Health officials in Illinois on Friday reported 3,002 new coronavirus cases and 33 additional deaths, along with more than 126,000 vaccinations in the past 24 hours.
According to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the 3,002 new confirmed and probable COVID cases reported in the last day brought the state’s total to 1,232,900 cases since the pandemic began last year.
The 33 new deaths lifted the state's death toll to 21,203 fatalities related to the virus, according to health officials.
In the last 24 hours, state health officials say 76,774 new test specimens were returned to state laboratories, bringing the statewide total to 19,972,391 tests performed.
According to health officials, the seven-day positivity rate of cases as a percent of total tests stands at 2.9% while the rolling average test positivity rate stands at 3.3%.
As of Thursday evening, 1,302 Illinois residents were hospitalized due to the virus. Of those patients, 264 were in ICU beds and 120 were on ventilators.
Illinois has seen 10 days of increases in the seven-day rolling average for hospital admissions since March 8, IDPH said Friday, and the COVID-19 test positivity of 3.3% was up from 2.5% on March 10.
A total of 126,710 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the past 24 hours, IDPH said. The latest figures brought the rolling seven-day average for daily vaccinations to 99,449.
In all, Illinois has received 6,561,715 doses of the vaccine and, of those, a total of 5,281,618 have been administered across the state.
On Friday, IDPH authorized counties in the state seeing low COVID vaccine demand to begin vaccinating all residents 16 and older at their immediate discretion in order to "address a concerning possible trend in increasing COVID hospitalizations and case rates."
The state is authorizing counties with open appointments and slowed demand to expand vaccine eligibility in order to use doses currently available. IDPH noted that residents should contact their local health department to learn whether they have expanded eligibility.
“Recent increases in hospital admissions and test positivity are concerning new developments and we don’t want to go down the same path we’ve seen before and experience a resurgence in the pandemic, which is why Governor Pritzker directed us to use all our resources to halt these upticks,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.
“We cannot move forward if our metrics are going backward," Ezike said . "The vaccine will help get us to the end of the pandemic, but we need to continue to reduce spread of the virus by wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds, keeping six feet of distance, getting tested after seeing others, and getting vaccinated as soon as possible.”