Illinois COVID cases: IL reports 7,531 new cases, 35 deaths

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 7,531 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 35 related deaths Friday.

There have been 1,884,744 total COVID cases, including 26,801 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 5.8%.

SEE ALSO: All vaccinated adults should get COVID-19 booster shot because of omicron variant, CDC says

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 189,462 new specimens for a total of 40,810,633 since the pandemic began.

As of Thursday night, 3,257 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 662 patients were in the ICU and 299 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

A total of 18,007,906 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday, and 59.2% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 80,490.

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At St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, 34 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest number since the pandemic began.

"Patients we have in the hospital are due to the fact that we have many community members that are not vaccinated," said AMITA Health Regional Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kalisha Hill. "99% of the patients in our hospital in both Joliet and Kankakee that are COVID Positive are unvaccinated."

In Chicago, the average number of COVID-related hospitalizations have gone up 38% from a week ago. That's the highest they've been since late April.

"I'm worried," said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. "There's almost 700,000 Chicagoans who still have not been vaccinated."

Arwady told aldermen Thursday that the city is in talks with restaurants and other businesses about possibly requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests in gatherings over certain sizes.

At Northwestern Hospital, they are not seeing a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases, which one doctor said was a pleasant surprise.

"So, right now, our ICU is very busy. A lot of the cases that we're seeing are not necessarily driven by COVID," said Dr. Marc Sala, Northwestern Memorial Hospital's pulmonary critical care department. "The numbers for COVID are relatively stable in our ICU."

Sala said he believes that may be the result of more Chicagoans getting their vaccines and boosters, so that those who do get COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms and don't require hospitalization.

Please note: The video in this story is from a previous report
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