Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 8,256 cases, 179 coronavirus deaths

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 8,256 COVID-19 cases and 179 related deaths Wednesday.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 812,430, with a total of 13,666 deaths.

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker gives COVID-19 update Wednesday


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Dr. Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, spoke about Illinois' COVID-19 testing strategy during Gov. Pritzker's briefing on Dec. 9, 2020.



Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 92,737 specimens. In total there have been 11,367,345 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. 2 - Dec. 8 is 11.4%.

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, 5,284 people in Illinois were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 1,176 patients were in the ICU with COVID-19 and 647 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United Kingdom Tuesday, with a 91-year-old woman in central England receiving the first shot Tuesday morning. In the U.S., we're still waiting on FDA approval for any of the vaccines; Pfizer's is up for review on Thursday.

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


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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.



Health officials hope that with FDA confirming Tuesday the efficacy and safety of the Pfizer vaccine, people who've been reluctant to take this lightning fast vaccine will reconsider, even while it may be months before it becomes available to the public-at-large

Bonnie Blue, who participated in the Moderna trials in Chicago, does not know if she got the vaccine or the placebo. She joined the governor in trying to alleviate concerns about the vaccine, which are more widespread in Black and brown communities than among whites.

"What I am asking is, please, do what you have to do to stay safe," she said. "When the vaccines become available, please take it."

"We'll continue to put out information about this vaccine, as well as working with various community groups to make sure that everyone has the information they need to make an informed decision," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

Ezike said the state will make as much information available about the vaccine as it gets, so people can make an informed decision for themselves. Pritzker said people should listen to medical expert and scientists, not conspiracy theorists spreading misinformation on social media.

RELATED: Mayor Lightfoot updates Chicago vaccine distribution plans


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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city's goal is to have all adult Chicagoans vaccinated in 2021 - at no cost.



Thousands of doses are believed to already pre-positioned in the Chicago area, ready for deployment as soon as the FDA gives the expected green light to Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine. It is something that could happen by the end of the week and approval, can't come soon enough.

"These next four weeks may be the most crucial month of this entire pandemic," said Governor JB Pritzker. "We quite literally have very limited leeway in our hospital systems to manage another surge."

Illinois is expected to receive around 109,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine in its first shipment, enough to inoculate around 54,500 people. Chicago, because of its size will receive its own shipment of the vaccine, anticipating it will get enough to cover 20 to 25,000 people.

"We have plans to get it out in approximately the first week to all 34 hospitals and in the following week all 128 of our long term care facilities, so we're excited and ready to go," said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.

And though a coronavirus vaccine is not expected to be available to the general population for some time, will Chicagoans get it once they can? Opinions differ.

"I don't think it's safe right now," said Margaret Bryant. "They're rushing to do it, because so many people have died. And I agree with that but I don't think that, I think there's going to be too many side effects down the road."

"It seems like the whole scientific community came together because knew this was needed for the world and so put their minds together, lots of folks volunteered funding was available and so I feel confident," said Eva Keller.

In addition to prioritizing health care workers and nursing home residents and staff for inoculation, the state's plan is to distribute the first shipment to 50 of Illinois' 102 counties with the highest per capital death rates, in an attempt to ease suffering in those hardest hit areas.

The Lake County (IL) Health Department announced all county residents can now register to be notified when a COVID-19 vaccine is available to them. You can register online here or over the phone by calling the Lake County Health Department at (847) 377-8130.

The deaths reported Wednesday include:

- Adams County: 1 female 100+

- Bond County: 1 female 60s
- Boone County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- Bureau County: 1 male 70s
- Champaign County: 1 male 70s
- Christian County: 1 female 40s
- Cook County: 1 female 40s, 3 males 40s, 3 males 50s, 5 females 60s, 7 males 60s, 5 females 70s, 9 males 70s, 11 females 80s, 11 males 80s, 7 females 90s, 2 males 90s, 1 female 100+
- Crawford County: 1 male 80s
- DeKalb County: 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- DuPage County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 2 females 80s, 2 males 80s
- Edgar County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
- Effingham County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 females 90
- Fulton County: 1 male 80s
- Greene County: 1 male 70s
- Grundy County: 1 female 80s
- Hamilton County: 1 male 80s
- Henderson County: 1 female 90s
- Jackson County: 1 female 90s
- Jefferson County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 80s
- Johnson County: 1 male 40s
- Kane County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- Kankakee County: 1 male 80s
- Knox County: 1 female 80s
- Lake County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 male 70s, 1 male 90s
- LaSalle County: 1 female 80s

- Lee County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- Livingston County: 1 female 90s
- Logan County: 1 female 60s, 2 females 90s
- Macoupin County: 3 females 60s, 1 female 80s
- Madison County: 1 female 40s, 2 females 60s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s
- Marion County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 90s
- Massac County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- McDonough County: 1 female 70s
- McHenry County: 1 female 70s
- McLean County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 70s
- Morgan County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
- Moultrie County: 1 female 80s
- Peoria County: 1 female 40s, 2 males 70s
- Rock Island County: 2 females 70s
- Sangamon County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 3 females 90s
- Shelby County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- St. Clair County: 3 females 70s, 1 female 90s
- Stephenson County: 1 male 80s
- Tazewell County: 1 female 90s, 1 female 100+, 1 male 100+
- Vermilion County: 1 male 90s
- Washington County: 1 male 80s
- Will County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 50s, 2 females 60s, 1 male 60s, 2 males 70s, 1 male 80s
- Williamson County: 1 female 60s
- Winnebago County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
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