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ILLINOIS — State health officials on Monday reported 4,776 new cases of the coronavirus and 53 more deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. Last week, Illinois marked two grim milestones — more than 1 million coronavirus infections have now been reported across the state and more than 17,000 Illinoisans have died from COVID-19.
The latest deaths in Illinois include:
Cook County: 1 female 30s, 1 female 40s, 2 males 40s, 2 females 50s, 2 males 50s, 1 female 60s, 7 males 60s, 5 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 7 females 80s, 7 males 80s, 3 females 90s, 3 males 90s
DuPage County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
Kane County: 1 female 80s
Lake County: 1 male 80s
LaSalle County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
Livingston County: 1 male 40s
McDonough County: 1 female 70s
Will County: 1 male 60s
Winnebago County: 1 female 70s
“In a pandemic that has contained far too many tragic milestones, today’s marking of one million cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Illinois deserves particular recognition,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “As this disease continues to wreak havoc on our nation – with the United States setting another record for the most COVID-19 deaths in a day just yesterday – it is critical that we take extra caution today and in the months ahead to reduce the spread, bring down hospitalization rates, and save lives. Now that vaccine distribution has begun, we can see the light at the end of this difficult time — let’s do everything we can to ensure all of our neighbors are able to be there as we cross that finish line, healthy as well. With that goal in mind, I encourage all Illinoisans to choose to receive the protections of the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn in line.”
State health officials said earlier last week that they are on the lookout for a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus recently identified in the United Kingdom. The B.1.1.7 variant of the virus could be 70 percent more transmissible thanks to a mutation in its spike proteins that allows it to more easily stick to cells in the nose, British officials said. It's not clear how the new strain or others like it could complicate the vaccine rollout.
"Viruses are constantly changing through mutation and variant virus are expected," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "At this time, we have no evidence that infections by this variant cause more severe disease or death."
Ngozi also released a statement as the state passed a million coronavirus infections.
“As the vaccine rolls out, our hope, and goal, is that the number of new cases we see each day will decrease,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Reporting more than one million COVID-19 cases in Illinois seemed like an unlikely number at the beginning of the pandemic, and we’ve now all seen how devastating this disease can be. I urge everyone to continue to wear their mask, avoid social gatherings, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”
Vaccinations started across the state three weeks ago, but federal officials say the process has been slow-going and distribution is behind schedule. According to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office, not quite 2 percent of the state's total population has received the first of two shots necessary for vaccination. As of Tuesday night, 207,000 shots had been administered across the state, including the first round of second doses.
According to the governor, about a third of Illinois health care workers have been vaccinated. Officials said the next phase of the vaccine rollout will begin once the first stage has been "substantially completed." It will include seniors over 65 and front-line essential workers such as police, firefighters and teachers.
As of Sunday night, 3,540 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across Illinois, including 759 in intensive care and 401 on ventilators.
The statewide case positivity rate — a rolling, seven-day average — is now 7.6 percent. The test positivity rate is 8.9 percent.
According to Johns Hopkins University, a positivity rate of less than 5 percent is a good measure of whether enough tests are being conducted, and state officials have said a rate higher than 8 percent will trigger new restrictions in a given region.
The United States now has more than 22.4 million confirmed coronavirus infections, and at least 374,632 Americans have died from COVID -19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Based on the latest predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 405,000 to 438,000 Americans could be dead from the disease by Jan. 30.
Globally, more than 90.4 million people have been infected and more than 1.9 million are known to have died.
As local and state economies slowly emerge from pandemic lockdowns, it's often hard for customers to know the conditions under which local businesses are open. The business center contains easily accessible and up-to-date information about scores of local businesses, including everything from operating hours to the availability of by-appointment services, quick website links and other contact information. It's free to use and free for businesses to join.
Here's what's happening with the coronavirus in Illinois:
But a slight increase in Region 7's coronavirus positivity rates or hospital bed availability could prevent a loosening of restrictions.
A current lack of available hospital beds and insufficient decline in coronavirus hospitalizations both prevent a loosening of restrictions.
Everyone aged 65 and over will be included in the next phase of vaccinations, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced.
Health officials in Lake County are urging all who intend to get the vaccine to register through its online portal or phone line.
Kane County residents can register to get the latest information on coronavirus vaccines, but they won't be guaranteed a spot in line.
WCHD said that it will take some time for residents to find out when and how they can be vaccinated.
As we head into 2021, mass vaccination, which could happen by summer, is being lauded as our ticket out of the pandemic.
Carol Bruno was admitted to the hospital on Thanksgiving Day and died two weeks later. Her husband Mike died just days before Christmas.
Students — but not staff — must participate in the district's COVID-19 saliva screening program to come to campus in Northfield or Winnetka.
Testing at Flick Park Field House begins Monday.
Dr. Jason Robin, a cardiologist with NorthShore Medical Group, is a consultant with the Illinois High School Association.
The Deerfield-based company has begun administering Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to 3 million residents in long-term care facilities.
Illinois Coronavirus Helpline:
Illinois officials say a state helpline has been set up to provide emotional support and quick answers to questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Illinoisans can test "TALK" to 55-2020 (or "HABLAR" for Spanish), and within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor. Residents can also text keywords such as "UNEMPLOYMENT," "FOOD" or "SHELTER," to the same number to receive additional information about those topics.
Coronavirus by the numbers:
Total number of coronavirus cases: 1,033,526
Confirmed Deaths: 17,627
People tested: 14,169,986
Recovered: Illinois does not provide exact numbers of recovered cases, but says the recovery rate is 97 percent.
Total number of coronavirus cases: 22,429,685
People tested: 265,555,566
Recovered: latest data unavailable
Total number of coronavirus cases: 90,435,754
People tested: No data available
While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid virus exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends taking these actions to prevent the spread of viruses:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
What to do if you're sick:
Call head if you're planning to visit your doctor:
If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the health care provider's office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
Stay home unless you must see a doctor:
Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home:
Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.
Avoid sharing personal household items:
Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
To donate personal protective equipment (PPE), email PPE.email@example.com. For health questions about COVID-19, call the state coronavirus hotline at 800-889-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.