CHICAGO — Another 97 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.
The most recent victims included 27 people from Cook County, including a man in his 40s, a man in his 50s and eight people in their 60s.
At least 17,840 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 1,777 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
The state also reported 5,862 confirmed cases during the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,046,030. 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.
The state is administering an average of 25,400 vaccine doses per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. So far, Illinois has administered 384,658 vaccine doses. More than 60,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans.
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.
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 to 7.3 Wednesday with 76,107 tests reported. It was at 7.5 percent Tuesday. 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 8.3 percent Wednesday. It was at 8.6 percent Tuesday.
As of Tuesday night, 3,642 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 749 people in the ICU and 386 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 14 deaths and 888 confirmed cases were reported in the past day. There have been at least 4,383 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 220,190 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of 12 deaths per day, down from an average of 18 deaths per day the week prior.
An average of 1,093 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 10 percent increase from the previous week. At the same time, testing has risen by 10 percent.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 10.3 percent, down from 10.6 percent the week before.
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