Illinois health officials reported 35,371 new coronavirus cases over the past week, along with 48 additional deaths as 66 counties across the state are at a "high" community level of COVID-19.
The previous week, the state reported 32,268 new cases, 52 deaths and 50 counties at "high" community level.
The week before that, the state reported 33,066 new cases and 59 deaths.
In all, 3,563,653 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths bring the state to 34,375 confirmed COVID fatalities.
According to IDPH, the preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 278 COVID cases per 100,000 Illinois residents.
As of midnight Thursday, 1,459 patients were hospitalized due to COVID in the state. Of those patients, 153 are in ICU beds, and 43 on ventilators.
According to the CDC, 66 Illinois counties are now rated at "high" community level for COVID, including many of the counties around the Chicago metropolitan area.
An additional 31 counties throughout the state are now rated at "medium community level."
“With 97 counties at an elevated risk level for COVID-19, the most important thing people can do to protect themselves is to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and boosters,” IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars said in a statement. “This is the most effective means we have to protect ourselves from serious illness, hospitalization and death. So please don’t wait to get up-to-date!”
The counties listed at a "high" community level are Boone, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will, and Winnebago in northern Illinois; Adams, Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Fulton, Hancock, Knox, Macon, Marshall, Moultrie, Pike, Shelby, Vermillion, and Warren in central Illinois; and Bond, Calhoun, Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Wayne, Washington and Williamson in Southern Illinois.
Over the past seven days, the state’s daily vaccination average dropped to 12,671 doses, per IDPH data. Since last Friday, 88,694 doses were administered across the state.
More than 22 million vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois since vaccinations began in December 2020. More than 69% of Illinois resident are fully vaccinated against COVID, with more than 76% receiving at least one dose. About 54% are also boosted.
At the high level, the CDC recommends that all people in the area wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Those who are immunocompromised, the CDC suggests avoiding "non-essential indoor activities" in public places.
In the counties at medium risk level, the CDC recommends the elderly and immunocompromised wear a mask in indoor public places and receive COVID vaccinations and booster shots, if eligible.