CHICAGO — Another 42 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day.
Though COVID-19 continues to kill dozens of people, new cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations have declined in recent weeks as more people get their shots. On Thursday, Chicago recorded the first day in weeks where its average number of new cases fell below 300.
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.
The majority of Chicagoans and Illinoisans are not fully vaccinated, though: Only about 4.9 million people — or 38.74 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccination shots.
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Officials are looking at ways to make it easier to get the shots and ease people’s concerns. Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago and Illinois.
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.
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,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said at a news conference last week.
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Across Illinois, 65,998 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 10,640,990 vaccine doses of the 13,035,445 provided to them.
City data shows more than 1 million Chicagoans — or 38.8 percent of all residents — have now gotten fully vaccinated. About 49.1 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot. Among Chicagoans 65 and older, about 69.1 percent have gotten at least one dose, while 59.7 percent have finished their vaccination.
The state’s most recent coronavirus victims included 16 people from Cook County, including three people in their 50s.
At least 22,536 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,377 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
The state reported 1,542 cases over the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,371,884.
Illinois’ seven-day positivity fell slightly to 2.2 percent Thursday with 79,529 tests reported. It was at 2.3 percent Wednesday. 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 2.7 percent Thursday.
As of Wednesday night, 1,488 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 404 people in the ICU and 226 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, nine deaths and 309 confirmed cases were reported since Wednesday. There have been at least 5,306 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 282,476 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of six deaths per day, down from eight per day the week prior.
An average of 289 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 27 percent decrease from the previous week. At the same time, testing has fallen 12 percent since a week ago.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 3.2 percent, down from 3.8 percent the week before.
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