Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 2,060 new coronavirus cases, 48 deaths; some testing sites close due to cold

First case of COVID-19 variant identified in Lake County
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois health officials reported 2,060 new COVID-19 cases and 48 deaths Sunday.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 1,146,341, with a total of 19,633 deaths, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 81,550 specimens for a total of 16,636,585.

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As of Saturday night, 2,188 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 507 patients were in the ICU and 245 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Jan. 31-Feb. 5 is 3.4%.

First case of COVID-19 variant identified in Lake County

The first case of a COVID-19 variant was reported in Lake County, according to a statement from the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center.

The statement said this B.1.1.7 variant was first identified in the United Kingdom. Lake County Health officials said the person infected recently traveled internationally and quarantined upon return.

"We expect to see more cases of these new variants in Lake County as they seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants," said Dr. Sana Ahmed, Medical Epidemiologist for the Lake County Health Department.

At this time, studies suggest that the currently available COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against the new strains, the statement said.

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A total of 1,635,925 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago, with an additional 496,100 doses allocated to federal government partners for long-term care facilities, bringing the total number delivered in Illinois to 2,132,025.

IDPH reports that a total of 1,342,857 vaccine doses have been administered, including 188,351 at long-term facilities. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered is 51,553.

The IDPH says that vaccine distribution numbers are reported in real-time and vaccine administration numbers lag by as much as 72 hours.

Coronavirus testing sites in Chicago will be closed for "inclement weather," starting Friday.

City-operated testing sites will remain closed from Friday until Wednesday, according to a notification from the city.

Thursday's storm will be followed by a deep freeze that'll stretch into next week. Temperatures may not rise above the single digits, and wind chills may reach minus 30 degrees in what city officials called an "arctic blast."

Anyone who needs testing in the next few days should contact their healthcare provider.

"Honestly, from a safety perspective, we don't want the staff and the volunteers potentially being exposed," said Dr. Allison Arwady, CDPH. "And there are walk-up availabilities at the site. We don't want people walking up."

Frigid conditions also prompted The Loretto Hospital on the West Side to move its walk-up testing indoors.

"We're actually converting our ground floor physical therapy room, which is pretty big and very spacious, into a COVID testing area," said Afya Khan, infection control practitioner at The Loretto Hospital.

The city's vaccination sites, which operate indoors, will remain open, as will the mass vaccination site at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake. Officials there said the need to rotate staff frequently out of the cold could cause delays.
Northwestern University Professor Hani Mahmassani, an expert in transportation and logistics, said vaccination clinics are likely to see some no-shows.

"There will be issues in staffing," she explained, "and also no-shows in terms of the patients. And in some cases, you do not want patients to come out in this weather, especially for some older folks who are the current group being vaccinated."

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The deaths reported Sunay include:

- Bond County: 1 male 80s
- Champaign County: 1 male 70s
- Cook County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 60s, 2 males 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 female 80s, 3 males 80s
- Cumberland County: 1 male 70s
- DuPage County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- Grundy County: 1 female 60s
- Iroquois County: 1 male 70s

- Kane County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
- Kankakee County: 1 female 50s
- Knox County: 1 female 70s
- Lake County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 90s
- LaSalle County: 2 males 80s
- Lee County: 1 male 50s
- Madison County: 1 male 70s
- Marion County: 1 female 80s
- McHenry County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s
- Ogle County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
- St. Clair County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s
- Stark County: 1 female 80s
- Stephenson County: 1 male 70s
- Tazewell County: 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
- Vermilion County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- Winnebago County: 1 female 80s, 3 females 90s
- Woodford County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 90s
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