Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 248 cases, 18 deaths; United Center vaccine site closing

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Thursday, June 24, 2021
United Center vaccine site closing after Thursday
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It's the final day for the United Center mass vaccination site.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 248 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 18 related deaths Thursday as the United Center mass COVID vaccination site closes.

There have been 1,390,140 total COVID cases, including 23,191 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 47,743 specimens for a total of 25,583,377 since the pandemic began.

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The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from June 18 to June 24, is 0.8%.

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As of Wednesday night, 442 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those,107 patients were in the ICU and 50 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

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A total of 12,319,794 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Wednsday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 30,205. There were 31,552 vaccines administered in Illinois Wednesday.

WATCH: CDPH official on UC COVID vaccine site closing

The United Center mass COVID vaccination site is closing Thursday, after administering 300,000 lifesaving shots.

The United Center site opened in March, and the need for vaccination continues.

"It's the end of an era," said Christopher Shields with the Chicago Department of Public Health. "You know we bled sweat tears into building up the site."

City health officials marked a historic effort to save hundreds of thousands of lives with every shot given here 302,000 so far with the vast majority administered through walk-ups. Technology gained through the H1N1 pandemic is now helping to move vaccines to precise locations.

As we move into the future the area home program the block by block program, still using that same technology to make sure that vaccine is readily available at your house," Shields said.

The city is now fully focused on targeted vaccine pop ups and mobile vax event after its agreement with the United Center expires July 1. That includes opening a Pfizer vaccination site at Malcom X College in just four days to finish second shot doses.

"Are we finished? No we're not finished, but as our focus changes from macro to micro, now we're going to the communities where you know what? I wanted to be vaccinated but I just couldn't get to your point of dispensing site," Shields said.

Alicia Jefferson got her second COVID shot. She said that targeted plan is the right way to go.

"That's a great strategy," Jefferson said. "It's more convenient for everyone."

The need for more shots into arms is real as the CDC says it's more concerned about the delta variant of COVID 19.

There are 84 Delta variant cases in Illinois, according to state health officials and most of them, 70 cases, are in Chicago.