IDPH reported a total of 1,232,900 COVID-19 cases, including 21,203 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic.
As of Thursday night, 1,302 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 264 patients were in the ICU and 120 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
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Since March 8, Illinois has seen 10 days of increases in the seven-day rolling average for hospital admissions, up 20% to 30% in two weeks across the Advocate Aurora Health System.
"We're obviously concerned about the uptick in cases. There certainly could be a surge," said Dr. Robert Citronberg.
The COVID-19 test positivity on March 10 was 2.5%. Friday's reported test positivity is 3.3%. While these rates are certainly significantly lower than the peak, they represent a potential early warning sign about a possible resurgence.
Chicago has seen its daily case rate increase by nearly 50% since last week, along with six days of increases in test positivity. Suburban Cook County has seen its daily case rate increase more than 40%, along with nine days of increasing hospital bed usage. Region 1, the Northern portion of the state including Rockford and surrounding communities, has seen eight days of increasing hospital bed usage and six days of increasing test positivity.
Citronberg said the vast majority of cases they're seeing in the Advocate Aurora Health System are unvaccinated people.
In response, the state is moving mobile vaccination teams into areas where they see a concerning uptick in cases, and loosening the vaccine eligibility criteria in others. All of these metrics could delay how quickly the state moves into the bridge step of Phase 4 reopening plans.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 76,774 specimens for a total of 19,972,391 since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from March 19-25 is 3.3%. For the past 14 days, test positivity has either held steady or increased each day, climbing from 2.5% to 3.3%.
Gov. Pritzker gets COVID vaccine
A total of 6,146,815 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago, with an additional 414,900 doses allocated to federal government partners for long-term care facilities, bringing the total number delivered in Illinois to 6,561,715.
A total of 5,281,618 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday night, including 364,302 for long-term care facilities. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 99,449 doses. There were 126,710 doses reported administered in Illinois Thursday.
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The IDPH said it is working with the federal government on possible discrepancies in the reporting of the number of vaccines administered. IDPH said it is possible the number of doses administered is underreported and that it will update its data if a discrepancy is found.
The federal government is projecting that Illinois will receive nearly 1 million doses next week for distribution, an all-time high.
Residents should contact their local health department to learn whether they have expanded eligibility.
"The number one goal for the state is to get as many people vaccinated, as quickly and safely as possible in order to stay ahead of variants," Ezike said. "This shift is similar to what we saw when expanding vaccine eligibility from Phase 1B to Phase 1B+ where some parts of the state were ready to move forward, while others were not. Each county is different and local health departments know better how to vaccinate people in their communities as soon as and as equitably as possible."
Governor JB Pritzker is allowing health departments in areas where the demand for vaccines among eligible groups is declining to open up shots to anyone 16 and over now instead of waiting until April 12 when it's allowed statewide.
"But in those areas, we don't want any doses sitting around," the governor said. "We want to make sure they get into people's arms as fast as possible, especially if we're going to see, you know, an uptick here in the numbers, we want to avoid a surge."
While all communities will continue to receive their baseline allocation of doses, new doses above that baseline will be allocated to high-demand areas where at-risk eligible residents face long waits for appointments.
Mobile rapid response vaccination teams will deploy over the next two weeks in five counties in Region 1 where IDPH epidemiologists have determined there is a need to administer doses quickly to blunt increasing trends. These doses are on top of the allocation to the local health departments. These mobile teams will be providing single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to county residents. Appointments will be coordinated by the local health department.
Residents of Region 1 are also encouraged to visit the existing mass vaccination site set up in Winnebago County.
While Illinois is on pace to reach 70% first doses for residents 65 years and older in the coming days, IDPH is monitoring an increase in new hospital admissions for COVID, which will need to be appropriately addressed and resolved before moving into the Bridge Phase. IDPH epidemiologists will continue to focus on the most recent 10 days to monitor any acute trends that prevent the state from reaching the Bridge Phase.
Chicago loosens COVID outdoor restrictions, maintain most indoor rules
Even with COVID cases rising, Chicago health officials announced Thursday they are loosening restrictions on outdoor activities and spaces.
The deaths reported Friday include:
- Cook County: 1 teen, 1 male 40s, 1 female 60s, 2 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 3 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
- Johnson County: 1 male 60s
- Kane County: 1 male 70s
- Lake County: 1 male 60s
- LaSalle County: 1 male 70s
- Lee County: 1 male 60s
- Macoupin County: 1 female 60s
- Madison County: 1 male 30s, 1 female 50s, 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
- Marshall County: 1 female 30s
- McLean County: 1 male 90s
- Peoria County: 1 male 60s
- Sangamon County: 1 male 80s
- St. Clair County: 2 males 60s, 2 females 80s
- Will County: 1 male 70s