CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 1,669 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and five related deaths Tuesday as the CDC reversed course on its masking guidelines.
There have been 1,413,490 total COVID cases, including 23,414 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from July 20-27 is at 4.2%. The rate is the highest it has been since April 23.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 31,019 specimens for a total of 26,678,361 since the pandemic began.
CDC reverses course on indoor masking guidelines
Just as vaccinated Americans got accustomed to shedding their masks indoors, the Centers for Disease Control is reversing course due to the contagious delta variant.
"In areas with substantial and high transmission, the CDC recommends fully vaccinated people to wear masks in public and indoor settings," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
The CDC's about-face follows new, worrisome science discovered from recent outbreak investigations.
"Information on the delta variants from several states and other countries indicate that in rare occasion, some vaccinated people infected with the variant may be contagious and spread the virus to others," Walensky said.
The new science is prompting the CDC to also recommend fully vaccinated students and staff wear masks in schools. The new guidance comes as many Illinois school districts have already decided to make masks optional for everyone.
Governor JB Pritzker's office said Illinois will fully align with the new CDC masking recommendations.
Pritzker said he has not changed his plans to attend Lollapalooza. However, he said he may wear a mask.
"I think masks have proved to be a very effective tool especially when worn indoors," said Dr. Paul Casey, chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center.
The new CDC guidance mainly focuses on indoor masking where cases are surging. The recommendations come less than three months after the CDC surprised many by lifting indoor mask requirements for fully vaccinated people. At the time, cases were low and the delta variant had yet to take hold in the United States.
As of Monday night, 801 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 169 patients were in the ICU and 62 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
A total of 13,112,424 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Monday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 17,776. On Monday, 13,852 vaccines were administered.
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