COVID-19 case counts in kids and teens surpass older Illinoisans'

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, case counts of the virus in Illinoisans 19 and younger have surpassed those of other age groups.

For months, 20-somethings have led the case counts for COVID-19. But on Friday, Illinois Department of Public Health data showed 298,424 infections for those 19 and younger compared to 298,144 for people 20 through 29.

The rise in new virus cases in children and teenagers is related to the fact that those 11 and younger aren't eligible for COVID-19 vaccines amid the proliferation of the highly infectious delta strain of the disease, experts explain.

The 19-and-younger cohort constitutes 18% of Illinois' total of 1,650,108 COVID-19 infections.

In comparison, that age group made up 12% of cases last fall.

New cases of COVID-19 totaled 2,744 Friday with 35 more people dying from the respiratory disease in Illinois, the IDPH reported.

On Thursday, 33,235 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 35,898.

The federal government has delivered 17,727,225 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 14,822,824 shots have been administered.

So far, 7,109,230 people in the state have been fully vaccinated, nearly 56% of Illinois' 12.7 million population. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses several weeks apart.

Patients in the hospital with COVID-19 came to 1,653 as of Thursday night.

The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 2.1% based on a seven-day average.

So far, 25,224 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.

Labs processed 145,034 virus tests in the last 24 hours.

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