Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 8,665 new cases, 123 deaths

1st case of omicron variant BA.2 confirmed in Illinois, Northwestern Medicine says
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 8,665 new COVID cases and 123 related deaths Tuesday, a day after the first omicron subvariant was detected in the state.

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There have been 2,929,636 total COVID cases, including 31,036 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 8.5%, down from 9.1% on Monday.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 117,671 new specimens for a total of 51,358,131 since the pandemic began.

As of Monday night, 3,805 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19, marking the 19th day in a row where hospitalization numbers have dropped. Of those, 669 patients were in the ICU and 402 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

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A total of 20,548,687 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Sunday and 62.24% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 34,707.

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

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"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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