Illinois COVID-19 deaths up 22% over a month ago, but cases continue to decline
The number of Illinoisans dying of COVID-19 has increased 22.3% in recent weeks, but the trend is "not significant," the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.
Deaths over the last 28 days are one metric officials are watching as the state readies to lift restrictions on activities Friday as it enters a "Bridge Phase."
From April 15 through Wednesday, the average COVID-19 deaths a day were 25.8 compared to 21.1 fatalities between March 18 and April 14. IDPH reported the upward trend is not concerning because of the low death rate.
Daily new infections continue to drop, a positive sign. The average number of new COVID-19 daily cases was 1,907 Wednesday compared to 2,563 a week ago on May 5, a 25.6% decrease.
New cases of COVID-19 were 1,795 Wednesday, with 26 more deaths from the respiratory disease, the IDPH said. Fifteen deaths were downstate and 11 were in Chicago and the suburban counties, including a Cook County woman in her 30s.
On Tuesday, 73,345 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 80,591.
The federal government has delivered 12,584,525 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December and 10,110,969 shots have been administered.
So far, 4,607,114 people -- 36% of Illinois' population -- have been fully vaccinated. Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. require two doses several weeks apart.
Illinois hospitals were treating 1,899 COVID-19 patients Tuesday night, fewer than the seven-day average of 1,941.
The state's seven-day average positivity rate is 2.7%.
Total cases statewide stand at 1,359,748 and 22,285 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.
Labs processed 70,216 virus tests in the last 24 hours.