Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 7,123 cases, 146 coronavirus deaths; next vaccine shipment cut in half, Pritzker says

Fewer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines shipping than originally anticipated in upcoming weeks, Gov. Pritzker says
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 7,123 COVID-19 cases and 146 related deaths Wednesday as Gov. JB Pritzker said the federal government slashed the vaccine allotment being sent out next week.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 870,600, with a total of 14,655 deaths.

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker discusses vaccine shipments on Dec. 16, 2020
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During his COVID-19 update, Governor JB Pritzker said federal officials have told him that the number of COVID-19 vaccines being shipped in upcoming weeks is less than anticipated.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 93,278 specimens. In total there have been 12,055,288 specimens tested since the start of the pandemic in Illinois.

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Dr. Darien Sutton discusses the FDA review for the Moderna vaccine, which could become the second to fight the coronavirus.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 9-15 is 10.3%.

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 Tuesday night, 4,793 people in Illinois were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 1,045 patients were in the ICU with COVID-19 and 590 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

RAW VIDEO: First COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Illinois
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Gov. JB Pritzker's office provided this video of the first COVID-19 vaccines as they arrived in Illinois on December 14, 2020.

While the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Illinois earlier this week, many hospitals are still waiting for their shipments.

On Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker denied there have been delays. He said because the vaccine requires extreme cold temperatures, there are several steps involved before the vaccine gets to the hospitals

"The repackaging had to occur at our Strategic National stockpile with the refrigeration units that we had to acquire for the entire state, then of course, according to the schedule delivered to the regional hospitals are awaiting pick up from local health departments," Gov. Pritzker said.

"What we're calling bureaucracy, a lot of it is logistics for a very difficult product that no one has ever dealt with in this kind of, in the vaccine world," Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

CHICAGOLAND VACCINE GUIDE: See COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans for your area

Pritzker said it is the decision of the federal government not to deliver directly to the state's 96 public health departments.

While other states began the vaccination process on Monday, the governor admits Illinois has a different system: Pfizer is shipping directly to big cities, including Chicago.

While a handful of workers were vaccinated at Loretto Hospital on Chicago's West Side Tuesday, other hospitals are still waiting.

"Loretto wasn't able to get it before any other hospital," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "We just wanted to make a point about the importance of the vaccine, particularly in communities of color."

Lightfoot said she does not have an exact number of how many of Chicago's 34 hospitals have received the vaccine yet.

And while it's been a slow process this week, officials said Pfizer's next two weekly shipments to Illinois and the rest of the nation are being cut by the federal government by about half.

"Would I like everybody to be vaccinated today or this week? I would," Gov. Pritzker said. "I would like it if that could happen. But I think we need to recognize this is a complex process."

It's unclear what that change means for the first round of vaccinations at long term care facilities. Right now, the plan is to ship the vaccine next week to CVS and Walgreens, whose teams will then go into those facilities the following week to administer the vaccine

However, the FDA is expected to give emergency use authorization to the Moderna vaccine. If that happens, those shipments are expected to go out next week.

The deaths reported Wednesday include:
- Adams County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- Christian County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 80s
- Clay County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 100+
- Cook County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 40s, 3 males 50s, 3 females 60s, 3 males 60s, 9 females 70s, 3 males 70s, 8 females 80s, 3 males 80s, 1 female 90s, 2 males 90s, 1 female 100+
- DeKalb County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- DuPage County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- Effingham County: 1 male 90s
- Fayette County: 1 female 80s
- Fulton County: 1 female 90s

- Grundy County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
- Iroquois County: 1 female 90s
- Jackson County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
- Jefferson County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
- Jersey County: 1 female 80s
- Kane County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
- Kankakee County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
- Knox County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 60s
- Lake County: 1 male 60s
- LaSalle County: 1 female 80s
- Livingston County: 1 female 90s
- Macon County: 1 male 70s
- Macoupin County: 1 female 90s
- Madison County: 1 female 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s
- Marion County: 2 males 70s
- Massac County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- McDonough County: 1 female 70s
- McHenry County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 90s
- McLean County: 1male 70s
- Menard County: 1 male 90s

- Mercer County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
- Monroe County: 1 male 70s
- Montgomery County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s
- Ogle County: 1 male 80s
- Peoria County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s
- Perry County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- Piatt County: 1 female 70s
- Randolph County: 1 male 90s
- Richland County: 1 female 50s, 1 male 80s
- Rock Island County: 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s
- Sangamon County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 2 males 90s
- St. Clair County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s
- Stark County: 1 female 80s
- Stephenson County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 90s
- Tazewell County: 1 female 80s
- Vermilion County: 1 female 80s
- Washington County: 2 females 90s
- Will County: 1 female 50s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
- Williamson County: 1 male 70s
- Winnebago County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 2 males 80s
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