Illinois records most deaths in a day since May; breakthrough cases a quarter of week's deaths

State health officials reported 45 more COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, the most in a single day since mid-May.

Additionally, new Illinois data on breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths shows 34 of the 134 COVID-19 deaths over the past week were fully vaccinated individuals, or more than 25% of those who died from the virus.

In all, 223 Illinois residents considered to be fully vaccinated have died from COVID-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health website. That's 3.1% of all COVID-19 deaths recorded in the state since Jan. 1.

Worried about the long-term effectiveness of vaccines, federal health officials announced Wednesday that booster shots for the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines could be available as early as mid-September for those who received their second doses at least eight months earlier. Research is still being done to determine whether a booster will be needed for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Of the deaths reported Wednesday by IDPH, 13 were Chicago residents, two were from suburban Cook County, and DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties each recorded one COVID-19 death. The remaining 26 were outside the Chicago area, according to state records.

The state's death toll from COVID-19 stands at 23,685, according to IDPH records.

In July, Illinois experienced the fewest number of COVID-19 deaths in a month since the outbreak began, with just 220, according to IDPH records. Just 18 days into August, the state has already eclipsed that, with 238 COVID-19 deaths so far.

IDPH also reported 3,833 new cases Wednesday, bringing the number of Illinois residents who have been infected by the virus to 1,474,285.

Another 25,993 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to Illinois residents and workers statewide, IDPH officials reported.

That brings the total number of inoculations statewide to 13,692,500 since the vaccine became available in December 2020, according to Illinois Department of Public Health figures.

Illinois hospitals are now treating 1,977 COVID-19 patients, including 437 who are in intensive care, IDPH reported.

The state's seven-day average case positivity rate, which tracks the level of new infection within a certain population, is 5.3%. That's down slightly from the day before.

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