Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 8,009 cases, 133 coronavirus deaths

New COVID-19 variant may already be circulating in Illinois, Dr. Arwady says
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 8,009 COVID-19 cases and 133 related deaths Thursday.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 963,389, with a total of 16,490 deaths.

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During his COVID-19 update, Governor JB Pritzker said Illinois is leading the country in number of vaccine doses given.



Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 99,426 specimens for a total 13,277,443.

As of Wednesday night, 4,093 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 837 patients were in the ICU and 496 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

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The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 24 - 30 is 9%.

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.

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Dr. Robert Citronberg of Advocate Aurora Health answers COVID-19 questions.



State-run COVID-19 testing sites are closed Friday for the New Year's holiday.

Chicago's public health director said it's possible that variant of the virus is already in Illinois and just hasn't been found, the clearest warning yet about the likelihood of infections here.

California becoming the second state to identify a case of the new coronavirus variant that has been spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom.

"I'm not surprised that you have a case, and likely more cases, in California," Dr. Anthony Fauci said. "And we likely will be seeing reports from other states."

So far, there's no sign the variant is any more lethal, but it may be more contagious.

"Because it is more contagious, more people will get infected, more people will get sick, and more people will die just on the basis of the sheer numbers," said Dr. Robert Citronberg, infectious disease medical director at Advocate Aurora Health.

The timing is worrisome as millions traveled for the holidays. So far, the variant has not been found in Illinois, but that doesn't mean it's not here.

"I think it's possible it's here in Illinois. I don't think it's here in Illinois in large numbers. But regardless, it doesn't change any of the guidance or what we need to do," Dr. Arwady said.

That means continued mask wearing, distancing, and hand washing until enough people are vaccinated.

"If we pull together as a nation, we're going to be looking at this thing in the rearview mirror," Dr. Fauci said.

Officials said those three cases in Colorado and California involve people who did not travel internationally, suggesting the variant has been in the U.S. for some time.

"The potential for disastrous complications from this pandemic in the next couple months are very real," Dr. Citronberg warned.

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



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The deaths reported Thursday include:

-Adams County: 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Boone County: 1 male 40s
-Champaign County: 1 male 70s
-Christian County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
-Clay County: 1 female 100+
-Cook County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 40s, 2 males 50s, 2 females 60s, 5 males 60s, 5 females 70s, 6 males 70s, 5 females 80s, 3 males 80s, 1 female 90s, 2 males 90s, 1 female 100+
-Crawford County: 1 male 80s
- Cumberland County: 1 female 90s
-DeKalb County: 1 female 90s, 3 males 90s
-DuPage County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 female 90s, 1 male 90s
-Edgard County: 1 male 80s
- Effingham County: 1 male 50s
-Fulton County: 1 female 80s
-Grundy County: 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s
-Henderson County: 1 female 80s
-Iroquois County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
-Jefferson County: 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
-Jersey County: 1 male 80s
-Kane County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Kankakee County: 1 female 20s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s

-Knox County: 2 males 60s, 2 females 80s, 1 female 90s
-Lake County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
- Logan County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s
-Macon County: 1 female 80s
-Madison County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Mason County: 1 male 80s
-McLean County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
-Mercer County: 1 female 70s
-Montgomery County: 1 male 70s
-Pike County: 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Randolph County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
-Richland County: 1 female 90s, 2 males 90s
-Rock Island County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 2 females 90
-Sangamon County: 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Shelby County: 1 female 90s
- St. Clair County: 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 females 80s
-Tazewell County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Vermilion County: 2 females 90s
-White County: 1 male 80s
-Whiteside County: 1 male 80s
-Will County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 3 females 80s
-Winnebago County: 1 female 70s, 2 females 80s
-Woodford County: 1 male 70s
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