COVID-19 positivity rate, hospitalizations continue to decline as deaths top 20,000
The graph shows the rolling, 7-day positivity rate for tests completed starting on June 1. Illinois Department of Public Health data was used to calculate the averages. (Credit: Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois)
Second doses will use greater portion of vaccine supply starting this week
By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – The state’s COVID-19 case positivity rate is below 3 percent for the first time since July and hospitalizations for the disease continued on a steady decline Monday as confirmed deaths topped 20,000 since the pandemic began.
As of Sunday night, there were 1,789 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois, including 389 in intensive care unit beds and 184 on ventilators. Those numbers were all major decreases from second-wave peaks seen at the end of November.
On a seven-day rolling average from Monday to Sunday, there were 1,932 hospital beds used on average last week, a decrease of 382, or 16.5 percent, from the week prior. Over the same period, there were 433 ICU beds used on average daily, a decrease of 69, or 13.8 percent, from the week prior. Ventilator usage decrease by 44, or 17.3 percent, to 212 in use on average over the same period.
The 41 virus-related deaths reported over the previous 24 hours drove the death toll to 20,002 as the state reported 1,420 new cases amid 52,389 tests conducted. The state has reported more than 17 million test results and 1.1 million confirmed or probable cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
The vaccination effort continues as well, with more than 1.8 million doses administered out of more than 2.4 million doses received from the federal government, which means 74 percent of doses received by the state or providers have been administered.
Approximately 56 percent, or 248,925, of the 445,200 distributed to Walgreens and CVS pharmacies as part of the federal Pharmacy Partnership program for long-term care residents have been distributed.
While 11 percent of the state’s population has received a first dose of the vaccine, moving Illinois into 24th on the New York Times’ per-capita vaccine distribution database, the state announced Monday that second doses will become a larger share of those distributed in the coming days.
Thus far, just 3.3 percent of the state’s residents have received both doses, a requirement for both the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines to be effective. The second vaccine dose is scheduled three to four weeks after the first, depending on which vaccine is received.
“Beginning the week of February 15, local health departments and other COVID-19 vaccine providers will begin to receive a larger share of second doses to accommodate a greater number of second doses coming due,” according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Public Health. “With federal shipments of the vaccine to Illinois remaining limited, this will mean providers will receive a smaller share of first doses. Based on federal projections of vaccine shipments, (IDPH) anticipates these allocations will hold steady for the next several weeks, before allocations of first doses can once again increase in March.”
Information on COVID-19 vaccines and how to make an appointment is available at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
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.