Illinois COVID-19 cases triple, vaccinations down by half in one month
In just one month, new COVID-19 infections more than tripled, but vaccinations dropped nearly by half, Illinois Department of Public Health data showed.
The latest mutation of COVID-19, the delta variant, is spreading rapidly, and it shows in average daily caseloads spurting from 318 in June to 969 in July across Illinois.
However, COVID-19 vaccinations shrunk from an average of 40,452 a day in June to 21,102 in July, reflecting some people's hesitancy about getting a shot and the fact most Americans who are eligible for a dose have already gotten one.
"No matter your age, no matter how healthy you are, you are susceptible to this virus," Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said.
The most recent people to die were a 31-year-old Black Chicago man and a 28-year-old Hispanic Chicago man, which is indicative of the toll the disease is taking on minority communities, Preckwinkle noted.
"The highly contagious delta variant is now the predominant strain in the U.S.," said Dr. Sharon Welbel, Cook County Health director of infection control and hospital epidemiology.
She urged unvaccinated individuals to get a shot at an event marking Cook County's surpassing 11,000 COVID-19 deaths. In Illinois, 23,476 have died.
"If we do not act urgently, we will see hospitals in Cook County overwhelmed with sick and dying patients, including children who are not yet able to get vaccinated," Welbel said.
"Every day, hospitals across the country are admitting almost exclusively unvaccinated patients into their COVID-19 and ICU units," Welbel said. Vaccines will reduce the chance of being infected with COVID-19 by almost 94%.
New cases of COVID-19 in Illinois numbered 2,364 Wednesday with 18 more people dying from the respiratory disease.
On Tuesday, 26,667 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 28,180.
The federal government has delivered 14,980,195 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 13,336,841 shots have been administered.
So far, 6,524,981 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 51.2% of the state's 12.7 million population. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses several weeks apart.
Patients in the hospital with COVID-19 numbered 1,165 as of Tuesday night.
The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 4.4% based on a seven-day average.
Labs processed 50,960 virus tests in the last 24 hours.