Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 7,562 cases, 108 coronavirus deaths; state awaits FDA-authorized Moderna vaccine

Illinois tops 15K COVID-19 deaths since pandemic began
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 7,562 COVID-19 cases and 108 related deaths Saturday as the death toll since the pandemic began surpassed 15,000.

CDC committee to meet to discuss Moderna's COVID vaccine | WATCH LIVE

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 894,367, with a total of 15,123 deaths.
WATCH: Gov. Pritzker gives COVID-19 update on Dec. 18, 2020
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Illinois public health officials reported 7,377 COVID-19 cases and 181 related deaths Friday as the death toll since the pandemic began surpassed 15,000.



Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike shared a bit of good news during Friday's press conference: Illinois did not see a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases.

"I am really happy to say that we did not see the significant surge that we were very much concerned about in relation to all the reports that we saw of the large amount of travel," Dr. Ezike said. "I think all the mitigations that we had in place in advance of Thanksgiving, have been helpful. So, no we did not see a surge following Thanksgiving."

But the number of COVID-19 deaths is still breaking records in Illinois. For the last 11 days straight, more than 100 people have died every day.

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To put the staggering number of 15,000 lives lost into perspective, that's more people than the population of Midlothian, Palos Heights, Winnetka or Markham.

Prior to the fall surge, state health officials had said they expected to see around 11,000 deaths by the end of the year.

"It really seems worse to have someone get infected now and succumb to this virus when we're really close to having a way to have that not be the eventuality," Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

And that's because of the vaccine. Pfizer doses are now being administered across Illinois. Each vial was expected to provide five doses, but the FDA is updating its recommendation to use every full dose from each bottle.

"What people have seen here in Illinois and across other states, a sixth dose can be extracted from that vial and, in some cases, even a 7th dose," Dr. Ezike said.

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Gov. JB Pritzker's office provided this video of the first COVID-19 vaccines as they arrived in Illinois on December 14, 2020.



It's unclear how many more doses that means in Illinois, but it comes on the heels of a holiday warning. For the last two months, Dr. Ezike said the highest number of cases has been people ages 20 to 29 years old.

"While these younger people are much less likely to suffer severe illness, we still see that those younger individuals can expose our older family, older friends who could suffer illness if they were to gather for the holidays," Dr. Ezike said.

Like Thanksgiving, state officials recommend you only celebrate with those in your household.

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"The best way we can protect our frontline workers and slow the spread of this virus is to double-down on mask wearing, social distancing, washing hands frequently," Gov. JB Pritzker said.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 96,851 specimens. In total there have been 12,356,446 specimens tested since the start of the pandemic in Illinois.

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The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 12-18 is 9.7%.

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 Thursday night, 4,624 people in Illinois were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 1,000 patients were in the ICU with COVID-19 and 562 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The deaths reported Friday include:

-Bureau County: 1 male 80s
-Champaign County: 1 female 90s
-Christian County: 2 females 90s
-Coles County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
-Cook County: 1 female 50s, 2 males 50s, 2 males 60s, 7 males 70s, 3 females 80s, 4 males 80s, 4 females 90s, 2 males 90s
-Crawford County: 1 female 80s
-DeKalb County: 2 females 60s, 1 female 70s
-DuPage County: 3 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 females 80s, 2 males 80s
-Edgar County: 1 male 80s
-Franklin County: 1 female 80s
-Fulton County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 70s
-Hancock County: 1 female 70s
-Iroquois County: 1 male 70s
-Kane County: 1 female 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 1 male 90s
-Kankakee County: 1 female 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 male 80s
-Lake County: 1 female 80s, 2 females 90s, 2 males 90s
-LaSalle County: 3 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
-Lawrence County: 1 female 90s

-Lee County: 1 male 80s
-Macoupin County: 1 male 70s
-Madison County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Mason County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
-McHenry County: 1 female 80s
-Moultrie County: 1 female 80s
-Ogle County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s
-Peoria County: 3 females 80s
-Randolph County: 1 female 90s
-Richland County: 1 male 70s
-Rock Island County: 1 male 60s
-Saline County: 1 female 70s
-Sangamon County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
-Schuyler County: 1 female 80s
-St. Clair County: 1 female 80s
-Tazewell County: 1 male 80s
-Vermilion County: 1 female 60s
-Washington County: 1 female 90s
-Will County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s
-Winnebago County: 2 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
-Woodford County: 1 female 80s
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