Illinois after one full year of the pandemic: 20,863 dead and 1,204,409 infected

  • Helen Baranowski of Roselle is vaccinated by nurse Ashley Neal at the Cook County Health System's COVID-19 mass vaccination site in Des Plaines last week.

    Helen Baranowski of Roselle is vaccinated by nurse Ashley Neal at the Cook County Health System's COVID-19 mass vaccination site in Des Plaines last week. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, March 5

Updated 3/11/2021 4:42 PM

It's been one full year since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic.

In that time, at least 20,863 Illinois residents have died from the virus that has claimed the lives of more than 2.6 million globally.


Illinois Department of Public Health officials believe another 2,259 residents likely died from the virus as well, meaning about one in every 550 Illinois residents has been felled by the respiratory disease.

At the time of the pandemic declaration, WHO General-Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was unprecedented.

"'Pandemic' is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death," he said. "We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus."

Since the global health agency's pandemic declaration, nearly one in 10 of the state's residents has been infected, with thousands hospitalized by the effects of the virus, straining medical resources and hospital personnel.

"This has been a long 12 months for everyone," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday at the opening of a COVID-19 vaccination center in Grundy County. "The pandemic hasn't ended, but things are truly looking up."

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In less than three months since the federal government began shipping vaccines to the states, Illinois has administered 3,680,703 doses as of Thursday, IDPH officials announced. Of those inoculated by Illinois vaccine providers, 1.3 million have been fully vaccinated, more than 10% of the state's population.

State health officials Thursday reported COVID-19 vaccine providers throughout Illinois had administered 112,776 doses Wednesday -- the fourth-highest single-day total -- and the state is averaging 98,166 inoculations a day over the past week.

According to IDPH figures, Illinois vaccine providers have used 75.1% of the state's allotted doses so far. And in the past three days, the state has received 635,180 new doses of the vaccine. That does not include thousands of doses being administered each day at a mass vaccination site at the United Center that uses federal resources, or several mobile vaccine clinics run by the federal government.

On the anniversary of the global pandemic declaration, IDPH officials reported Thursday that 55 more Illinois residents have died from the virus and another 1,700 new cases were diagnosed.


Hospitals statewide are treating 1,118 COVID-19 patients. Of those hospitalized, 231 are in intensive care, according to IDPH figures.

The state's seven-day average case positivity rate is now at 2.2%. Case positivity shows the level of infection within a certain population. A seven-day average is used to smooth out any anomalies in the daily reporting of new cases and test results.

Pritzker urged residents to remain vigilant about mitigating the spread of the virus by continuing to wear masks, maintaining social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

"We still have a long way to go," he said. "Patience is the watchword for everyone."

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