802 new Illinois COVID-19 cases as infection numbers keep improving

Illinois has logged fewer than 1,000 new cases on all but one day over the past week. Previously, that hadn’t happened since early July.

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COVID-19 vaccine doses are prepared earlier this year at Weiss Memorial Hospital on the North Side. About half of all Illinois adults are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccine doses are prepared earlier this year at Weiss Memorial Hospital on the North Side. About half of all Illinois adults are fully vaccinated.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Illinois’ COVID-19 infection free fall continued Saturday as public health officials announced 802 new cases of the respiratory disease, the fewest reported in a day since mid-March.

The latest cases were diagnosed among 61,125 tests, decreasing the average statewide positivity rate to yet another all-time low of 1.8%. That figure suggests the coronavirus is spreading at its slowest pace since first hitting the state more than a year ago.

Illinois has logged fewer than 1,000 new cases on all but one day over the past week. Previously, that hadn’t happened since early July.

On top of that, COVID-19 hospitalizations are as low as they’ve been since early March, with 1,164 beds occupied Friday night. In the worst days of the pandemic, that figure soared past 6,000.

New COVID-19 cases by day

Graphic by Jesse Howe and Caroline Hurley | Sun-Times

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

Graph not displaying properly? Click here.

But the virus claimed 37 more lives, including a Cook County woman in her 40s. Illinois’ death toll stands at 22,776 among about 1.4 million people who have been confirmed infected throughout the pandemic.

Infections have plummeted over the past month as more residents have been vaccinated. Another 54,773 doses were administered statewide Friday.

So far, 41% of all Illinois residents are fully vaccinated, including 49% of adults.

Vaccine demand is falling quickly, though. The state is averaging 55,252 doses given per day over the last week, barely half the rate it was a month ago, and the lowest it’s been since late February. Officials say they need more people to get their shots to bring the pandemic under control.

The Chicago Department of Public Health is hosting seven vaccination clinics across the city Sunday:

  • 95th St. Farmers Market, 1827 W. 95th St.
  • Logan Square Farmers Market, 3107 W. Logan Blvd.
  • Montrose Beach, 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive
  • Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive
  • Marquette Park, 6743 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • Washington Park, 5531 S. King Drive
  • Montclare community, 6814 W. Wrightwood Ave.

Additionally, the city is offering free Six Flags tickets to vaccine recipients at city-run sites throughout the weekend. They’ll also bring doses directly to the doorstep of any resident 65 or older who requests it, as well as those with disabilities or underlying medical conditions.

For help finding a city appointment, 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.

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