The state’s COVID-19 case positivity rate is below 3 percent for the first time since July and hospitalizations for the disease continued on a steady decline Monday as confirmed deaths topped 20,000 since the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, in Region 10, which includes all of suburban Cook County, the positivity rate as of Feb. 12 had fallen a full percentage point – to 4.3 percent – since the beginning of February.
Locally, the positivity rates are lower than the rest of suburban Cook County, with Brookfield’s at 3.6 percent as of Feb. 14, according to the online dashboard maintained by the Northwestern University School of Medicine. That’s actually up slightly from Feb. 8, when the positivity rate was 2.08 percent.
However, in the 60546 ZIP code, which includes both Riverside and North Riverside, the positivity rate dropped to 3.52 percent as of Feb. 14, compared to 4.59 percent on Feb. 8.
Due to the Presidents Day holiday, updated COVID case numbers for each community through Feb. 15 were not available prior to the Landmark’s press time.
As of Sunday night, there were 1,789 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois, including 389 in intensive care unit beds and 184 on ventilators. Those numbers were all major decreases from second-wave peaks seen at the end of November.
The 41 virus-related deaths reported in Illinois over the previous 24 hours drove the death toll to 20,002 as the state reported 1,420 new cases amid 52,389 tests conducted. The state has reported more than 17 million test results and 1.1 million confirmed or probable cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
The vaccination effort continues as well, with more than 1.8 million doses administered out of more than 2.4 million doses received from the federal government, which means 74 percent of doses received by the state or providers have been administered.
Approximately 56 percent, or 248,925, of the 445,200 distributed to Walgreens and CVS pharmacies as part of the federal Pharmacy Partnership program for long-term care residents have been distributed.
While 11 percent of the state’s population has received a first dose of the vaccine, moving Illinois into 24th on the New York Times’ per-capita vaccine distribution database, the state announced Monday that second doses will become a larger share of those distributed in the coming days.
Thus far, just 3.3 percent of the state’s residents have received both doses, a requirement for both the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines to be effective. The second vaccine dose is scheduled three to four weeks after the first, depending on which vaccine is received.
“Beginning the week of February 15, local health departments and other COVID-19 vaccine providers will begin to receive a larger share of second doses to accommodate a greater number of second doses coming due,” according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Public Health. “With federal shipments of the vaccine to Illinois remaining limited, this will mean providers will receive a smaller share of first doses. Based on federal projections of vaccine shipments, (IDPH) anticipates these allocations will hold steady for the next several weeks, before allocations of first doses can once again increase in March.”
Information on COVID-19 vaccines and how to make an appointment is available at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
Bob Uphues contributed to this report.