Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL surpasses 1M total coronavirus cases with 8,757 new cases, 177 deaths

New rapid COVID-19 testing facility opening in Wrigleyville
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois surpassed Thursday one million total COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Health officials reported 8,757 and 177 deaths Thursday. The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 1,008,045, with a total of 17,272 deaths, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It took 349 days for the state to go from one confirmed case to 1 million. Now nearly one in 12 people in the state has tested positive for COVID-19.

Barbara Sapstein was diagnosed with COVID-19 last March. She spent six weeks in a coma at Northwestern Medical Center, and nearly two of those weeks on a ventilator.

"Probably somewhere around 20 to 25 people that I personally know have had COVID," she said. "I don't know how you can be anything without sad.

Even with the vaccine's arrival, the state remains in a tenuous place.

"In a pandemic that has contained far too many tragic milestones, today's marking of one million cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Illinois deserves particular recognition," said Governor JB Pritzker. "As this disease continues to wreak havoc on our nation - with the United States setting another record for the most COVID-19 deaths in a day just yesterday - it is critical that we take extra caution today and in the months ahead to reduce the spread, bring down hospitalization rates, and save lives. Now that vaccine distribution has begun, we can see the light at the end of this difficult time - let's do everything we can to ensure all of our neighbors are able to be there as we cross that finish line, healthy as well. With that goal in mind, I encourage all Illinoisans to choose to receive the protections of the COVID-19 vaccine when it's your turn in line."

"As the vaccine rolls out, our hope, and goal, is that the number of new cases we see each day will decrease," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "Reporting more than one million COVID-19 cases in Illinois seemed like an unlikely number at the beginning of the pandemic, and we've now all seen how devastating this disease can be. I urge everyone to continue to wear their mask, avoid social gatherings, and get vaccinated when it's your turn."

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 105,518 specimens for a total 13,803,946.

As of Wednesday night, 3,921 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 783 patients were in the ICU and 450 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

RELATED: Illinois coronavirus testing: Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Illinois, Chicago area

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 31 - Jan. 6 is 9.8%.

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The test positivity rate is a metric the state began providing in late October. It is calculated by using the total number of positive tests over the total number of tests. This is the metric being used to by state health officials to make decisions about mitigations.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gave an update on the COVID-19 vaccine policy Wednesday.

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Governor JB Pritzker announces that Illinois is lowering tha age to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1B of the state's distribution plan.



The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 999,288, with a total of 17,096 deaths, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the CDC has recommended that people 75 and older be vaccinated next, Illinois is expanding that group to people 65 and older.

"While the highest count of COVID-19 deaths is among those 75 and older, the majority of our Black and brown populations are dying well before that," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.

Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you

At his press conference on Wednesday, Governor Pritzker provided updated guidelines of Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination plan. Anyone over the age of 65, as well as frontline essential workers, will be able to get the vaccine in that phase. Those frontline essential workers include: first responders, teachers and those who work in childcare, grocery store workers, public transit employees and more.

"ACIP's guidance serves as the foundational blueprint for Illinois' Phase 1B plan, with one key adjustment: here in Illinois we are more strongly pursuing equity in the distribution of our vaccinations," said Governor JB Pritzker. "For people of color, multi-generational institutional racism in the provision of healthcare has reduced access to care, caused higher rates of environmental and social risk, and increased co-morbidities. I believe our exit plan for this pandemic must, on balance, overcome structural inequalities that has allowed COVID-19 to rage through our most vulnerable communities."

There are approximately 3.2 million people in Illinois that can get a vaccine during Phase 1B.

"With limited amounts of vaccine available at this time, it is important to prioritize individuals who are at greatest risk of exposure to COVID-19 and those at greatest risk of severe illness or death," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "Generally, Latinx and Black populations have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with data showing related deaths at younger ages. We are hopeful that by lowering the eligibility age to 65 years we can help reduce this disparity."

