State sets vaccine records as county officials warn of virus surge, urge precautions
With the number of coronavirus cases rising, health officials have intensified the call for preventive measures even as eligibility for vaccines is set to greatly expand starting Monday.
On Saturday, health officials said a surge in suburban Cook County cases started Wednesday and the week ended with a seven-day average of 470.
The case count was about even with last week but the 736 cases reported Friday is a high water mark that hasn't been seen in at least a few weeks, said Thomas McFeeley, communications manager for the Cook County Department of Public Health.
Monthly averages for February and March were 326 and 359 respectively. The 470 seven-day average to start April shows a significant jump, he added.
DuPage County health officials for the past week also reported a "concerning rise" in COVID-19 daily cases, positivity rate and related hospitalizations.
The number of cases reported per day in DuPage rose 31% and the seven-day average as of last Thursday was 24% higher than the week before, officials said. The 93 COVID-related hospitalizations reported Friday in DuPage County is the highest number since Feb. 23.
DuPage health officials said the highest case increases were seen in youths aged 5 to 19 and in the 20- to 39-yearold and 40- to 59-year-old age groups.
On Friday, the state set a record in the number of vaccine doses administered for the third day in a row. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that 175,681 doses were administered, up 20,000 from Wednesday. The seven-day rolling average is 122,674 doses.
As of Monday, vaccination eligibility in Illinois expands to all residents aged 16 and older.
In response, Lake County health officials announced a plan to greatly increase daily capacity beginning Monday at its mass vaccination site at the Lake County Fairgrounds. The operation will shift from a drive-through to a walk-through model, allowing the number of vaccination appointments to be increased 66% to 2,500 per day. Appointments are still required through the AllVax web portal.
Lake County health officials said the vaccine supply is expected to continue to increase. But as it has since vaccines became available, officials emphasized that eligibility does not mean availability and those seeking a vaccine need to be patient.
As of Friday, 343,300 vaccine doses have been given to Lake County residents, with 18% fully vaccinated. Statewide, the number of doses administered passed 7 million.
The state also reported 3,630 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease found Friday, down from 4,004 on Thursday, and reported an additional 13 deaths, including five in Cook County and one in Will County.
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from April 3-9 is 4.2%, same as a day earlier.
As of Friday night, 1,831 individuals were reported to be in the hospital, 381 patients were in the ICU and 178 patients were on ventilators, all or which were up a bit from the day before.
Experts are strongly urging everyone to wear a mask, wash their hands, watch their distance and get vaccinated.