CHICAGO — Illinois gave more than 132,000 shots of coronavirus vaccine Thursday, breaking its single-day record for vaccinations.
State and city officials have touted vaccination news this week: The state has administered more than 3 million doses of vaccine, and more than 30,000 people have signed up for appointments at the United Center mass vaccination site. And, soon, Chicago and Illinois will have even more doses supplied to them.
“The increasing supply of vaccine is, frankly, very, very exciting,” Gov. JB Pritzker said at a Friday news conference.
More than 20 percent of Illinoisans 16 and older have gotten at least their first shot of vaccine — and that rises to 44 percent among Illinoisans 65 and older, Pritzker said.
“That’s great progress, but there is much more work to be done,” Pritzker said at a news conference. “What a relief it will be when we get everyone vaccinated and everyone can know that they’re safe from this virus.”
There’s still a shortage of vaccine around the United States, Pritzker said, but “vaccine availability is set to soar in the coming weeks.” Federal officials told state leaders they’d soon be able to provide 18 million doses per week, he said, and Illinois expects to get about 100,000 doses per day by mid-March.
The city’s health chief, Dr. Allison Arwady, made similar statements earlier this week.
“By late spring, we are gonna be in a place where I think there will be plenty of vaccine,” Arwady said Wednesday.
The state is administering an average of 83,115 vaccine doses per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. As of midnight Friday, Illinois and Chicago had administered at least 2,788,514 vaccine doses of the 3,780,305 directly provided to them.
More than 584,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans.
Another 336,911 vaccines have been administered in long-term care facilities, which have been provided with 443,700 doses. Those vaccinations are done through a federal partnership with pharmacy chains.
All together, at least 3,125,425 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois out of 4,224,005 doses provided to state entities.
About one in seven Illinoisans has received their first shot, Gov. JB Pritzker said last week. Still, the state lags behind others — and Illinois is last in the nation for second doses administered.
One in eight Chicagoans has now gotten their first shot of a vaccine, Arwady said Wednesday. That number rises to one in three Chicagoans among people 65 and older.
Arwady said she’s pushing for the state to send more doses to Chicago and the surrounding area since 38 percent of the city’s doses have gone to non-residents. She said rural areas in the state are currently more vaccinated than parts of Chicago.
In comparison, about 21 percent of Chicago residents who have been vaccinated got their shot outside the city.
Illinois and Chicago are 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, their health provider’s office, state-run mass vaccination sites and other places.
The state is also vaccinating people with underlying conditions or disabilities, though Chicago has not added people with underlying conditions or disabilities to its current round of vaccinations.
The state is peeling back some of its coronavirus safety restrictions as regions get their outbreaks more under control. Chicago is now in Phase 4, the phase when the state’s restrictions are at their most relaxed before a full return to normalcy.
Pritzker said he and the state’s experts are looking at what restrictions they can roll back, but they need to judge that against the continuing risks of the pandemic — especially since more contagious variants of the virus have been found in Illinois.
“… We’re gonna try to make sure we’re moving the economy forward as we’re bringing down the caseload, Pritzker said. “The first thing that comes to mind for me when I reflect on this year, it’s the safety and health of the people of Illinois that has weighed on me every day … and then the financial health of people who have lost their jobs.
“… Now, we need to take care of people’s financial situations.”
The city has released a roadmap detailing what metrics it will use to lift restrictions from businesses as it gets better control of its COVID-19 outbreak.
Hopefully, restrictions will be raised during the next few months, Arwady previously said, “but we’re still at a point where we need to be careful.”
Another 33 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day. The most recent victims included 12 people from Cook County, including a man in his 40s and two people in their 50s.
At least 20,700 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,246 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
The state reported 1,442 confirmed cases during the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,194,702.
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.
“If you’re gonna be out, please just wear the mask, keep practicing caution,” Arwady said Thursday. “The risk gets lower with every additional person who gets vaccinated.”
Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell to 2.2 percent Friday with 103,336 tests reported. It was at 2.4 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 2.8 Friday. It was at 2.9 percent Thursday.
As of Thursday night, 1,166 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 263 people in the ICU and 121 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 11 deaths and 319 confirmed cases were reported since Thursday. There have been at least 4,913 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 246,543 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of five deaths per day, down from an average of six deaths per day the week prior. That’s the lowest that figure has been in months, Arwady said last week. During the peak of the second, fall surge in the pandemic, nearly 25 people per day were being killed by COVID-19; during the peak of the first surge in the spring, nearly 50 people were killed per day.
An average of 287 confirmed cases are being reported per day, an 8 percent increase from the previous week. At the same time, testing has increased by 9 percent.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at an all-time low of 2.9 percent, down from 3 percent the week before.
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