Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 670 cases, 4 deaths

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Debate over face masks in classrooms
Following CDC guildance, Illinois is allowing teachers and students to go mask-free in schools. But guidance from the American Academy of Pediatricians says otherwise.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 670 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and four related deaths Monday.

There have been 1,402,763 total COVID cases, including 23,377 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from July 12-19 is at 2.8%.

As positivity rates rise across the nation, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidance recommending every student over the age of 2 wear face masks in school for in person learning. Earlier this summer, the CDC said fully vaccinated teachers and students would not need to mask.

"They are recommending it for everyone because it's going to be hard to make sure everyone has gotten the vaccine that is eligible," said Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent of Lurie Children's Hospital.

Several school districts in Illinois have decided to make masking optional, even though the vaccine is not yet available for children under 12.

Vaccine trials for children are ongoing, and doctors hope vaccines will be available for children ages 6 to 12 by late fall and for children under 6 by winter.

Chicago COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by zip code

As the more contagious delta COVID variant surges nationwide, Los Angeles County has reinstated its indoor mask mandate. Illinois and Chicago health officials have not yet made plans to mandate masks, at least not yet, as cases here remain relatively low.

"I'm not worried about having to do major sort of shutdowns and lockdowns, because we have an effective vaccine, but I'm worried about the individuals who choose not to take advantage of that," said CPDH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.

Just over 51% of all Chicago residents are fully vaccinated; the state of Illinois is slightly below that. Nationwide, only 48.6% of the population is fully vaccinated.

"If we don't get a significant proportion of these recalcitrant people vaccinated, you're going to see a smoldering outbreak in our country for a considerable period of time," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Chicago Public Schools has given parents until July 26 to get their kids aged 12 and older their shots in order to be fully vaccinated by the first day of school.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 21,596 specimens for a total of 26,386,287 since the pandemic began.

As of Sunday night, 537 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 107 patients were in the ICU and 38 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

Illinois COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by county

A total of 12,969,499 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Sunday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 20,628. There were 12,033 vaccines administered in Illinois Sunday.