For the first time since the first week of July 2020, the villages of Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside each reported fewer than 10 new cases of COVID-19, continuing a downward trend in cases the area has seen since mid-January.

In Brookfield, where numbers of new weekly cases had skyrocketed past 150 last November, there were just six new cases of COVID-19 reported for the week-long period ending on the morning of March 2, down from nine the prior week and 17 the week before that.

The Cook County Department of Public Health on March 1 reported that Brookfield’s “recent percent change,” which measures the number of new cases in the latest two-week period against the two weeks preceding it, was down by 32 percent.

The recent percent change in Riverside as of March 1 declined 14 percent compared to the two-week period preceding it. Last week was the first time Riverside’s weekly total of new cases dropped into single digits since mid-September 2020.

As of the morning of March 2, there had been five new COVID-19 cases reported in Riverside, the lowest single-week total since late July of last year.

The drop in new cases during the most recent two-week period ending March 1 was even more dramatic in North Riverside. With four new cases two weeks ago and nine new cases last week, the village’s recent percent change, according to the CCDPH, was down by 68 percent.

There were no additional deaths due to COVID-19 reported in any of the three villages last week. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, the Landmark has confirmed 12 fatalities in Brookfield, three in Riverside and four in North Riverside.

Single-dose vaccine gets green light

The continued decline in local COVID-19 cases comes as the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization to a third vaccine, developed by Johnson & Johnson, over the weekend.

Vaccine distribution centers could start to see the new single-dose vaccine as early as March 2, USA Today reports. White House officials announced 3.9 million doses could be expected by Tuesday and a total of 20 million doses could be sent to states throughout the remainder of the month.

Illinois has received more than 3 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as of March 1. A total of 2.7 million doses have been delivered to providers in the state, with an additional 443,700 doses allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for long-term care facilities.

A total of 2.7 million vaccines had been administered across the state, including 319,393 for long-term care facilities, as of Feb. 28.

About 6.5 percent of the state’s population has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 77,876 doses.

The statewide seven-day rolling positivity rate reached 2.4 percent, a rate not seen since June 23.

Illinois Department of Public Health is currently reporting a total of 1,187,839 cases throughout the state, including 20,536 total virus-related deaths, since the pandemic started.

Grace Barbic of Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report.