Officials say the vaccine rollout has been sluggish because of the amount of supply coming from the federal government, as well as some vaccine hesitancy - even among healthcare workers - but they expect things to accelerate in the next few weeks.

With vaccinations in their fourth week at long term care facilities and hospitals, officials say one-third of Illinois' healthcare workers outside of Chicago have received at least one dose in a slower-than-expected rollout.

"The good news is that the incoming Biden administration has pledged to invoke the Defense Production Act, so that we expect the vaccine production will grow significantly in the coming month," Gov. JB Pritzker said.

To administer shots to the more than 3 million Illinoisans in that next phase, officials plan to rely on the National Guard, which was instrumental in staffing large testing sites.

"They'll be assisting others and doing it themselves, depending on their expertise, of course, and using arenas as you're describing all across the state," Gov. JB Pritzker said.

With infection rates generally trending in the right direction, Gov. Pritzker said on January 15 - after the impact of holiday travel is known - regions that meet the metrics can exit Tier 3 mitigation.

That would not necessarily allow indoor dining to resume, but would reopen some businesses.

Right now, Will and Kankakee Counties, as well as suburban Cook, and the city of Chicago are among the regions that meet the criteria to exit Tier 3 mitigation.

"My prayer for the new year is that everyone stays healthy and all of our regions continue to move in the right direction and I ask this from all Illinoisans to join me in making that possible by wearing a mask," he said.

Thursday morning, a new COVID-9 rapid testing facility will be opening in Wrigleyville. The drive-through testing site will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3650 N Clark St.

WATCH: Vaccines' impact may not be felt until spring, medical experts say
EMBED More News Videos

The impact of vaccinations may not have a positive impact on the daily COVID-19 numbers until spring, Dr. Jen Ashton says.



The test positivity rate is a metric the state began providing in late October. It is calculated by using the total number of positive tests over the total number of tests. This is the metric being used to by state health officials to make decisions about mitigations.

See where COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered




The deaths reported Thursday include:

- Adams County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
- Bureau County: 1 male 60s
- Christian County: 2 males 70s, 1 male 80s
- Clay County: 1 female 60s
- Coles County: 1 male 80s
- Cook County: 2 males 40s, 3 males 50s, 1 female 60s, 6 males 60s, 8 females 70s, 8 males 70s, 7 females 80s, 9 males 80s, 4 females 90s, 2 males 90s, 1 female 100+
- Douglas County: 1 male 80s
- DuPage County: 1 male 40s, 1 male 70s, 3 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s, 1 male 100+
- Edgar County: 1 female 80s
- Fayette County: 1 male 80s
- Fulton County: 1 male 30s
- Grundy County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- Hancock County: 1 male 50s
- Hardin County: 1 male 60s
- Henry County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
- Iroquois County: 1 female 80s
- Jackson County: 1 female 70s, 2 females 90s
- Jefferson County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
- Jersey County: 1 male 80s

- Kane County: 1 male 60s, 3 females 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- Kankakee County: 1 male 90s
- Knox County: 1 female 90s
- Lake County: 1 male 40s, 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- Lee County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- Livingston County: 1 female 70s
- Macon County: 1 male 90s
- Macoupin County: 1 male 70s
- Madison County: 1 male 50s, 2 males 60s, 1 female 80s
- Marion County: 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- Marshall County: 1 male 70s
- McHenry County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 female 100+
- McLean County: 1 female 80s
- Montgomery County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s
- Peoria County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
- Piatt County: 1 female 60s
- Randolph County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
- Rock Island County: 1 female 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 90s, 2 males 90s
- Sangamon County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
- St. Clair County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 1 male 90s
- Tazewell County: 1 female 70s, 3 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
- Vermilion County: 1 male 80s
- Whiteside County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- Will County: 1 male 40s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 female 80s, 1 female 90s
- Williamson County: 1 female 80s
- Winnebago County: 2 female 70s 1 male 70s
- Woodford County:1 male 80s
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