Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 9,420 cases, 190 coronavirus deaths; death toll surpasses 14,000

Saturday, December 12, 2020
Hospitals prepare for vaccine amid Illinois' deadliest days
Chicago area hospitals are preparing to vaccinate their employees. As the first to be immunized, many in healthcare hope to set an example.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 9,420 COVID-19 cases and 190 related deaths Friday.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 832,951, with a total of 14,050 deaths.

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker's COVID-19 update on Friday

Gov. JB Pritzker expressed his frustration with the high number of COVID-19 deaths during his daily briefing Friday.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 104,448 specimens. In total there have been 11,586,296 specimens tested since the start of the pandemic in Illinois.

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

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 4-10 is 11.1%.

WATCH: Chicago COVID-19 vaccine participant shares experiences, encourages people to get vaccinated

Bonnie, who has severe asthma, described her participation in COVID-19 vaccine trials and said why she believes the vaccine is safe, effective and should be gotten by everyone.

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.

As of Thursday night, 5,141 people in Illinois were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 1,081 patients were in the ICU with COVID-19 and 635 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

RELATED: Rush Hospital shows how they're preparing for COVID-19 vaccine

Within 24 hours of the vaccine's arrival, the goal is to begin the process of inoculating Rush University Medical Center's 12,000 employees.

Rush University Medical Center showed how they're getting ready to vaccinate their staff once the Pfizer vaccine gets emergency use authorization.

"As a medical community we are so excited. This is a game changer," said Jennifer Orozco, director of advanced practice providers at Rush University Medical Center.

A wall of booths are now set up in an atrium area for vaccinating staff as soon as the vaccine gets delivered. Front line workers dealing directly with COVID-19 patients will be the first to get the vaccine as soon as Monday or Tuesday of next week.

"Several hundred people a day, it doesn't take long to vaccinate someone just a couple of minutes," Orozco said. "I think the challenge is actually not how many it's how can we maintain our social distance and be very safe and have everybody down here in this space at one time."

It's also becoming clear how many vaccine doses are going to different counties in the Chicago area. See how many doses your county will receive in our Chicagoland COVID-19 vaccine guide.

"Federal officials have told us that these first doses will be shipped out to states within 24 hours of approval and Illinois is prepared to quickly get this vaccine to our frontline health care workforce," Gov. Pritzker said.

With that approval for Pfizer's vaccine imminent, vaccinations could begin Monday or Tuesday. Orozco said it will be a game changer for health care workers to get inoculated. The last nine months have taken a toll.

"We're so tired of what's going on," Orozco said. "I think we feel very frustrated that we went through that first wave, we had a little bit of downtime, and now here we are again. We haven't had any room to breathe."

Gov. JB Pritzker said the high number of COVID-19 deaths is weighing on him, too.

"I don't know what to say, except extraordinarily frustrating," he said.

Dr. Ezike said Friday that for the sake of the health care system, people should not travel for the holidays, but if they do, they should get tested before and after their trip.

"But please understand that, having those tests, does not really give you a free pass and insure there could be no transmission of infection," Dr. Ezike said.

Because the vaccine will not be available to the general public for several months, the governor is urging people to act as though there is no vaccine, and continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Governor Pritzker also took time Friday to recognize four heath care workers for their tremendous efforts throughout this pandemic. Jennifer Orozco was one of them.

"The last nine months of my life have been very, very tough, both emotionally and physically and mentally and so I think it really is nice to be appreciated," she said.

WATCH: Chicago area preparing for vaccine distribution

The Chicago area is preparing for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

While hospitalizations continue to decline, albeit slightly, there is still concern about a holiday surge. Ten days into the month of December, Illinois is on track for its deadliest month in the pandemic.

"We are not out of the Thanksgiving surge period yet," Gov. Pritzker said. "We unfortunately still have hundreds more Illinoisans in the hospital fighting COVID-19 than we did at our spring peak."

RELATED: Des Plaines Our Lady of Guadalupe image removed from shrine over crowd concerns amid COVID-19 pandemic

The 196 COVID-19 deaths reported in Illinois Thursday were the third highest yet, bringing the total in the last seven days to 1,031. That's a 19% increase from the week prior, when there were 866 deaths.

With the FDA's approval of the Pfizer vaccine expected very soon, the state said it will be preparing mass vaccination drives in the months ahead when it will be available to the general public.

The state's public health director said she will get vaccinated when it's her turn, but she understands buy-in by some people will take time.

"But I think over time, more and more people will say, 'Oh, I think I want it now,'" Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. "I think there's some people who may not want to be the first, but I think with time, you'll have more and more uptake. And so we have to have people get to it in their time."

Dr. Ezike said as the state gets more and more information about the vaccine, it will be shared so residents can make an informed decision. She also urged anyone planning holiday parties to plan an end-of-pandemic party instead.

RELATED: Coronavirus Illinois: COVID vaccine distribution by county, region

Illinois State University is telling students and faculty spring break next year will be canceled out of concern that letting them leave and then return will increase the spread of COVID-19.

This week, ISU President Larry Deitz notified students and faculty that instead of a four-day spring break, the school will give the students personal days March 9 and March 10 and then two reading days on April 29 and April 30.

The school says that residence halls, dining centers, fitness center and other facilities will remain open on those days. The school says the spring semester will begin Jan. 11.

The deaths reported Friday include:

- Adams County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s

- Boone County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

- Carroll County: 1 female 70s

- Cass County: 1 male 70s

- Champaign County: 1 female 60s

- Christian County: 1 male 80s

- Clark County: 1 female 90s

- Clay County: 1 male 60s

- Clinton County: 1 female 90s

- Cook County: 1 male 20s, 1 female 30s, 1 male 30s, 2 male 40s, 2 females 50s, 6 males 50s, 5 females 60s, 9 males 60s, 6 females 70s, 11 males 70s, 7 females 80s, 8 males 80s, 5 females 90s, 6 males 90s, 1 male 100+

- DeKalb County: 1 female 80s

- DuPage County: 3 females 80s, 5 females 90s, 3 males 90s, 2 females 100+

- Effingham County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s

- Gallatin County: 1 male 80s

- Grundy County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s

- Hamilton County: 1 female 70s

- Henry County: 1 female 90s

- Iroquois County: 2 females 80s

- Jefferson County: 1 male 70s

- Kane County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 males 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s

- Kendall County: 2 males 70s

- Lake County: 1 male 50s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s

- LaSalle County: 1 female 80s

- Lawrence County: 1 male 50s

- Lee County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 90s

- Livingston County: 1 male 80s

- Macon Cunty: 1 male 80s

- Macoupin County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s

- Madison County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 2 males 90s

- Marion County: 1 female 60s

- Massac County: 1 female 60s

- McHenry County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s

- McLean County: 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s, 1 female 100+

- Menard County: 1 female 70s

- Mercer County: 1 male 90s

- Monroe County: 1 male 80s

- Morgan County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 90s

- Ogle County: 1 female 80s

- Peoria County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s

- Rock Island County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s

- Sangamon County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s

- Shelby County: 1 male 70s

- St. Clair County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 males 80s

- Tazewell County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s

- Vermilion County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

- Washington County: 1 male 70s

- Whiteside County: 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s

- Will County: 4 males 60s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s

- Williamson County: 1 female 90s

- Winnebago County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s

- Woodford County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s

The Associated Press contributed to this report.