Coronavirus live blog, Jan. 17, 2021: Illinois’ COVID-19 positivity rate dips near 6%

Here’s Sunday’s news on how COVID-19 is impacting Chicago and Illinois.

SHARE Coronavirus live blog, Jan. 17, 2021: Illinois’ COVID-19 positivity rate dips near 6%

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell for a ninth consecutive day as another region’s coronavirus metrics improved enough to allow limited indoor dining.

Here’s what else happened in Chicago and around Illinois in coronavirus-related news.


News

4 p.m. Illinois’ positivity rate falls for 9th consecutive day

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell for a ninth consecutive day as another region’s coronavirus metrics improved enough to allow limited indoor dining.

State health officials on Sunday announced 4,162 new and probable COVID-19 cases, which were found among the latest batch of 96,845 tests reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last day.

Health officials also reported an additional 29 virus-related deaths, including 24 recorded in the Chicago area over the last 24 hours.

The statewide seven-day positivity rate dropped to 6.1%, the lowest that figure has been since Oct. 25. The improvement of that metric over the last week-and-a-half is significant because experts use it to gauge how rapidly the virus is spreading in the state. Last Sunday, Illinois’ seven-day average positivity rate was 7.9%.

Another positive sign that the state is rebounding from a late fall resurgence is that COVID-19 hospitalizations are as low as they’ve been since Nov. 1. As of Saturday night, 3,408 beds were occupied statewide by coronavirus patients, with 720 of those patients in intensive-care units and 387 on ventilators, officials said.

Read Madeline Kenney’s full story here.

9:45 a.m. UK aims to give 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by September

LONDON — The U.K. government plans to offer a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to every adult by September as the nation’s health care system battles the worst crisis in its 72-year-history.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Sunday that the government will soon begin a trial of round the clock injections at some locations as it continues to add more vaccination sites to increase the pace of delivery. The National Health Service opened a mass vaccination center on Saturday at the historic Salisbury Cathedral, where injections were accompanied by organ music.

“Our target is by September to have offered all the adult population a first dose,’’ he told Sky News. “If we can do it faster than that, great, but that’s the road map.”

Britain has more than 51 million adults in its population of 67.5 million people.

Read the full story here.

8 a.m. 130 more Illinois coronavirus deaths as infection rate keeps falling

More than 103,000 Illinois residents so far have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, public health officials said Saturday, as the state reported COVID-19 has killed an additional 130 people and spread to 5,343 more.

The new cases were diagnosed among 102,372 tests submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health, keeping most of the state’s metrics trending in the right direction as they have since the holidays.

Illinois’ seven-day average positivity rate fell for an eighth straight day, now down to 6.3%, the lowest that indicator of transmission has been since Oct. 26.

And COVID-19 hospitalizations are as low as they’ve been since Nov. 1, with 3,406 beds occupied statewide as of Friday night. Of those patients, 711 were receiving intensive care and 379 were on ventilators.

But Saturday’s death count is well above the state’s average of 107 deaths per day so far this year. A total of 1,704 Illinois lives have been lost to COVID-19 since New Year’s Day.

Read the full story from Mitchell Armentrout here.


Analysis & Commentary

From Friday, Jan. 15 — Thank Trump for a more subdued, less glitzy presidential inaugural this year

Who knew?

Apparently, only a few.

Who figured America’s presidential inaugural would be recalibrated by a gruesome twist in American history: sedition fueled by an accelerator named PresidentDonald Trumpand his thug acolytes.

The recent attack of domestic terrorism by the latest version of the historic “Plug Uglies,” is not expected to force President-electJoseph Biden’sinauguration off the steps of the nation’s Capitol this week.

But it’s a good bet the nation’s “House,” invaded last week by soldiers of Trump’s alternative universe, will be hovered by a “Star Wars” sized military force ostensibly protecting celebrants looking sideways — and facing the possibility of a pat-down rather than a pat on the back.

Sadly, our nation’s inaugural transfer of power used to be a ball, a bash to celebrate the success of democracy.

Read the full column from Michael Sneed here.

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