Public health officials on Saturday attributed 47 more Illinois deaths to COVID-19, closing out a week that saw 225 lives lost to the virus statewide.
The latest daily death count and Friday’s figure of 49 deaths both marked the worst one-day tolls the state has seen in over two months.
Infection rates are falling statewide, but coronavirus fatalities remain on the rise with an average of 32 deaths per day over the past week, compared to a rate of 22 daily deaths in mid-April.
That’s because the state is still feeling the lingering of effects of a case spike in March — it takes time for those new cases to develop into severe ones that ultimately end in tragedy, experts say.
“Six to eight weeks after you get a surge of cases, you see a surge in deaths,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week. “It pains me every day to see those numbers and to think about the families that are affected by those deaths.”
New COVID-19 deaths by day
Graphic by Jesse Howe and Caroline Hurley | Sun-Times
Source: Illinois Department of Public Health
The virus has killed at least 22,415 Illinoisans since last year. Two Cook County residents in their 40s were among the latest victims.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 1,513 new cases were diagnosed among 83,856 tests, keeping the average statewide positivity rate at an eight-week low of 2.5%.
That figure, which indicates how rapidly the virus is spreading, has gone down as the percentage of vaccinated residents has gone up.
With the latest 92,923 shots administered Friday, 37% of the population have been fully immunized. More than 60% have gotten at least one shot, as 10.3 million vaccinations have been administered in all.
The state is now averaging about 71,000 shots given per day, a rate that has dipped about 45% over the last month. Officials are urging more residents to keep roll up their sleeves.
To sign up for a vaccine appointment in Chicago, visit zocdoc.com or call (312) 746-4835.
For suburban Cook County sites, visit vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or call (833) 308-1988.
To find providers elsewhere, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov or call (833) 621-1284.