BREAKING: Illinois Covid Cases ‘Worst In A Year’, Officials Looking At New Restrictions?
BREAKING NEWS: Illinois covid-19 cases are hitting the worst numbers they’ve seen over the last year, and with winter approaching and a new omicron variant rising worldwide, officials are looking at new restrictions for the state.
Illinois reported 21,034 new COVID-19 cases since last Friday, along with 87 additional deaths and over 311,000 new vaccine doses administered, according to data released Friday from the Illinois Department of Public Health — an increase of almost 125 percent over the last month.
Since the pandemic began, 1,784,900 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths reported over the past five days bring the state to 26,313 confirmed fatalities due to covid.
The number of cases surged past the worst delta-variant numbers of this past summer, which prompted a return to a statewide mask mandate which has yet to be lifted, and is the worst we’ve seen since late 2020.
Over the previous three weeks, the state has seen a massive surge of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, according to Illinois Department of Health numbers, and the latest data released today showed a spike beyond those numbers.
As the numbers surge, so do the calls by some to enact even harsher mitigations statewide, with some even calling for another shutdown, particularly of schools.
Some schools have already opted to shut down due to the surge, as one district near Chicago shut down its elementary schools for two weeks due to the massive surge. In the Quad-Cities, Edison Junior High in Rock Island is still closed down due to rising covid cases and isn’t expected to open until next week at the earliest. Near Peoria downstate, Princeville schools shut down all athletics due to spiking covid cases.
State officials have been in discussion regarding more state restrictions depending on how the numbers rise as winter approaches, and if and when the more contagious omicron variant hits Illinois.
Today, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady released a statement, saying the city is “very engaged in the heightened discussions regarding the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, particularly with our federal partners.”
“At this point, there are many questions which scientists across the world, and at the Chicago Department of Public Health, are actively working to address all while closely monitoring this strain. While that work continues, we must as a city, and importantly as individuals, continue to follow the public health guidance: get vaccinated, and if vaccinated, get your booster; wear a mask indoors and when you’re around other people; and if you are feeling sick, stay home to save lives. The unvaccinated remain the most at risk to themselves and others so please get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Dr. Rachel Rubin, co-lead and senior medical officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health, also issued a statement on Friday regarding the situation.
“We are watching the Omicrom variant very carefully,” the statement said. “We don’t know if the variant has reached the United States, but given the global concern about the virus, it is more important than ever to continue to follow public health recommendations: Mask Up, Wash Your Hands, Stay Physically Distant, and most importantly, get vaccinated and get your booster as soon as you are eligible. The longer people do not get vaccinated, the risk of deadlier variants increases.”
The cases seem to be particularly hitting the unvaccinated especially hard.
Only 0.044% of vaccinated individuals in the state have been hospitalized due to COVID-19. Of those, 981, or 0.013% of the vaccinated population, have died as a result of the virus.
“This is largely a pandemic of the unvaccinated at this point,” Pritzker said in a recent press conference. “Over 97 percent of all the new cases we’re seeing are from people who have not had the vaccine.”
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