Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 7,037 cases, 96 coronavirus deaths

Illinois leads nation in distributing COVID-19 vaccines, Pritzker says
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 7,037 COVID-19 cases and 96 related deaths Thursday.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 925,107, with a total of 15,643 deaths.

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During his COVID-19 update, Governor JB Pritzker said Illinois is leading the country in number of vaccine doses given.



Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 94,909 specimens for a total 12,782,980.

As of Wednesday night, 4,488 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 944 patients were in the ICU and 518 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 17 - 23 is 8.9%.

On Wednesday, state officials once again urged people to celebrate only with those in their immediate household, although there seemed to be an acceptance that many of those warnings will likely go unheeded.

"I know some of you won't or cant. And for those of you I ask you think of additional safety measures that you can take as you travel, as you gather, that can make the visits somewhat safer," Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

The half-hearted call for prudence came as Pritzker released the latest vaccination figures during a virtual briefing before the holidays.

"Illinois, including the City of Chicago, has, as of last night, administered 100,991 vaccine doses to date. That's more than any other state in the nation so far," Pritzker announced.

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The vaccination figures were coupled with an update on the receipt and distribution of the vaccine so far.

This week's allocations from the federal government for the entire state included approximately 76,000 doses of Pfizer, and 222,000 doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine has a longer shelf life, and has a less stringent cold storage requirements which has made it far easier to transport.

"The vaccine team in Illinois sprinted past them all in week one, " Pritzker said.

Moderna vaccines arriving in Chicago area


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Dr. Robert Citronberg of Advocate Aurora Health answers COVID-19 vaccine questions.



"With this week's Moderna shipments, vaccine will have officially reached all 102 counties in Illinois," Pritzker said.

Even as there is light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, the governor announced help for low-income parents enrolled in the state's childcare assistance program Wednesday.

The state promised to cover all eligible days for December, January and February, while also making it easier for providers to have their costs re-imbursed, during what has been a challenging year for the entire childcare industry

Pritzker said the state does appear to be headed in the right direction, although he made it clear, indoor dining at bars and restaurants will not happen until he can be sure there is no post-Christmas and New Year's Eve surge.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 82,328 specimens. In total there have been 12,688,071specimens tested since the start of the pandemic in Illinois.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 16-22 is 9.0%.

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.

RELATED: Illinois coronavirus testing: Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Illinois, Chicago area

As of Tuesday night, 4,593 people in Illinois were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 953 patients were in the ICU with COVID-19 and 536 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

Cardinal Cupich gets vaccine


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Cardinal Blase Cupich and other faith leaaders rolled up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine at St. Anthony's Hospital Wednesday morning.



Cardinal Blase Cupich and several pastors from the Chicago area received the COVID-19 vaccine at St. Anthony's Hospital Wednesday.

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Cardinal Blase Cupich receives the COVID-19 vaccine at St. Anthony's Hospital.



This latest campaign to encourage vaccination comes as Chicago prepares to expand its distribution efforts.

Dr. Allison Arwady said as the city receives shipments of the Moderna vaccine, the focus will be on getting doses to long-term care facilities and beginning vaccination for outpatient providers like doctors offices and COVID-19 testing sites.

Arwady said the city will begin utilizing its first mass vaccination sites next week as well.

The deaths reported Thursday include:

- Adams County: 1 male 70s
- Christian County: 2 males 80s
- Cook County: 1 female 40s, 1 female 50s, 2 males 50s, 1 female 60s, 5 males 60s, 5 females 70s, 6 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 7 females 90s, 4 males 90s
- DeKalb County: 1 male 70s
- DuPage County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s. 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
- Effingham County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
- Fayette County: 1 male 50s
- Franklin County: 1 male 70s
- Henderson County: 1 female 60s
- Jackson County: 1 female 60s
- Kane County: 2 males 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female over 100

- Kankakee County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
- Knox County: 1 female 40s
- Lake County: 1 female 50s, 1 male 60s, 3 males 80s, 1 female 90s
- LaSalle County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 90s
- Macoupin County: 1 female 60s
- Madison County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 90s
- Marion County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s
- Massac County: 1 male 70s
- McHenry County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s
- McLean County: 2 females 80s
- Moultrie County: 1 female 80s
- Peoria County: 1 male 80s
- Perry County: 1 male 60s
- Randolph County: 1 female 70s
- Saline County: 1 female 80s
- Sangamon County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- St. Clair County: 1 male 60s
- Tazewell County: 1 male over 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female over 100
- Vermilion County: 1 male 90s
- Warren County: 1 male 50s
- Will County: 2 females 70s, 1 male 90s, 1 female over 100
- Winnebago County: 1 female 80s
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