COVID-19 new-case averages dip slightly for second day in a row
For the second day, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in Illinois dipped Friday, an encouraging sign after a week of high infection and hospitalization counts, and deaths.
New cases of COVID-19 totaled 29,639 Friday, and the average daily rate was 29,600, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.
A total of 153 more people died from the respiratory disease, the state announced. Hospitalized patients numbered 7,320 as of Thursday night.
The latest COVID-19 surge is caused by the super-contagious omicron variant of COVID-19. IDPH officials noted that "almost 90% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois are unvaccinated" and encouraged residents to get vaccinated or obtain their booster shots. Locations are available at vaccines.gov.
Cook County announced new vaccination clinics opening next week to handle the demand. A site at 7630 W. Roosevelt Road in Forest Park will open Tuesday, and a site inside the old Kmart at 1155 E. Oakton St. at Lee Street in Des Plaines will open Saturday, Jan. 22. Hours for both will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
The state's seven-day positivity rate for COVID-19 cases also continued falling. It was 10.6% Friday compared to 13.4% Monday.
On Thursday, 55,122 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 51,070.
So far, 8,249,223 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, amounting to 65.1% of the state's 12.7 million population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Right now, fully vaccinated means two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines several weeks apart, or one Johnson & Johnson dose.
Of those people who are fully vaccinated, 42.8% have received a booster shot.
The federal government has delivered 22,536,165 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December 2020, and 19,893,424 shots have been administered.
Total cases statewide stand at 2,589,640, and 29,099 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.
Labs processed 279,901 virus tests in the last 24 hours, the fourth-highest ever in Illinois.
Also, three pop-up state vaccination clinics offering booster shots will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Westmont Park District Community Center, 75 E. Richmond St., and Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee. Another clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Road. No appointments are required.