CHICAGO — Another 50 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.
The most recent victims included 30 people from Cook County, including a man in his 30s and two women in their 50s.
At least 18,258 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 1,860 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
The state also reported 3,385 confirmed cases during the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,072,214.
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.
And the state is peeling back some of its coronavirus safety restrictions as regions get their outbreaks more under control.
The state is administering an average of 22,856 vaccine doses per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. So far, Illinois has administered at least 495,563 vaccine doses and has been allocated 1,085,750 doses. More than 96,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans.
The city has opened three mass vaccination sites for health care workers, and another three will open this week.
Illinois will start vaccinating people 65 and older and frontline workers when it moves into Phase 1B of vaccinations Jan. 25. People will be able to make appointments to get vaccinated at pharmacies, state-run mass vaccination sites and other places, Gov. JB Pritzker announced last week. The state will soon put up a website with information about how people can sign up to be vaccinated.
Chicago — which has its own, separate vaccination campaign — will allow health providers to start vaccinating people who are 65 and older and have underlying health conditions this week if the vaccine doses would otherwise be wasted, said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Still, officials have cautioned it will be months before vaccines are widely available to the public.
And a more contagious variant of the virus from the United Kingdom has been found in Chicago.
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.
Chicago remains under the state’s 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 5.9 percent Monday with 63,002 tests reported. It was at 6.1 percent Sunday. 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 percent Monday. It was at 7.1 percent Sunday.
As of Sunday night, 3,345 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 705 people in the ICU and 392 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 12 deaths and 595 confirmed cases were reported since Sunday. There have been at least 4,448 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 225,409 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of 12 deaths per day, down from an average of 16 deaths per day the week prior.
An average of 1,008 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 3 percent increase from the previous week. At the same time, testing has risen by 15 percent.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 8.5 percent, down from 10.3 percent the week before.
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