Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 2,137 new coronavirus cases, 10 deaths; Public Health Navigator Program launches

Pritzker launches new program to help get more people vaccinated

ByCraig Wall, Eric Horng, and ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
As vaccine supply increases, concerns turn to falling demand
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As Illinois enters week 20 of vaccinations, rising supply and falling demand have met in a tenuous place.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 2,137 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 10 related deaths Monday.

There have been 1,323,170 total COVID cases, including 21,836 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

RELATED: Cook County vaccine sites now accepting walk-ins

A total of 10,913,325 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago.

A total of 8,860,975 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Sunday night. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 105,873 doses. There were 50,512 doses reported administered in Illinois Sunday.

WATCH | Illinois launches new program to help more people get vaccinated

As Illinois enters week 20 of vaccinations, rising supply and falling demand have met in a tenuous place.

With demand slowing, Lawndale Christian Health Center on Chicago's West Side, is in the process of winding down two of its three large-scale vaccination clinics.

"Right now, we're struggling to fill the spots," said Dr. Wayne Detmer, Chief Clinical Officer of Ops., Lawndale Christian Health Center. "In some ways we should expect a decrease in demand, but the problem, of course, is that that's not going to get us to the herd immunity that we need."

Though more than half of eligible Illinoisans have received at least one dose, the pace of immunizations is now concerning, with average daily doses given down 20% in less than two weeks.

Even the most populous counties - which for months have been pleading for more vaccine - seem to have plenty.

First dose allocations from the state this week are down 15% for Cook County when compared to last week. DuPage is receiving 60% fewer first doses, and this week's allocation for Will County is down more than 70%.

"We're doing everything we can, certainly, to address first the people who haven't been vaccinated but have just been a little uncertain and unsure, and then of course finally people who have been all along saying, 'I'm not going to get vaccinated,'" Gov. JB Pritzker said.

WATCH: Pritzker announces new Public Health Navigator Program

The push to get more shots in the arms of Illinoisans now taking a more personal approach as the state tries to reach those who still aren't sure about getting vaccinated.

And while vaccine hesitancy is diminishing, it remains a problem in vulnerable communities. It comes as a new study suggests one in five Illinoisans are not planning to get their shot.

"Our data shows that Illinois residents need guidance, raw community resources and support in navigating misconceptions," said Dr. Tracy Smith, Illinois Public Health Association.

Monday marked the official launch of the Public Health Navigator Program to reach people one-on-one through community-based organizations.

"We had that opportunity to educate so when you're on hand, I mean as a nurse, you know you they feel like, you know, I'm somebody who they're relating to, they know that they can trust me, so I think being out in the community helps build that trust," said Elisa Lara, a healthcare community nurse.

Pritzker announced Monday that the state has vaccinated nearly 57% of the adult population, well over the 50% threshold for moving to the bridge reopening phase.

But with hospitalization numbers still trending up, there are no plans soon to move to reopen the state.

"We've seen this movie before, when they start going up, they tend to continue going up, and you know whether it's putting mitigations in or vaccinating more people, we need to make sure that that we bend that curve, and bring it back down again," Pritzker said.

As the demand for the vaccine and the supply have now about evened out, Pritzker said soon there will be more than enough vaccine for everyone who wants it. That process is expected to be helped with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine coming back online.

"That means we're going to be able to do things like make sure that your personal physician at some point will have vaccine in their doctor's office just like they would during a flu season, but we're not quite there yet," Pritzker said.

Lawndale Christian Health Center is now shifting resources to reach homebound residents.

"We're trying to create some mobile units that go out, identify these folks, and get them vaccinated in their homes," Detmer said.

Lawndale Christian Health is also increasing outreach to young adults who may be less worried about getting seriously ill from COVID.

RELATED: US lifts pause, allowing Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations to resume

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 49,236 specimens for a total of 22,318,791 since the pandemic began.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from April 19-25, is 4.1%.

As of Sunday night, 2,083 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 506 patients were in the ICU and 251 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The deaths reported Monday include:

-Cook County: 1 female 30s, 2 males 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s

-Peoria County: 1male 80s

-Pope County: 1 male 70s

-Will County: 1 male 40s

-Winnebago County: 1 female 70s