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Illinois COVID-19 positivity rate decreases again, remains below 8%
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Illinois COVID-19 positivity rate decreases again, remains below 8%

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Ezike vaccine

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at the Cook County Health’s North Riverside Health Center in Riverside.

SPRINGFIELD — The statewide seven-day rolling COVID-19 case positivity rate remained below 8% for a third consecutive day Tuesday after decreasing for a fourth straight day.

Tuesday’s seven-day rolling positivity rate was 7.5%, a decrease of one-tenth of a percentage point from Monday.

The state reported 6,642 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, with an additional 117 deaths recorded over the previous 24 hours. The state has reported 1,040,168 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and the death toll climbed to 17,743 across the state’s 102 counties.

As of Monday night, 3,554 COVID-19 patients were reported to be in the hospital, an increase of 14 from the day prior, and 757 patients were in intensive care unit beds, a decrease of two from the day prior. There were 409 patients reported to be on ventilators, an increase of eight from the day prior.

The state reported 93,491 test results over the previous 24 hours for a total of more than 14.2 million tests completed since the pandemic began. That made for a one-day positivity rate of 7.1%.

On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health began reporting data regarding the delivery and administration of vaccines on its website.

As of Monday, 638,159 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines had been delivered to the state in addition to 231,475 doses that had been allocated to the federally mandated Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program aimed at vaccinating people in congregate settings in Illinois.

A total 353,791 doses had been reported administered as of Friday, including 41,075 as part of the pharmacy partnership.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that health care providers have up to 72 hours after administering a vaccination to report the data according to federal guidelines, so the number of vaccines reported administered lags behind the number of vaccines reported distributed.

Over the past seven days, the state reported averaging 24,232 vaccines administered daily.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike on Tuesday received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Cook County Health’s North Riverside Health Center in Riverside.

On Monday, Ezike stressed the importance of being vaccinated as a variant of the coronavirus that has been tracked in the United Kingdom becomes a potential threat in the U.S.

“If it’s not here yet it’s only a matter of time,” Ezike said. “It is likely already in the state, but it’s probably circulating at such low numbers right now that we have not identified the significance.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that multiple COVID-19 variants are circulating globally. The CDC reported a new variant has emerged in the UK with an unusually large number of mutations.

This variant was first detected in September and is now highly prevalent in London and in southeast England, the CDC reported. It has since been detected in numerous countries around the world, including the U.S.

Two cases of the UK variant COVID-19 were identified in Maryland as of Tuesday, according to multiple news reports. The variant is believed to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, but there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death, according to the CDC.

Ezike warned that this new variant could quickly become the dominant strain of the virus in the states.

Photos: The career of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

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