Hospitalizations on track for Feb. 28 lifting of state mask mandate

  • Gretchen Rodriguez, a nurse in Elmhurst Hospital, cares for a patient with COVID-19. Statewide, the number of hospital patients with COVID-19 was 1,815 as of Monday night.

    Gretchen Rodriguez, a nurse in Elmhurst Hospital, cares for a patient with COVID-19. Statewide, the number of hospital patients with COVID-19 was 1,815 as of Monday night. Courtesy of Elmhurst Hospital

 
 
Updated 2/15/2022 7:56 PM

COVID-19 hospitalization averages dropped by 65% in recent days compared to January, Illinois Department of Public Health data showed Tuesday.

The seven-day average for hospitalizations was nearly 2,105 patients, in contrast with an average of 6,088 in January.

 

A continued decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations is essential to lifting the state's indoor mask mandate on Feb. 28, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week.

Meanwhile, Chicago's top doctor said Tuesday that COVID-19 metrics appear favorable to allow lifting the city's indoor masking rule around the end of the month as well.

"I absolutely have committed to lifting the mask requirement as well as the indoor vaccination requirement when we hit the lower-risk metrics and we're close," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said at a question-and-answer session. "I expect over the next couple of weeks we're going to get there."

New cases of COVID-19 numbered 2,893 Tuesday with 53 more deaths from the respiratory disease, the IDPH reported.

Illinois hospitals were treating 1,815 COVID-19 patients Monday night.

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The state's seven-day average case positivity rate is now at 2.9%, dipping below 3% for the first time since Nov. 17, 2021.

Total cases statewide stand at 3,004,664, and 32,072 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.

On Monday, 15,169 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 23,110.

So far, 8,475,225 people have been fully vaccinated -- nearly 67% of Illinois' 12.7 million population -- according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC defines fully vaccinated as two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson's.

Of those people who are fully vaccinated, 48.5% have received a booster shot.

The federal government has delivered 23,455,645 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, 2021, and 20,909,741 shots have been administered.

Labs processed 103,189 virus tests in the last 24 hours.

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