COVID hospitalizations down, but not enough for Pritzker to lift mask mandate
State health officials Monday reported 1,687 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized throughout Illinois, 412 of whom are in intensive care.
According to Illinois Department of Public Health records, hospitals are treating 10.9% fewer COVID-19 patients than a week ago.
But Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state's hospitalization figures need to decline more before he considers lifting the indoor masking mandate.
"Hospitalizations are still relatively high, even though they're moving in the right direction," he said Monday at an event in Chicago. "We're watching to make sure we're on a good downward trajectory ... in order for us to possibly make changes."
State health officials also reported 59 more COVID-19 deaths since Friday, as well as 7,139 new cases of the respiratory disease diagnosed over the past three days.
That brings the state's death toll from COVID-19 to 25,076, while 1,638,003 total infections have been diagnosed.
The health department does not update COVID-19 figures on weekends.
The state's seven-day case positivity rate is at 2.2%, the same as it was three days ago. Case positivity is the percentage of new cases derived from a batch of test results. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of those numbers.
Meanwhile, 117,847 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered over the past three days, according to IDPH records.
That brings the total number of inoculations to 14,689,384 since mid-December.
So far, 55.5% of the state's 12.7 million residents are considered fully vaccinated.
Later this month, federal officials plan to discuss guidelines on booster shots for individuals who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
"We anticipate we will have our next steps in our booster vaccination campaign for those people in a few short weeks," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on SiriusXM's Doctor Radio Reports program with Dr. Marc Siegel.
Guidelines on boosters for those who received Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines were introduced last month.