COVID-19 hospitalizations still rising, but more slowly
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois continued to creep up over the weekend, climbing to 2,333 patients Tuesday, including 551 in intensive care, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records.
While that's 47 more COVID-19 patients hospitalized since Friday, the growth rate in hospital admissions for the virus is slowing.
The number of COVID-19 patients has climbed just 3% over the past week, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records. The week before, patient counts increased nearly 5%, and inpatients rose by more than 10% in each of the two weeks before that.
Chicago Department of Public Health Director Dr. Allison Arwady urged hesitant residents to get vaccinated, noting 99% of vaccinated Chicagoans have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 since their final inoculations.
"And 99.9% of those fully vaccinated have not been hospitalized," she said. "The vaccine continues to be very protective."
Arwady announced Tuesday that the city's public health agency has begun scheduling house calls to administer vaccinations and is using a federal program to give Visa gift cards to unvaccinated residents who get the shots. Chicago residents can receive one $100 gift card when using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or one $50 gift card each time they receive a jab of the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines through the agency. Visit chi.gov/covidvax for more information.
IDPH officials reported the state's seven-day case positivity rate has dropped half a percentage point over the past four days and is now 4.5%, the lowest in more than a month. Case positivity tracks the percentage of new cases derived from tests given.
The seven-day case positivity rates in suburban Cook County as well as in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties are all below 5% for the first time since late July, IDPH records show.
State health officials also reported 66 more COVID-19 deaths since Friday, while 12,051 more cases of the disease have been diagnosed in the subsequent four days.
That brings the state's death toll from COVID-19 to 24,133, while 1,550,375 cases have been diagnosed.
IDPH records show 80,833 more doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered since Friday, bringing the total number of doses administered statewide to 16,570,415.
IDPH officials are reporting 60.2% of the vaccine-eligible population of residents 12 and older is fully vaccinated, while 77.4% have received at least one dose.
Providers are averaging 23,613 vaccine inoculations a day over the past week, IDPH figures show.