Illinois sees 67% spike in COVID-19 deaths from May to June

State health officials recorded 324 COVID-19 deaths in June.

That's a 67% increase from the 194 deaths recorded in May, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records.

The spike was expected after cases and hospitalizations began growing in April. Deaths are a lagging indicator in a pandemic and usually trail growth in new cases by a month or so, health officials have noted in the past.

Since the outset of the pandemic, 34,150 Illinois residents have died from the respiratory disease, IDPH records released Friday show. Over the past week, 74 more COVID-19 deaths were recorded.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every 100,000 Illinois residents, 304 have died of COVID-19. That figure includes 4,445 probable COVID-19 deaths. That's the 23rd lowest rate among all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

By comparison, Vermont's COVID-19 morbidity rate is 104 deaths per 100,000 residents, the lowest in the country. Vermont also has the second-highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents nationally. CDC records show 82% of that state's population is fully vaccinated.

On the other end of the spectrum, the CDC is reporting 420 Mississippi residents have died of COVID-19 for every 100,000 residents.

Mississippi is also the second-lowest nationwide in percentage of population fully vaccinated at 52.3%, CDC records show.

CDC records show 69% of Illinois residents are fully vaccinated. Of those, 53.5% have received one booster dose, while 29.2% of those eligible for a second booster have received it.

According to IDPH figures, 10,911 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded since July 1, 2021. Of those deaths, 6,569 involved people unvaccinated. That's more than 60% of all COVID-19 deaths recorded during that time period.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are up slightly in Illinois over the past week, IDPH records show. Hospitals statewide reported treating 1,154 COVID-19 patients Friday, up 5% from a week ago. Of those hospitalized, 122 were in intensive care, 7% more than a week ago.

Illinois is averaging 4,031 new cases of COVID-19 a day over the past week, IDPH data shows. That's up from a 3,871 seven-day average a week ago. New-case figures don't take into account results from home-testing kits.

The CDC's community risk level map shows Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties at high, which recommends at-risk residents wear masks in public settings. McHenry County is listed at a medium level, and Kane County at a low-risk level.

"As we celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, everyone should be aware that 81 counties in Illinois are rated at medium or high community level for COVID-19," said Amaal Tokars, the acting director of IDPH. "This means that people who are vulnerable to serious medical outcomes are at higher risk. We remind holiday hosts to think of the safety of friends and family. You should hold events outdoors if possible, and in well-ventilated spaces if indoors."

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