As vaccine counts tick back up, Illinois is on track for looser COVID-19 restrictions this week
COVID-19 vaccine providers throughout Illinois are again averaging more than 80,000 shots a day after spending all of last week below that threshold.
Illinois Department of Public Health figures show providers averaged 81,265 shots a day over the past week. Four days ago, the state was averaging fewer than 66,000 shots a day as part of a two-week decline in shots administered. At its peak just under a month ago, the state was averaging more than 132,000 shots a day.
Declines in average daily new cases and hospitalizations keep Illinois on track to reach the Bridge Phase on Friday, with loosened capacities for businesses and social gatherings, state health officials say.
Even bigger changes could be in the works as Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, signaled federal health officials might be planning to loosen indoor mask requirements.
"We do need to start being more liberal as we get more people vaccinated," Fauci said Sunday during an interview with ABC News. "I think you're probably going to see that as more people get vaccinated."
Some states have already loosened restrictions on requiring masks at indoor settings, but Illinois has not.
Also Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization Monday to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children ages of 12 to 15. Previously, the vaccine was authorized only for people 16 and older.
Meanwhile, IDPH figures show 70,426 more COVID-19 shots were given Sunday.
Vaccine providers statewide have administered 9,978,915 doses since mid-December, with 35.4% of the state's population considered fully vaccinated.
State leaders Monday also announced plans to begin offering vaccination clinics at large business sites around the state, including at the American Society of Anesthesiologists headquarters at 1061 American Lane in Schaumburg within the next few days.
IDPH officials reported 12 more Illinois residents have died from COVID-19, while 1,424 new cases have been diagnosed. One who died was in her 30s, and there were two each in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. One woman who died was in her 90s.
Since the outset of the pandemic, COVID-19 has killed 22,235 in Illinois and infected 1,356,391.
Hospitals throughout the state reported treating 1,906 COVID-19 patients, 473 of whom are in intensive care.
The state's seven-day average case positivity rate is at 2.8%, down slightly from the day before and at it's lowest point since late March.