The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Thursday the first cases of COVID variant B.1.351 has been confirmed in the state, in a Rock Island resident. The state is currently reporting 22 cases of the United Kingdom variant B 1.1.7.
Both variants seem to spread more rapidly, health officials said, and could lead to more cases of the virus or even another surge. They reminded the public of the urgent need to wear a face mask, remain social distanced, limit in-person gatherings outside the household of all sizes and to get vaccinated when it is your turn.
In the meantime, Illinois health officials reported 2,825 new COVID-19 cases and 102 deaths Thursday.
The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 1,155,833, with a total of 19,841 deaths, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 96,525 specimens for a total of 16,918,910.
As of Wednesday night, 1,954 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 448 patients were in the ICU and 227 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Feb. 4-10 is 3.9%.
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.
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 1,549,108 vaccine doses have been administered, including 226,974 at long-term facilities. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered is 56,094.
Gov. Pritzker visits Elgin vaccine site
Governor JB Pritzker gave an update on vaccination efforts from the Elgin Mental Health Center in Elgin Thursday morning.
The Department of Human Services vaccination site in Elgin houses many patients and has dozens of staff members. Thursday morning, 50 patients and staff members got their second doses of the COVID 19 vaccine.
With the vaccine still at short supply, Governor Pritzker says we are still one of the leading states when it comes to vaccinations.
“It’s because of these all-hands-on-deck efforts that Illinois is setting new records in our vaccine rollout,” Pritzker said. “Over the last week, Illinois was the number one state among the top ten most populous states in the nation in per-capita vaccinations and although Illinois is the sixth largest state in the country, we have now administered the fifth-most vaccinations among all of the states,”
The governor also mentioned an increase in supply coming soon from the federal government, but there is still a massive shortage of vaccine.
On Wednesday, Pritzker announced that Illinois is making plans to expand Phase 1B eligibility on February 25 to people who have comorbidities and underlying conditions as defined by the CDC. In addition, Illinois will also prioritize individuals with disabilities.
However, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement Thursday that the city and county would not be expanding Phase 1B eligibility.
“Doing so in Chicago and Cook County would add well over one million additional people to 1b, and the result would be that those currently eligible, including seniors, frontline essential workers and those in our most heavily COVID-burdened communities, would have an even harder time getting a vaccine,” Lightfoot and Preckwinkle said in a statement.
The high risk categories covered in the expansion include:
-Chronic Kidney Disease
-COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
-Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant
-Sickle Cell Disease
This expansion could nearly double the number of people currently eligible for the vaccine at a time when supply is low, but the governor expressed optimism that deliveries from the federal government will increase significantly in the coming weeks.
“My administration will be working with all the local public health departments to fit these higher risk individuals into their community vaccination plans in the coming weeks,” Pritzker said.
The deaths reported Thursday include:
– Clay County: 1 female 80s
– Clinton County: 1 female 80s
– Coles County: 1 male 60s
– Cook County: 1 male 30s, 1 female 40s, 1 male 40s, 1 female 50s, 4 males 50s, 6 females 60s, 6 males 60s, 7 females 70s, 7 males 70s, 7 females 80s, 7 males 80s, 4 females 90s, 2 males 90s
– DeKalb County: 1 female 90s
– DuPage County: 1 female 40s, 3 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
– Greene County: 1 female 50s
– Grundy County: 1 male 60s
– Jefferson County: 1 male 80s
– Kane County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
– Knox County: 1 female 80s
– Lake County: 1 male 50s
– Lawrence County: 1 male 60s
– Livingston County: 1 male 80s
– Logan County: 1 female 90s
– Marion County: 1 male 70s
– McLean County: 1 male 60s
– Monroe County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
– Moultrie County: 1 male 70s
– Randolph County: 1 male 70s
– Sangamon County: 1 female 70s
– St. Clair County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 90s
– Stephenson County: 1 male 80s
– Tazewell County: 1 female 40s, 1 female 50s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
– Vermilion County: 1 male 70s
– Washington County: 1 female 90s
– Whiteside County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 90s
– Will County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 3 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 females 90s
– Winnebago County: 1 female 90s
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