CHICAGO — Another 26 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.
The number of people dying from COVID-19 has risen recently, though new cases and positivity rates have fallen. Officials have said the uptick in deaths is due to the surge that was seen in March.
Officials are rushing to vaccinate as many people as possible in Chicago and across the state, as vaccines have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. But vaccine demand has fallen sharply.
Dr. Alison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said on Tuesday Chicago has seen a significant fall in the number of people getting vaccinated in recent weeks.
But the Pfizer vaccine was given emergency use authorization for children 12 and older Monday afternoon, and city-run sites will start administering shots to people in that age group Thursday. That’s expected to lead to a spike in vaccinations.
The majority of Chicagoans and Illinoisans are not fully vaccinated, though. Officials are looking at ways to make it easier to get the shots and ease people’s concerns.
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 4.6 million people — or 36.16 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccination shots.
The state is requesting fewer vaccine doses from the federal government due to the drop in demand, Gov. JB Pritzker said.
There’s still a high risk for spreading COVID-19 among unvaccinated people.
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.
The most recent coronavirus victims included nine people from Cook County, including a woman her 30s and a woman in her 40s.
At least 22,285 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 1,795 cases over the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,359,748.
Across Illinois, 80,591 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 10,110,969 vaccine doses of the 12,548,525 provided to them.
City data shows 2,180,165 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans in the city, and 2,330,384 doses have been administered in the city overall. About 47.3 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot, while 35.9 percent have completed their vaccination. Among Chicagoans 65 and older, about 68.1 percent have gotten at least one dose, while 58.1 percent have finished their vaccination.
Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell slightly to 2.7 percent Wednesday with 70,216 tests reports. It was at 2.8 percent Tuesday. 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 3.3 percent Wednesday.
As of Tuesday night, 1,899 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 466 people in the ICU and 246 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, four deaths and 272 confirmed cases were reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 5,247 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 280,212 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of six deaths per day, down from seven per day the week prior.
An average of 409 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 20 percent decrease from the previous week. At the same time, testing has fallen 7 percent since a week ago.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 4 percent, down from 4.5 percent the week before.
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