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Chicago Sees Small Uptick In COVID Cases, Positivity Rate: ‘It Is Still Real. It Is Still Deadly,’ Lightfoot Says

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago will bring back restrictions if there's another surge of coronavirus.

A health care worker is vaccinated at a city-run vaccine site.
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CHICAGO — Another 22 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.

The most recent victims included 16 people from Cook County, including a woman in her 50s.

At least 21,103 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,276 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

The state reported 1,220 confirmed cases over the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,223,083.

The city of Chicago is seeing a slight uptick in new confirmed cases and its positivity rate, though those figures remain lower than they were during the fall surge. The uptick is being driven by people in the 18-29 and 30-39 age groups, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said — and she said officials will bring back tighter coronavirus restrictions if those numbers surge.

“”COVID-19 is still here, folks. It is still real. It is still deadly,” Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday. “And, unfortunately, it is still sending people to the hospital very single day.

“We will step back and have to close back down if we are not diligent, particularly that 18-to-40-year-old cohort. It’s critically important that those folks and everyone remain diligent.”

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday all Illinoisans 16 and older will be eligible for vaccinations starting April 12 as more doses are coming into the state. He also detailed how the state will reopen in coming weeks — as long as more people are vaccinated and COVID-19 cases and deaths don’t surge.

“It’s time to begin to cautiously move to normalcy, and it’s imperative that we do so in a way that maintains all of the progress that we’ve made to date,” he said at a news conference. Later, he said, “Folks, this is an exciting day. Although we still are in the midsts of a global pandemic, the end seems truly to be in sight.”

More doses are coming to the city, too. April and May will be especially big for vaccinations, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday livestream. The city start 1C vaccinations on March 29.

RELATED: A Year Of Loss: COVID-19 Has Killed More Than 4,500 Chicagoans. For These Families, Life Will Never Be The Same

Across Illinois, an average of 92,148 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 4,385,874 vaccine doses of the 5,341,895 directly provided to them.

More than 892,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans, and 1,059,880 doses have been administered in the city overall.

Another 361,971 vaccines have been administered in long-term care facilities, which have been provided with 414,900 doses. Those vaccinations are done through a federal partnership with pharmacy chains.

All together, at least 4,747,845 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois out of 5,756,795 doses provided to state entities.

Arwady previously said she’s pushing for the state to send more doses to Chicago and the surrounding area since 35-40 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, as well as people who work in higher education, government and media.

RELATED: Here’s How You Can Get Vaccinated Against Coronavirus In Chicago

The number of new cases being reported in Chicago fell from its fall peak — but now it’s stalled, and the city is still not considered low risk, Arwady said.

Still, 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.

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.

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 earlier this month. “The risk gets lower with every additional person who gets vaccinated.”

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate rose slightly to 2.6 percent Monday with 47,374 tests reported. It was at 2.5 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, rose slightly to 2.9 percent Monday. It was at 2.8 percent Sunday.

As of Sunday night, 1,182 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 233 people in the ICU and 98 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, three deaths and 252 confirmed cases were reported since Sunday. There have been at least 4,988 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 252,075 confirmed cases, according to state data.

The city is seeing an average of three deaths per day, down from an average of four deaths per day the week prior. That’s the lowest that figure has been in months, Arwady previously said. 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 324 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 17 percent increase from the previous week. At the same time, testing has risen by 5 percent since a week ago.

The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 3 percent, up from 2.8 percent the week before.

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