Cook County officials are warning that cases of the delta coronavirus variant are surging, asking residents who have not yet been vaccinated to get their shots in an effort to prevent spread.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s coronavirus cases are up slightly over the last couple weeks, and the city’s top doctor said one age group is seeing a majority of the latest increase.
Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Coronavirus in Illinois: 4,449 New COVID Cases, 62 Deaths, 148K Vaccinations in the Past Week
Illinois health officials on Friday reported 4,449 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, along with 62 additional deaths and more than 148,000 new vaccine doses administered.
In all, 1,399,946 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began. The additional deaths reported this week bring the state to 23,357 confirmed COVID fatalities.
The state has administered 228,430 tests since last Friday, officials said, bringing the total to more than 26 million tests conducted during the pandemic.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate on all tests rose to 1.9% from 1.5% the week before, and the seven-day positivity rate on individuals tested rose from 1.7% to 2.3%, officials said.
Over the past seven days, a total of 148,520 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to Illinois residents. That brings the state’s average to 21,217 daily vaccination doses over the last week, both metrics an increase from the week before according to IDPH data.
State officials say more than 12.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois since vaccinations began in December. More than 57% of adult residents in the state are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 73% receiving at least one dose.
As of midnight, 476 patients are currently hospitalized due to COVID in the state. Of those patients, 94 are in intensive care units, and 28 are on ventilators.
‘No Plan’ for More COVID Mitigations in Illinois as Cases Rise, IDPH Says
There’s “no plan” in place currently to bring back any statewide mitigations to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Illinois as cases continue to rise and experts warn about the more transmissible delta variant, state health officials said Friday.
“Restore Illinois mitigations that were enacted during the height of the pandemic allowed for safe and proven infection prevention measures since no vaccine was available,” an Illinois Department of Public Health spokesman said in a statement.
“Currently there is no plan to implement any additional statewide mitigations now that there is an abundance of vaccine available and accessible across Illinois, but local municipalities continue to have the ability to put more stringent mitigations in place in their communities,” the statement continued. “We encourage all Illinoisans ages 12+ to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The COVID-19 vaccines are a proven and effective measure of protection against a deadly virus that has taken the lives of thousands of Illinoisans.”
IDPH’s statement came as some municipalities and governments have chosen to bring back things like indoor mask mandates.
Public health officials in Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the nation, announced this week that they will reinstate the county’s indoor mask mandate for everyone regardless of vaccination status beginning late Saturday.
That change was sparked by the spread of the delta variant, officials said, weeks after federal health officials released updated guidance that dropped masking requirements for those who are fully vaccinated.
“We’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late given what we’re seeing now,” LA County’s health officer said Thursday during a news briefing. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.”
This Age Group is Contracting COVID Most in Chicago Right Now, According to City’s Top Doc
Chicago’s coronavirus cases are up slightly over the last couple weeks, and the city’s top doctor said one age group is seeing a majority of the latest increase.
The city is now averaging 57 coronavirus cases per day. That number is up from the average daily case rate of 41 seen one week earlier, but significantly lower than the more than 200 cases per day the city was seeing just over a year ago.
“It’s showing that with some new variants here, with some additional spread, you know, the risk is ever so slightly higher than it was a week ago,” Arwady said. “But the difference is that for people who are fully vaccinated, that risk is very, very low. Whereas for people who are not vaccinated, especially as these case numbers go up, you know, that risk can increase from sort of a low to a moderate to a higher risk. So we’re keeping an eye on it. I do expect it will probably continue to increase, hopefully slowly, hopefully staying in control, but it’s why we’re…