Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 782 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths on Monday. The increase of 732 new cases is the smallest since July 14 and the first time the state has been under 1,000 since July 21.
The state's top doctor said Monday that Illinois is inching closer to moving out of Phase 4.
"If we are not going to threaten our hospital capacity because people are not getting hospitalized and dying, that's what we think all three of these three vaccines will do: eliminate hospitalizations and deaths. Then we can start moving forward," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois' Dept. of Public Health.
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Dr. Ezike said 85% of the state's deaths from COVID-19 were in people 65 years old or older, and those Illinoisans remain a top priority.
"We're not getting rid of masks. We think masks have to continue to be a mainstay," Dr. Ezike said. "And finally for Phase 5, seeing how much of the general population has been vaccinated."
"You know, I listen to the experts when I try to make a judgement about that and what they're telling me is that we need to get close to herd immunity for us to really be normal," said Gov. JB Pritzker.
Pritzker said in a one-on-one interview with ABC 7 that will be when about 80% of the state is vaccinated. Right now, we're at about 12%.
Dr. Ezike said the state's health department has been working with the governor on a phased reopening plan and that some of those details could be released as early as this week.
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IDPH reported a total of 1,210,113 COVID-19 cases, including 20,955 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic.
As of Sunday night, 1,112 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 227 patients were in the ICU and 95 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
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Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 39,145 specimens for a total of 19,170,243 since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from March 8-14 is 2.6%.
A total of 4,623,735 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 5,038,635.
IDPH reports that a total of 4,102,810 vaccine doses have been administered, including 354,773 at long-term facilities. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered is 102,147.
The deaths reported Monday include:
-Cook County: 1 female 30s, 2 males 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 female 90s
-DuPage County: 1 female 80s
-Kane County: 1 male 80s
-Peoria County: 1 male 60s
-Will County: 1 female 70s