CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois health officials reported 4,776 new COVID-19 cases and 53 deaths Monday.
The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 1,033,526, with a total of 17,627 deaths, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 66,697 specimens for a total 14,169,986.
As of Sunday night, 3,540 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 759 patients were in the ICU and 401 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
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The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Jan. 4 – 10 is 8.9%.
The test positivity rate is a metric the state began providing in late October. It is calculated by using the total number of positive tests over the total number of tests. This is the metric being used to by state health officials to make decisions about mitigations.
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Gov. JB Pritzker said he will make a formal announcement later this week with information about when Illinois will news to the next vaccination phase, 1B, which includes more essential worker and people aged 65 and over.
The governor said so far the state, including the city of Chicago, has received nearly 600,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines from the federal government, and of those about 335,000 doses have been reported administered as of Sunday night, or less than 60%.
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While that number seems low, Pritzker said the actual figure is likely higher because of reporting delays of up to 72 hours from when shots are given.
The rollout in Illinois remains in the first phase of vaccinating 850,000 healthcare workers while older people, teachers and first responders are getting vaccinated across America.
“I think that idea of distributing and targeting those who are at greatest risk is a great idea, but we shouldn’t do it at the cost of efficiency,” said Dr. Sadiya Kahn, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Due to unanticipated hesitancy among healthcare workers, some hospitals have surplus vaccine sitting in freezers. Doctors urged government officials to allow them to move on to the next phase.
“We can simultaneously address the need to vaccinate our healthcare workers and begin moving on to vaccinate high priority patients that are in need. Don’t think it has to be either or,” said Dr. Monica Peek, University of Chicago Medicine.
Gov. Pritzker said the rollout can move to the next phase.
“We don’t want any of these vaccines sitting around. If healthcare workers are in that location are not taking up that vaccine, then let’s give it to the next people in line,” Gov. Pritzker said.
People in phase 1B includes first responders, essential workers and people over the age of 65. This category includes 3.2 million people in Illinois. However, the governor said more vaccine is necessary from the federal government.
The vaccine rollout is expected to accelerate once President-elect Joe Biden takes office. He promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to boost vaccine manufacturing.
Doctors said there must be a plan to make sure moving to the next phase is done efficiently and equitably.
“The questions is what is the infrastructure and resources to allow for that acceleration,” Dr. Kahn said.
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Officials also said that Illinois regions will be allowed to come down from Tier 3 mitigations starting on Friday if they continue to remain on track and meet the state’s three metrics. While Tier 2 mitigations do not reopen indoor dining, several venues including movie theaters, museums and casinos could reopen, and restrictions on gyms would be loosened.
At this time, the only region in the Chicago area on track to meet those criteria is Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties.
The deaths reported Monday include:
-Cook County: 1 female 30s, 1 female 40s, 2 males 40s, 2 females 50s, 2 males 50s, 1 female 60s, 7 males 60s, 5 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 7 females 80s, 7 males 80s, 3 females 90s, 3 males 90s
-DuPage County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
-Kane County: 1 female 80s
-Lake County: 1 male 80s
-LaSalle County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
-Livingston County: 1 male 40s
-McDonough County: 1 female 70s
-Will County: 1 male 60s
-Winnebago County: 1 female 70s