120K more COVID-19 shots given in Illinois as positivity rate ticks up again

City officials announced 1 million shots have now been given out at Chicago sites. About 1.7 million residents have been fully vaccinated statewide so far, about 13.6% of the population.

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People wait outside to receive COVID-19 vaccinations last month at Roberto Clemente Community Academy, 1147 N. Western Ave. About 13.6% of the Illinois population has been vaccinated.

People wait outside to receive COVID-19 vaccinations last month at Roberto Clemente Community Academy, 1147 N. Western Ave. About 13.6% of the Illinois population has been vaccinated.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Public health officials on Saturday reported another six-figure vaccination day for Illinois, but 1,962 more people tested positive for COVID-19 to raise the statewide infection rate to its highest point in almost a month. 

The new cases were diagnosed among 77,661 tests, raising the average positivity rate over the past week to 2.6%. Experts use that number to gauge how rapidly the virus is spreading. 

It hit an all-time low of 2.1% last weekend but has now increased for four consecutive days. As infections have declined dramatically statewide since the start of the year, the positivity rate hadn’t hit 2.6% since Feb. 25. 

New COVID-19 cases by day

Graphic by Jesse Howe and Caroline Hurley | Sun-Times

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

Graph not displaying properly? Click here.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 25 more coronavirus deaths, including that of a Cook County woman in her 30s. 

The number of hospitalized patients increased slightly as well to 1,179, but that’s still near a record low. 

Over the past year, more than 1.2 million Illinoisans have contracted COVID-19, including 21,059 who have died. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week “the end seems truly to be in sight,” but warned that residents need to be vigilant with the virus still cycling through communities as a massive vaccination campaign continues. 

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered by day

Graphic by Jesse Howe and Caroline Hurley | Sun-Times

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

Graph not displaying properly? Click here.

A total of 120,426 shots went into arms statewide Friday, marking the state’s sixth-best vaccination day yet. On average, 98,165 residents have been inoculated each day over the past week. 

City officials on Saturday announced more than 1 million shots have now administered at sites across Chicago. About 4.6 million shots have been doled out in all of Illinois, with 1.7 million residents considered fully vaccinated — just 13.6% of the population. 

Providers in suburban Cook County will begin vaccinating people 16 and up with chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes on Monday. City officials will expand eligibility in Chicago March 29.

Pritzker has said he’ll open eligibility to anyone over 16 on April 12, while the state could begin gradually loosening more business restrictions by May.

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