The state’s latest wave of COVID-19 worsened on Friday, with the number of weeks of new infections increasing again, and public health officials reporting the worst daily case count since late summer.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday announced 280 new cases of the coronavirus in the past week.
This weekly caseload is a 25% increase from last week’s seven-day total, marking the third consecutive week of increased cases.
As of Friday alone, public health officials reported 5,720 new cases of COVID-19 and 37 deaths, continuing a heartbreaking trend as the state overcomes its fifth major resurgence of the deadly virus.
The number of new cases on Friday exceeded Thursday’s number of cases, the most reported in a single day since September 3.
The latest weekly total averages 4,040 cases per day. Last week, the seven-day total fell to about 3,228 cases per day.
As of Thursday evening, 1,759 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals in Illinois, the highest number since September 30. Of that number, 350 people were in intensive care units and 152 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators.
The statewide seven-day preliminary test positivity rate is 3.8%.
Again, the color-coded COVID-19 community transmission map is largely a sea of red.
Only eight of the 102 county states are not in the red category, the color that signifies a high rate of transmission of the virus. Brown, Cass, Mason, Morgan and Scott counties in west-central Illinois and White and Pulaski counties in southern Illinois are currently colored orange, a step just below red that indicates significant transmission.
Pope, in the far south of Illinois, is the only county marked in yellow for moderate transmission.
The card uses the date provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Public health officials warned last week that the state could be in the midst of another outbreak. And Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady confirmed that in an online question-and-answer session Thursday, saying the numbers are not good.
We’re in a wave, she said.
She added that this was not surprising since winter is approaching, forcing people to retreat indoors, often without masks.
Arwady and other public health officials are urging city and state residents to get vaccinated to protect them from the virus.
About 67% of the state’s total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 61% of the state is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since last Friday, 434,995 injections with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have taken up arms throughout Illinois.
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