CHICAGO — Another 123 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.
The most recent victims included 46 people from Cook County, including a man in his 30s and three people in their 50s.
At least 18,049 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 1,824 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 1,059,324. The state hit and surpassed the 1 million mark last week.
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 said the state will peel back some of its coronavirus safety restrictions Friday if regions continue to see progress in their fight against COVID-19.
The state is administering an average of 27,125 vaccine doses per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. So far, Illinois has administered at least 447,348 vaccine doses and has been allocated 995,000 doses. More than 80,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans.
The city has opened three mass vaccination sites for health care workers, and another three will be open by next week.
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. Arwady said Chicago will allow health providers to start vaccinating people who are 65 and older and have underlying health conditions next week if the vaccine doses would otherwise be wasted.
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 6.5 Friday with 107,156 tests reported. It was at 6.8 percent Thursday. 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 7.7 percent Friday. It was at 8 percent Thursday.
As of Thursday night, 3,446 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 712 people in the ICU and 386 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 18 deaths and 1,266 confirmed cases were reported in the past day. There have been at least 4,410 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 222,965 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 1,165 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 13 percent increase from the previous week. At the same time, testing has risen by 24 percent.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 9.7 percent, down from 10.8 percent the week before.
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