287 confirmed cases were reported in the past day. There have been at least 4,369 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 219,302 confirmed cases, according to state data.

The city is seeing an average of 13 deaths per day, down from an average of 18 deaths per day the week prior.

An average of 1,036 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 9 percent increase from the previous week. At the same time, testing has risen by 7 percent.

The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 10.3 percent, down from 10.5 percent the week before.

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