COVID-19 update: Average daily cases down by more than half this month; new vaccine delay?

  • COVID-19 vaccinations are given out Tuesday in Kane County to assistant state's attorneys, judges and assistant public defenders.

    COVID-19 vaccinations are given out Tuesday in Kane County to assistant state's attorneys, judges and assistant public defenders. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/16/2021 9:19 PM

The daily average of new COVID-19 cases has dropped by more than half in February so far compared to January's, a positive trend given the erratic supply of vaccines in the last four weeks.

Daily case counts of COVID-19 in February average nearly 2,414 compared to January's tally of 5,254 infections a day.

 

A review of vaccine shipments to Illinois from the federal government over four weeks shows significant swings in allotments, ranging from 322,450 doses delivered in the seven days from Feb. 10 to Tuesday to 54,700 doses allocated from Feb. 3 to 9.

Earlier, the state received 161,575 doses from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records. And from Jan. 20 to 26, 376,475 doses were delivered.

Snow and frigid weather will likely impinge on COVID-19 vaccinations this week, officials said Tuesday, as new cases of the virus numbered 1,348 with 32 more deaths from the respiratory disease.

On Monday, 40,354 more people received COVID-19 shots, a drop from the seven-day average of 63,772, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

As of Tuesday, the federal government has delivered 2,474,875 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 1,863,562 vaccines have been administered.

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"Weather will most likely contribute to reduced vaccinations over the next several days," IDPH officials said in a statement.

The potential reduction in vaccinations comes with a bottleneck of people 65 and older plus essential workers such as police and teachers trying to get inoculated with insufficient supplies.

President Joe Biden's administration has promised to increase dose shipments by 28% and give states three weeks' advance notice of supplies.

Will County Health Department spokesman Steve Brandy said the agency had received that notice, although "I have been told it is not what we are hoping for," he said.

Lake County Health Department spokesman Chris Covelli said officials were apprised of doses coming over the next three weeks.

So far, 430,489 people -- 3.38% of the state's population -- have been fully vaccinated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna require two doses several weeks apart. Many others in Illinois have received their first shot.

Also Tuesday, Cook County announced it is easing some restrictions for indoor restaurants, bars and event spaces to allow either the lesser of 50 people or 40% capacity.

Mitigation Order 2021-4 also reinforces the need for everyone over age 2 who can medically tolerate wearing masks to do so in public places.

Illinois hospitals were treating 1,726 COVID-19 patients as of Monday night, less than the seven-day average.

The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 2.8% based on a seven-day average.

Total cases statewide stand at 1,164,922, and 20,034 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.

Labs processed 46,630 virus tests in the last 24 hours.

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