State COVID-19 rolling positivity rate falls below 8 percent
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)
House judiciary committee to hear from Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs
By GRACE BARBIC
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois reported another 4,711 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 81 additional virus-related deaths Sunday as the rolling seven-day average positivity rate fell below 8 percent.
The state is now reporting a total 1,028,750 cases, including 17,574 total deaths across the state’s 102 counties.
There were 77,775 test results reported in the previous 24 hours with more than 14 million results reported since the pandemic began.
As of Saturday night, 3,527 hospital beds were in use by COVID-19 patients, a decrease of 62 from the day prior, and 740 were in intensive care unit beds, a decrease of 2 from the day prior. There were 391 COVID-19 patients reported on ventilators, a decrease of 2 from the day prior.
The statewide seven-day rolling case positivity rate is 7.9 percent, dropping from the previous day’s mark of 8.3 percent. Sunday’s one-day rate was 6.1 percent.
On Nov. 1, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs officials reported a deadly outbreak of COVID-19 in its LaSalle Veterans’ Home that has since claimed 36 resident lives, more than a quarter of its total residents.
The House Civil Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Andre Thapedi, D-Chicago, will hear from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs on Monday morning.
There have been a number of other investigations into this outbreak, including an independent investigation conducted by acting inspector general of the Illinois Department of Human Services and several legislative committee inquiries.
An initial site visit was conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in November during which officials noted wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers contained non-alcohol-based products, staff was reported not following proper personal protective equipment protocol and not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
The Illinois Department of Public Health visited the LaSalle Veterans’ Home in mid-December to review the preventative practices in place, and the LaSalle home was found to be compliant with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
But lawmakers still have concerns about how the outbreak occurred in the first place, which has led to the various committee hearings and investigations
There have been a total of 108 COVID-19 cases reported among residents at the home, with 71 recovered and 36 having died. The outbreak appears to have been contained with no new cases reported in IDVA’s two January updates regarding the outbreaks.
One additional COVID-19 case among employees was reported Friday, for a total of 107 cases among employees. No employees have died due to COVID-19.
Since mid-December, National Guard members have been assisting staff members with COVID-19 administrative tasks at the LaSalle, Quincy and Manteno veterans homes.
At the Manteno home, 19 residents have died from COVID-19. There have been 69 cases of the disease in the home’s residents with 50 recovered and no new cases reported in the most recent update from IDVA on Jan. 6. Four additional cases among Manteno employees were reported on Jan. 6, however.
The IDVA’s Jan. 8 report on the Quincy Veterans Home included five additional resident deaths, bringing the COVID-19 death toll at the facility to 17 since the pandemic began.
There were no new cases reported in Friday’s report, while 134 positive cases have been reported among residents since the start of the pandemic.
Among the employees at Quincy, two additional cases have been reported for a total of 162 COVID-19 cases among employees, and 146 of the employees have recovered.
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.