Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 6,664 new cases, 28 deaths

1st case of omicron variant BA.2 confirmed in Illinois, Northwestern Medicine says
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 6,664 new COVID cases and 28 related deaths Monday as the first omicron subvariant was detected in the state.

There have been 2,920,971 total COVID cases, including 30,913 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

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Dr. Juanita Mora, an allergy and immunology specialist, discusses how concerned we should be about the new omicron subvariant.

The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 9.1%, down from 12% on Friday. It's the first time a figure below 10% has been reported since Dec. 23rd, when it was 8.6%.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 105,727 new specimens for a total of 51,240,460 since the pandemic began.

As of Sunday night, 3,870 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 684 patients were in the ICU and 406 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

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A total of 23,189,669 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Sunday and 62.18% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 34,851.

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Northwestern Medicine confirmed the first omicron BA.2 subvariant case has been detected in Illinois Monday. It was detected over the weekend in an individual who was tested for COVID-19 on Jan. 18, according to the Center for Pathogen Genomics and Microbial Evolution.

While the subvariants arrival in Illinois is no surprise, Northwestern scientists said it could extend the current COVID-19 wave.

"If BA.2 follows the same pattern in the U.S. as observed in countries like the United Kingdom, Denmark or India, we could observe a slowing of the current decline in new cases," said Ramon Lorenzo-Redondo, the bioinformatics director at CPGME, which is part of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "In this case, the number of new cases could stabilize for a while before starting to decrease again. It is still too soon to know because there are still very few BA.2 cases in the U.S."

According to Northwestern scientists, full vaccination and a booster are similarly effective in preventing symptomatic cases of both forms of the omicron variant. However, vaccination without the booster is not as effective against either version.
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