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43 more Illinois coronavirus deaths

While infection rates keep falling toward record lows, the state’s average daily death rate has inched upward this month.

Nurses look through a window as they check on a man with COVID-19 and on a ventilator last fall at Roseland Community Hospital. Illinois’ coronavirus death toll stands at 22,599.
Nurses look through a window as they check on a man with COVID-19 and on a ventilator last fall at Roseland Community Hospital. Illinois’ coronavirus death toll stands at 22,599.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Public health officials on Saturday announced 43 more Illinois deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, the most viral fatalities the state has suffered in a day this week.

While infection rates keep falling toward record lows, Illinois’ average daily death rate has inched upward this month. About 27 lives have been lost to the coronavirus each day over the past week, compared to 21 per day this time last month.

Experts say coronavirus deaths are a “lagging indicator” of the pandemic — they rise six to eight weeks after a spike in cases, like the one the state saw in early April.

Twenty-one of the latest COVID-19 victims were from Cook County, including a man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s.

New COVID-19 deaths by day

Graphic by Jesse Howe and Caroline Hurley | Sun-Times

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

Graph not displaying properly? Click here.

At least 22,599 Illinoisans have been killed by COVID-19 since it hit the state last year, while about 1.4 million residents have been infected in all.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,108 new cases were diagnosed among 59,314 tests, slightly raising the average statewide positivity rate to 2.3%. That’s still hovering around the pandemic low of 2.1%.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations keep falling. Hospitals were treating 1,401 patients Friday night, the fewest admissions since the end of March.

Numbers have been trending in the right direction as the percentage of vaccinated residents has risen. Another 76,652 shots went into arms Friday, with more than 5 million Illinoisans now fully immunized — about 40% of the population.

Almost half of all adults are fully covered, and 64% have gotten at least one shot.

To sign up for a vaccine appointment in Chicago, visit zocdoc.com or call (312) 746-4835. The city is offering in-home vaccinations to any resident 65 or older, as well as those with disabilities or underlying health conditions.

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.