coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Positivity Rate Doubles in 2 Weeks, With Hospitalizations Also on the Rise

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The positivity rate of coronavirus testing in Illinois has more than doubled in the past two weeks, according to data state health officials released Friday, as hospitalization metrics also continued to rise.

Illinois health officials on Friday reported 7,983 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, along with 47 additional deaths.

The state has administered 241,150 tests since last Friday, nearly 13,000 more than in the week prior.

The seven-day rolling average positivity rate on all tests rose Friday to 3.3% from 1.9% the week before and 1.5% two weeks prior. The rolling average seven-day positivity rate on individuals tested rose to 3.5%, up from 1.7% then 2.3% in the past two weeks, officials said.

Those figures show the positivity rate in testing has more than doubled in both categories over the past two weeks.

In all, 1,407,929 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began. The additional deaths reported this week bring the state to 23,401 confirmed COVID fatalities.

All three of the state's hospitalization metrics as of Thursday night marked an increase since last week's figures.

As of midnight, 670 patients were hospitalized due to COVID in the state. Of those patients, 135 are in intensive care units, and 44 are on ventilators. The previous week, 476 people were in the hospital with COVID, including 94 in the ICU and 28 on ventilators.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned Tuesday that stricter mitigations could return for areas seeing a rise in COVID cases.

"I believe strongly that we will impose mitigations as it's appropriate, where it's appropriate," Pritzker said in an interview.

Calling on anyone who is unvaccinated to get vaccinated, Pritzker said the state continues to monitor COVID metrics like positivity rate, case numbers and hospitalizations.

"It is always a difficult thing for me," he said. "I wake up every morning and I look at those numbers and when they're rising, you know, that's a bad day, and I want to do whatever I can to mitigate that. So that's included making sure testing is widely available, making sure that the vaccines are widely available, and I'll continue to do that and if we need to take stricter mitigations we will."

The same day, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was "sounding the alarm" due to a recent uptick in cases across the city.

Citing a rise in both average daily cases and test positivity in Chicago, Lightfoot said that while numbers are still well below the spikes seen during the peak of the pandemic, "it's still a concerning development that we want to not only stay ahead of, but to quash completely."

"If we allow the virus to continue to linger here in Chicago we will likely see further mutations, some of which our current vaccines may not be able to protect against and have to reinforce some of the restrictions that have come to infamously define much of 2020 and part of 2021," Lightfoot said during a coronavirus update alongside city health officials.

"The reality is this scenario - the worst case - is entirely preventable, and that's because we have three different vaccines readily available to all of our residents, which offer very good protection against delta, and other new variants," she added.

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