COVID-19 picture continues to improve amid widespread reopening
The graph shows the seven-day weekly average, from Monday to Sunday since the state first began reporting the numbers, of hospital bed usage by COVID-19 patients. The graphs will be updated by Capitol News Illinois every Monday. (Credit: Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois)
Seven regions in Phase 4 with another on pace to join them Tuesday
By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – COVID-19 hospitalizations and positivity rates continued on a steady decline in Illinois Monday as the state reported just 16 virus-related deaths over the previous 24 hours.
Daily death counts fluctuate significantly and are generally lower on Mondays than the rest of the week, but the 16 deaths – recorded in people from their 40s to their 90s – marked the lowest one-day total since Nov. 9. It followed death counts of 40 and 65 the previous two days.
The state’s rolling seven-day average case positivity rate also dipped below 4 percent over the weekend for the first time since Oct. 9, sitting at 3.9 percent as of Monday. It has been declining steadily since hitting 8.6 percent on Jan. 4.
That came as the state reported 2,312 new cases out of 61,263 test results reported over the previous 24 hours, making for a one-day positivity rate of 3.8 percent. The statewide virus death toll since the pandemic began rose to 19,259 out of more than 1.1 million cases and 16.1 million test results reported.
Over the previous seven days, the state vaccinated 43,478 individuals on average, with at 36,851 vaccinations administered Saturday and 14,422 administered on Sunday. The state, in a news release, cited winter weather which deposited heavy snowfalls in several areas of the state as a factor in slowing down Sunday vaccinations.
To date, 996,410 of 1.8 million doses received have been administered in Illinois. Of the received doses, 496,100 have gone to the state through the Pharmacy Partnership program for long-term care residents to be administered through nationwide pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens. Of those, 156,872, or nearly 32 percent, have been administered.
Of the more than 1.3 million doses administered to the state outside of that program, 839,538, or nearly 63 percent, have been administered.
As of Monday, seven of the state’s 11 COVID-19 mitigation regions – Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 11 – had moved into Phase 4 restrictions, meaning indoor dining and competitive high school sports are allowed in those regions. Region 10, which includes suburban Cook County, is expected to join them Tuesday if all trends continue in the region, according to the state.
Regions 8 and 9, which include Kane and DuPage counties and Lake and McHenry counties respectively, remained in Tier 1 restrictions as of Monday, meaning indoor dining was allowed in a limited capacity. Both saw their first day of positivity rates at 6.5 percent or below – a metric that would allow them to move to phase four in two more days if they meet the three consecutive day threshold.
Region 4 in the Metro East area on the St. Louis border remained in Tier 2, which does not allow for indoor dining or drinking, because it did not have more than 20 percent of hospital beds available.
As of Sunday night, there were 2,387 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois, a decrease of 80 from the day before. From Monday, Jan. 25 to Sunday, there were 2,703 people hospitalized on average, a decrease of 462, or 14.6 percent, from the week prior. That means hospital bed usage for COVID-19 has decreased by more than 50 percent from the week ending Dec. 4.
There were 515 patients in intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 as of Sunday night and 553 in use on average from Monday to Sunday last week. That marked a decrease of 107, or 16.2 percent, from the seven-day period prior.
Ventilator use declined as well, with 278 in use as of Sunday night and 294 used on average each day from Monday to Sunday. That marked a decrease of 54, or 15.6 percent, from the week prior.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.