Illinois on Sunday recorded its smallest daily COVID-19 caseload in four months.
State health officials announced 2,060 new probable and confirmed coronavirus cases, the fewest reported in a single day since Oct. 6. The new cases were found among a batch of 81,550 tests processed by the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last 24 hours for a daily positivity rate of about 2.5%.
Illinois averaged 2,862 new cases each day through the first week of February. That’s a 55% decline from the first week of January when the state averaged about 6,379 new cases per day.
The state’s infection rates also have been on a steady decline over the last month.
After peaking at 8.6% in early January, the statewide seven-day positivity rate is down to 3.4%, the lowest that figure has been since early October. In the last week, that figure, which indicates how rapidly the virus is spreading, has fallen .5%.
“The proof is in the pudding; this is what happens when we come together and adhere to science,” tweeted Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who also said Chicago’s positivity rate is 5%. “We must keep doing what we know works: wearing a mask and physical distancing.”
Chicago, we are now at 5% COVID-19 positivity—the lowest rate since early October. The proof is in the pudding; this is what happens when we come together and adhere to science. We must keep doing what we know works: wearing a mask and physical distancing. #ProtectChicago— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) February 7, 2021
State health officials also announced another 48,359 coronavirus vaccines were administered Saturday, bringing the state’s total of vaccines issued to 1,342,857. About 14% of those shots were given to people at long-term care facilities.
As vaccine distribution continues, coronavirus hospitalizations across the state are down about a third of the peak levels Illinois suffered in November. As of Saturday, 2,188 beds were occupied statewide by coronavirus patients, with 507 of those patients in intensive care units and 245 on ventilators, officials said.
The virus has still claimed about 70 lives on average per day over the last week. On Sunday, health officials reported an additional 48 virus-related deaths, bringing the pandemic death toll to 19,633. Ten of Sunday’s fatalities were reported in the Chicago area and included a Cook County woman in her 50s.
In total, 1,146,341 people in Illinois have been confirmed to have the virus among the nearly 16.6 million tests processed over the last 11 months. The statewide recovery rate is 98%.