Illinois reports no COVID-19 deaths for first time in 475 days, but positivity rate ticks up
While it might be worthy of an asterisk, Illinois health officials reported no COVID-19 deaths Monday, the first time that's happened since March 16, 2020.
That amounts to 475 straight days when at least one person in Illinois was confirmed to have died from COVID-19.
Given the holiday weekend and closure of many public offices on Sunday and Monday, there's a good chance some deaths were simply reported late.
In fact, Illinois Department of Public Health officials on Tuesday reported 16 COVID-19 deaths; 14 in Cook County, one in DuPage County and another in Kane County.
Four deaths were reported Sunday and seven on Saturday.
IDPH officials noted daily COVID-19 death figures are relayed as they are reported to the agency, not when they actually occur.
Since Friday, 1,221 new cases of the respiratory disease were reported, IDPH records show.
That brings the state's death toll from COVID-19 to 23,272, while 1,393,773 Illinois residents have been infected by the virus.
The state's seven-day case positivity rate of 1.1% is the highest it's been in nearly a month. Case positivity allows health officials to track the level of new infection within a certain population. The rate is determined by the percentage of new cases derived from a batch of tests.
Currently, 421 patients are being treated for the disease in hospitals statewide, with 98 of them in intensive care.
The uptick in case positivity could ultimately translate to more hospitalizations and more deaths, which are both lagging indicators of infection during a pandemic. In the case of COVID-19, growth in new cases generally translates to increased hospitalizations two to three weeks later, followed by a spike in deaths a month or so after that, based on trends from previous case surges.
However, those surges happened before there was a vaccine.
State health officials on Tuesday also announced 57,278 more doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Illinois over the past four days.
Illinois vaccine providers have given 12,705,445 doses throughout the state since the rollout began in December, with 63.7% of the eligible population of residents 12 and older now having received at least one dose.
Illinois Department of Public Health records show 56.1% of the eligible population is considered fully vaccinated. Vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna require two doses weeks apart.
IDPH officials reported the first person to die of COVID-19 was an unidentified Chicago woman in her 60s who had been diagnosed with the disease in March 2020.
Since the first COVID-19 death was reported in Illinois, the state has averaged more than 49 deaths a day from the virus, according to IDPH data.
In addition to the confirmed deaths, IDPH and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report an additional 2,455 deaths were probably caused by COVID-19.
The deadliest day in Illinois was Dec. 2, 2020, when 238 COVID-19 deaths were reported. Sixty of the state's 102 counties recorded deaths that day.
December 2020 was the deadliest month for COVID-19, as 4,237 deaths were reported that month.
Last month saw the fewest deaths, though the virus still killed 405 Illinoisans, according to IDPH figures.
Chicago has seen the highest number of COVID-19 deaths of any location in the state, with 12,061 residents who have died from the virus so far. In suburban Cook County, 8,864 residents have been killed by the virus.
Elsewhere in the suburbs, 2,863 have died in DuPage County, 2,321 in Will County, 2,023 in Lake County, 1,194 in Kane County and 801 in McHenry County.
Statewide, the virus has killed nearly one of every 548 residents, according to an analysis of IDPH records. It has killed nearly 1.7% of those who contracted COVID-19.
According to CDC data, Illinois ranks seventh among the 50 states in the total number of COVID-19 deaths. California leads, followed by New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.