CHICAGO — Another 81 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.
The most recent victims included 22 people from Cook County, including a man in his 30s and two people in their 40s.
At least 18,964 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 1,985 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
The state reported 3,751 confirmed cases during the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,112,181.
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.
“… Right now, the news on the COVID front is really very good,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday livestream.
The state is administering an average of 33,698 vaccine doses per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. So far, Illinois has administered at least 655,640 vaccine doses. More than 153,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans.
Another 117,983 vaccines have been administered in long-term care facilities. Those vaccinations are done through a federal partnership with pharmacy chains.
All together, at least 773,623 vaccines have been administered in Illinois.
As of Monday, Illinois is now vaccinating people 65 and older and frontline workers as part of Phase 1B of the vaccination campaign. Illinoisans who are eligible are able to make appointments to get vaccinated at pharmacies, state-run mass vaccination sites and other places.
The state is peeling back some of its coronavirus safety restrictions as regions get their outbreaks more under control. Indoor dining has resumed at restaurants and bars that have food in Chicago.
At the same time, a more contagious variant of the virus from the United Kingdom has been found in Chicago.
The state’s ability to have indoor service and youth sports “could be cut short if we aren’t extremely careful,” Gov. JB Pritzker said at a Friday news conference. “The CDC is already warning that the faster-spreading U.K. variant could become the dominant strain in the United States in March. And a virus that’s more contagious ultimately results in more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths.
“I know none of us wants to see another wave of COVID that brings on more mitigations, so let’s not let our guard down.”
And officials have cautioned it will be months before vaccines are widely available to the public. Chicago’s plan tentatively predicts vaccines will be available to everyone 16 and older by late May.
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.
Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell to 4.5 percent Wednesday with 80,124 tests reported. It was at 4.6 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 5.6 percent Wednesday. It was at 5.7 percent Tuesday.
As of Tuesday night, 2,931 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 591 people in the ICU and 300 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 14 deaths and 629 confirmed cases were reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 4,580 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 232,075 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of 10 deaths per day, down from an average of 14 deaths per day the week prior.
An average of 673 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 24 percent decrease from the previous week. At the same time, testing has decreased by 8 percent.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 6.6 percent, down from 7.7 percent the week before.
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.