Illinois COVID Update Today: IL reports 2,598 new coronavirus cases, 32 deaths; Walgreens vaccine appointments begin – WLS-TV

CHICAGO (WLS) — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 2,598 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Friday, including 32 additional deaths.

IDPH is reporting a total of 1,158,431 total COVID-19 cases, including 19,873 deaths.

As of Thursday night, 1,915 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 437 patients were in the ICU and 211 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Feb. 5-11 is 3.7%.

RELATED: Illinois COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by county

A total of 1,929,850 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago, with an additional 456,100 doses allocated to federal government partners for long-term care facilities, bringing the total number delivered in Illinois to 2,385,950.

Vaccine appointments remain scarce even to those who are eligible before the expansion of group 1B. Efforts to vaccinate minorities continue to fall short, and data reviewed by the ABC7 I-Team shows more women are getting shots than men by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

RELATED: Illinois’ Black, Latinx residents getting fewer COVID-19 vaccines, early data shows

The IDPH says that vaccine distribution numbers are reported in real-time and vaccine administration numbers lag by as much as 72 hours.

IDPH reports that a total of 1,940,425 vaccine doses have been administered, including 231,814 at long-term facilities. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered is 59,009.

The state reported a record-high number of 95,000 vaccines administered Friday, and said 10% of Illinoisans have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Feds plan to ship vaccine to underserved communities

Starting in March, COVID-19 vaccines will be headed to federally-funded health centers in underserved communities throughout Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday.

“What we can’t do is let the vaccine distribution exacerbate inequalities that existed long before COVID-19,” Pritzker said. “Inequities that I’m committed and remain committed to eliminating.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website said the vaccine will be shipped to Federally Qualified Health Centers, also known as FQHCs. The special program will begin on Monday at centers across the nation, but Illinois health officials do not expect any shipments until mid-March.

Pritzker and the state’s top health official, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, made the announcement at Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness center in Chicago Heights. Aunt Martha’s various locations are now preparing for those federal shipments, according to Mary Martin, Aunt Martha’s chief financial officer.

“The federal government will give from a separate supply not to be cut from Illinois’ allocation,” said Dr. Ezike. “This is on top of what Illinois gets.”

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

The race to get more vaccine was relevant during the governor’s news conference, especially when Aunt Martha CEO Raul Garza announced that his father, Raymond Garza, died of COVID-19 on Feb. 2. The 82-year-old from Chesterton, Indiana, got COVID around the New Year and wasn’t eligible to get a shot either.

“My father, Raymond Garza, like so many people, did not have the opportunity to be vaccinated. That wasn’t granted to him at the point he was in his life. I hope people are able to make that decision,” Raul said.

At this point, it’s unclear how many federally-funded health centers in Illinois will receive federal vaccine shipments.

The first health centers in this program, according to the CDC, will serve several people who are public housing residents, migrant or seasonal agricultural workers, patients with limited English skills, and those experiencing homelessness

Walgreens began vaccinating those eligible against the disease Friday. They are prioritizing healthcare workers, those over 65 and those with preexisting conditions. Earlier this week, Walgreens’ site crashed when individuals who wanted the vaccine rushed to sign up.

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The deaths reported Friday include:

– Clinton County: 1 male 80s
– Cook County: 1 female 50s, 2 females 60s, 3 males 60s, 2 males 70s, 2 females 80s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 100+
– Grundy County: 1 female 60s

– Knox County: 1 female 80s
– Lake County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 90s
– Livingston County: 1 female 80s
– Madison County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
– McHenry County: 1 male 50s
– McLean County: 1 male 90s
– Perry County: 1 male 80s
– Randolph County: 1 male 90s
– Rock Island County: 1 male 70s
– Sangamon County: 1 male 80s
– Winnebago County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s

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