COVID-19 Cases dip to four-month low, but positivity rate inches up
State health officials on Sunday announced 1,631 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus, the lowest single-day total since early October, but also a slight increase in the rate of tests coming back positive.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 35 additional deaths from the coronavirus. Among them were 13 residents of Cook County, two each from Lake and McHenry counties, and one from DuPage County.
The deaths bring the state's toll to 19,961 since the COVID-19 outbreak began last year. There have been 1,162,154 cases in all, officials said.
The seven-day average case positivity rate for the week of Feb. 7 to Feb. 13 was reported Sunday at 3%. The rate, a key metric health officials use to track the level of new infections, was at 2.9% Friday and Saturday.
As of Saturday night, 1,777 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Illinois, down from 1,892 the previous night. Among those patients, 373 were in an intensive-care unit and 189 were on ventilators, down from 425 and 202, respectively, Friday night.
On Saturday, 59,158 vaccine doses were administered in Illinois, raising the state's total to 1,783,345, including 244,699 in long-term care facilities. The 7-day rolling average of vaccinations stands at 62,927 doses, the highest to date, according to the IDPH.
That comes as officials on Saturday warned that as more people become eligible for their second shots, the number of appointments available for first shots will decline.
Starting this week, vaccine providers will receive a larger share of vaccine reserved for second doses, and smaller shares for first doses. Allocations of first-dose vaccines likely will increase again in March, officials said.