Illinois coronavirus: 57,292 more vaccinated, 3,345 more infected as positivity falls to 4%

A week into Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution program, a total of 945,137 shots have now been administered, though only 208,211 people have received both required doses.

SHARE Illinois coronavirus: 57,292 more vaccinated, 3,345 more infected as positivity falls to 4%
A pharmacy resident prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine last month for a round of vaccinations at Mount Sinai Hospital.

A pharmacy resident prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine last month for a round of vaccinations at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Illinois’ average coronavirus testing positivity rate fell to its lowest point in almost four months Saturday as officials reported 3,345 new cases of COVID-19 and 65 more deaths attributed to it.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced another 57,292 coronavirus vaccine doses went into arms across the state Friday, marking four straight days with more than 50,000 shots administered.

A week into Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution program, a total of 945,137 shots have now been administered, though only 208,211 people have received both required doses. That’s only 1.6% of the state population, but the state’s rolling average of doses administered per day over the last week is now up to 41,045.

Meanwhile, most of Illinois’ infection numbers have fallen back down to their lowest levels since October following a devastating fall surge.

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The latest cases were diagnosed among 107,802 tests, decreasing the state’s average positivity rate to 4% — as low as it’s been since Oct. 10.

Chicago’s regional positivity rate held steady at 6.4% for a second day, leaving the city poised to shed Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Tier 1 coronavirus business restrictions Sunday as long as it stays below 6.5%.

That’ll put the city back in Phase 4 of Pritzker’s reopening plan, which gives local officials leeway to increase indoor capacity at bars and restaurants, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday she’ll keep them at 25% capacity for the time being. Restaurants were given the green light to reopen just a week ago under Tier 1.

Statewide, COVID-19 hospital admissions were down to 2,600 Friday night, the fewest beds occupied since Oct. 22.

The virus has still claimed an average of 71 Illinois lives per day over the past week, but that daily fatality rate is down about 40% compared to a month ago.

Thirty-seven of the latest victims were from the Chicago area, including two Cook County men in their 20s and 30s.

Since last March, more than 1.1 million people have contracted the virus in Illinois, and 19,203 of them have died.

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