CHICAGO — Officials are focusing on erasing barriers so everyone can vaccinated against coronavirus as the number of people getting the shots has slowed down.
The state is helping community groups host vaccine events. Health departments are bringing vaccinations to workplaces, including Downtown office buildings. The city has said it’ll bring vaccine vans to festivals and other events.
“We are focused on bringing vaccine to people instead of people needing” to go somewhere to get vaccinated, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said at a Monday morning news conference.
People getting vaccinated is still the best bet for ending the pandemic, reopening businesses and having the world return to normal, officials have said. More people getting vaccinated also means there are fewer chances for variants of COVID-19 to develop and spread, which would endanger people and pose a threat to reopening efforts.
“The quickest way for life to return to normal is for more people to get vaccinated,” Ezike said.
Everyone 16 and older is now eligible for vaccinations in Illinois. But the vast majority of Illinoisans are not fully vaccinated: Only about 4.5 million people — or 34.42 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccination shots.
At the same time, vaccine demand has slowed in Illinois in recent weeks; as a result, the state is requesting fewer doses from the federal government, Gov. JB Pritzker said.
And people continue to get sick and die from COVID-19. Officials have urged people to take precautions — like wearing a mask, staying socially distant and getting vaccinated — to ensure there’s not another surge and people can stay safe.
There’s still a high risk for spreading COVID-19 among unvaccinated people. Vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at preventing serious illness and death.
Another 12 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.
The victims reported over the past day included seven people from Cook County, including a woman in her 40s and a man in his 50s.
At least 22,235 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,355 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
The state reported 1,424 cases over the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,356,391.
Across Illinois, 81,265 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 9,978,915 vaccine doses of the 12,459,585 provided to them.
City data shows 2,133,440 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans in the city, and 2,284,410 doses have been administered in the city overall. About 46.6 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot, while 34.7 percent have completed their vaccination. Among Chicagoans 65 and older, about 67.7 percent have gotten at least one dose, while 57.5 percent have finished their vaccination.
Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell slightly to 2.8 percent Monday with 41,133 tests reported. It was at 2.9 percent Sunday. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests.
Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, held at 3.4 percent Monday.
As of Sunday night, 1,906 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 473 people in the ICU and 242 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, six deaths and 322 confirmed cases were reported since Sunday. There have been at least 5,235 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 279,691 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of five deaths per day, down from six per day the week prior.
An average of 456 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 12 percent decrease from the previous week. At the same time, testing has fallen 5 percent since a week ago.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 4.3 percent, down from 4.5 percent the week before.
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