Coronavirus positivity metric drops to record low — again — as state edges ever closer to full reopening

Coronavirus positivity metric drops to record low — again —
as state edges ever closer to full reopening 1

Just days short of the state’s full reopening, Illinois on Tuesday recorded 365 cases of COVID-19 and yet another record low positivity rate.

The tally of 365 cases comes one day after the state logged just 244 — the lowest daily caseload since March 23, 2020.

The seven-day average statewide positivity rate of 1.1% is the lowest since experts started tracking the metric, which is used as a barometer of how rapidly the virus is circulating.

The rate has ridden a roller coaster, soaring past 20% in the early days of the pandemic and plummeting to about 2.5% early last summer before shooting up again to 13.2% in mid-November.

In the past few weeks, it’s fallen steadily, reaching a new record low each day.

The overall steadily improving metrics prompted Gov. J.B. Pritzker to call for the state to enter Phase 5 — signaling an end to most all business restrictions — this Friday. Last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot abandoned her July 4 goal and announced the city would join the rest of the state in lifting all capacity restrictions on Friday.

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Masks will still be required in schools, in health care settings, on public transit and in some businesses. And experts still recommend that those who are not fully vaccinated keep their faces covered in other public setting as well.

And as the cases and positivity rates have dropped, so have vaccination rates.

Another 44,174 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were administered across Illinois on Monday, bringing the seven-day rolling average to 42,852 doses a day. That average has dipped up and down in recent weeks, but has steadily remained a fraction of the 131,642 seven-day average logged in mid-April.

Terrell Hallom, 15, gets a vaccine at Chicago of Public Health’s “Vax and Relax” event at It’s Official Barbershop at 1256 W. 63rd St. on Saturday.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times file

More than 51% of the state’s adult population is fully vaccinated, state public health officials reported. A total of 11,708,874 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Monday.

Officials reported 11 additional deaths, including two Cook County men in their 40s. The state’s overall COVID-19 death toll is 22,974.

As of Monday night, 791 individuals across Illinois were reported in the hospital due to COVID-19, officials said. Among those patients, 226 were in the ICU and 117 were on ventilators.

For help finding a vaccine appointment in Chicago, visit 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 or call (833) 308-1988.

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