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Thanks To Vaccine, Chicago Sees Lowest COVID Rates Since Pandemic Began

Chicago has its lowest number of new COVID cases and positivity rate since the start of the pandemic. "This has been predominantly, of course, because of the vaccine," the city's top doctor said.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are administered by Jewel-Osco pharmacists to union workers at the IUOE Local 399 union hall ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris's visit to discuss vaccine rollouts and union work in Chicago on April 6, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The city of Chicago hit major coronavirus milestones Tuesday, as the city has its lowest number of new cases and positivity rate since the start of the pandemic.

The city is now seeing an average of just 157 new cases per day, a 38 percent drop from a week ago. That’s the lowest that number has been since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, an “amazing” change, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said in a Tuesday livestream.

The city also recorded a positivity rate of 2.2 percent Tuesday, the lowest that figure has been since March 2020, as well.

Metrics like new cases and positivity rates have plunged since COVID-19 vaccines became more widely available. The vaccines have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.

“We’re really doing very, very well,” Arwady said. “This has been predominantly, of course, because of the vaccine.”

Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Younger children might be able to get vaccinated starting in the fall, Arwady said.

Fifty percent of Illinoisans 18 and older are fully vaccinated, and 67 percent have gotten at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Chicago, 51.9 percent of adults are fully vaccinated and 63.2 percent have gotten at least shot shot, according to city data.

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

Vaccine demand has fallen sharply recently, so officials are trying to make it easier for people to get the shots.

The state is helping community groups host vaccine events. Health departments are bringing vaccinations to workplaces, beaches, parks and more. 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.

In Illinois, about 5.2 million people of all ages — or 41.43 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccination shots, according to state data.

Across the state, 45,545 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 11,308,983 vaccine doses of the 13,695,055 provided to them.

City data shows more than 1.1 million Chicagoans — or 41.7 percent of all residents — have gotten fully vaccinated. About 52 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot. Among Chicagoans 65 and older, 70.6 percent have gotten at least one dose, while 61.5 percent have finished their vaccination.

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

Another eight Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus since Monday. Eighty-eight people were reported to have died over the long weekend, as well.

The most recent coronavirus victims included two women in their 40s from Cook County.

At least 22,835 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,398 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

The state reported 401 cases since Monday, and 1,925 cases over the holiday weekend. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,382,587.

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate held at 1.6 percent Tuesday with 24,273 tests reported. 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, fell to 1.9 percent Tuesday. It was at 2 percent Monday.

As of Monday night, 1,031 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 284 people in the ICU and 162 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, four deaths and 62 confirmed cases were reported since Monday. There have been at least 5,363 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 284,408 confirmed cases, according to state data.

The city is seeing an average of four deaths per day, down from six per day the week prior.

An average of 157 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 38 percent decrease from the previous week. At the same time, testing has fallen 11 percent since a week ago.

The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 2.2 percent, down from 3 percent the week before.

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