Illinois reopens averaging lowest new COVID-19 cases, fewest ICU patients
As businesses and entertainment venues were allowed to fully reopen Friday and operate with full capacity for the first time in 447 days, 42,083 more people got doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and new cases continued to decline.
But 22 more died of COVID-19, including a Cook County man in his 30s.
Vaccine providers have administered 11,863,456 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, allowing Illinois to enter the final phase of the state's five-phase pandemic reopening plan. Among the state's eligible population of residents age 12 and up, 60.5% have received at least one dose, according to Illinois Department of Public Health figures.
IDPH officials are also reporting 5,705,969 residents, nearly 45% of the population, are fully vaccinated.
The state is also averaging the fewest new COVID-19 cases for a week in more than a year and the lowest number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care since the state began tracking, according to IDPH figures.
Public health officials note that while the reopening plan allows for full capacity at various businesses, everyone must still abide by mask guidelines set by individual businesses. Masks are still required on mass transit, in health care settings and in many congregate living facilities, according to state guidelines.
Another 401 new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed. Since the outbreak began, Illinois has seen 1,387,029 of its residents infected and 23,035 have died.
The state averaged just 381 new cases of COVID-19 each day over the past week. That's the first time the seven-day rolling average of new cases has been below 400 since March 2020.
The difference is that back then, the seven-day case positivity rate was at 14.3% because there were so few tests available. Today that rate, which shows the level of new infections across Illinois, is at less than 1%.
A seven-day average is used with most metrics to smooth out any anomalies in the daily reporting of figures.
Currently, hospitals statewide are treating 707 COVID-19 patients, 185 of whom are in intensive care, IDPH figures show. It's the first time the state's hospital system has registered fewer than 200 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds since the state began tracking those figures in April 2020.