Illinois health officials reported 10,945 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, along with 64 additional deaths.
The metrics mark a dramatic decline in COVID cases, becoming the lowest number of weekly cases since April 8. In another positive milestone, no counties were listed under the "high" community level for the first time since mid-May, though experts continued to urge residents not to "let their guard down."
The previous week, Illinois reported 17,373 new cases and 62 deaths. The week before that, 17,584 new cases and 74 deaths were reported. The latest numbers come after reformulated vaccines targeting the latest omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, began across the state, with nearly 500,000 residents getting the bivalent vaccine shots in less than one month.
“It is encouraging to see the large number of Illinoisans who are taking advantage of the added protection offered by the new bivalent boosters,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “And while the case rate has been declining, this is not the time for anyone to let their guard down. As we head into fall and face a potential surge in new cases, I urge everyone who is eligible to contact their healthcare provider or local pharmacy to get the updated booster AND their flu shot. These vaccines are especially important for those most vulnerable to severe illness, such as those individuals over 50, those with underlying medical conditions, and those who are immunocompromised.”
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In all, 3,762,220 cases of coronavirus have occurred in the state since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths bring Illinois to 35,011confirmed COVID fatalities.
According to IDPH, the preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 86 COVID cases per 100,000 Illinois residents, a drop from the 136 cases per 100,000 residents reported a week prior.
As of midnight Thursday, 899 patients were hospitalized due to COVID in the state, down from last week's 1,069 patients. Of the current patients, 130 are in ICU beds, and 31 are on ventilators.
Over the past seven days, the state’s weekly vaccination average decreased to 23,457 doses from 24,840 the previous week, per IDPH data.
More than 23 million vaccine doses have been given in Illinois since vaccinations began in December 2020. More than 70% of Illinois residents are fully vaccinated against COVID, with more than 77% receiving at least one dose. More than 55% are also boosted.
As of Friday, no Illinois counties were at "high" community level, but 20 were still listed at the "medium" level.
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.