Illinois records nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, most since May

Illinois recorded nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, the most in a single day since early May.

Illinois Department of Public Health records show six more COVID-19 deaths along with the 1,993 new cases.

That brings the state's death toll from the disease to 23,398, with 1,406,459 Illinois residents who have now been infected since the pandemic began.

Of those dead, 159 are residents who were fully vaccinated. Since Jan. 1, deaths of fully vaccinated residents account for 2.3% of all who have died in Illinois, according to state records released this week.

At a bill-signing ceremony at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Gov. J.B. Pritzker sidestepped questions about reinstating mask mandates in the wake of the recent surge in cases.

"We need everybody to get vaccinated," Pritzker said. "These vaccines work to prevent serious illness, and we've seen that with 99% of people who are dying in hospitals of COVID today in the state of Illinois are unvaccinated."

Asked how inoculation incentives were going, such as the weekly summer lottery for vaccinated residents, Pritzker said he believed the programs were getting more residents to receive their shots.

"We're going to continue to incentivize getting vaccinated in every which way we can," he said. "In fact, I talked with a behavioral economist just the other day who had some pretty good ideas."

Besides the rise in new cases, other metrics are increasing throughout the state as well.

Hospitals are treating the most COVID-19 patients statewide since mid-June.

Illinois hospitals are now treating 628 COVID-19 patients, 119 of whom are in intensive care.

The state's seven-day case positivity rate is at 3%, also a level that hasn't been reached since early May, according to IDPH records. Case positivity tracks the level of infection within a certain population. It is calculated by the percentage of new cases derived from a batch of test results. A seven-day average is used to smooth any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.

Meanwhile, IDPH officials reported 24,432 more COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered throughout the state.

Vaccine providers across the state have now administered 13,038,137 vaccine doses to Illinois residents and workers, IDPH figures show.

IDPH officials are reporting 55.8% of the state's vaccine-eligible population of residents 12 and older are now fully vaccinated.

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