Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 2,071 cases, 21 deaths as Gov. Pritzker encourages booster shots

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 2,071 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and 21 related deaths.

There have been 1,673,346 total COVID cases, including 25,491 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

The seven-day statewide test positivity rate from Oct. 12-18 is at 2.4%.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 77,197 specimens for a total of 34,093,934 since the pandemic began.

As of Monday night, 1,426 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 332 patients were in the ICU and 173 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

A total of 15,099,528 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Tuesday, and 56.33% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 29,477.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of Illinois counties are in the "high transmission" level, even though total case numbers have been trending down.

The CDC director has added frontline workers to the list of those eligible for booster shots, which also includes people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those 50 and above with chronic health care problems.

Those individuals should get boosters six months after their second dose of Pfizer. The CDC said younger people with underlying health issues can decide for themselves.

The CDC is set to review booster recommendations for the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines on Wednesday and Thursday, with final CDC authorization coming at the end of the week.

With the CDC's recommendation, millions of Americans will now be eligible for the booster shot, but the head of Pfizer said he believes there is enough supply to handle those people and those still awaiting their initial vaccination.

On Tuesday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced a statewide effort to increase the number of those getting booster shots. IDPH is partnering with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), and Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) to increase education around boosters and provide support to skilled nursing facilities as they work to administer boosters to residents.

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