Illinois COVID Update Today: Governor JB Pritzker Announces Expansion in Eligibility for Phase 1B IL Vaccine Reports 2,825 New Coronavirus Cases, 53 Deaths

CHICAGO (WLS) – Illinois health officials reported 2,825 new COVID-19 cases and 53 deaths Wednesday when Governor JB Pritzker announced the expansion of Phase 1B eligibility in Illinois.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 1,152,995, with a total of 19,739 deaths, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Governor Pritzker announced Wednesday that Illinois is making plans to expand Phase 1B eligibility on February 25 to people who have underlying comorbidities and conditions as defined by the CDC. Additionally, Illinois will also prioritize people with disabilities.

“As soon as we receive a sufficient supply of vaccines, we must not waste time protecting a larger section of our most vulnerable population,” Pritzker said. “Those who are under 65 and living with comorbidities, such as cancer survivors or those living with heart disease, are at high risk of serious complications or death if they contract COVID-19. Illinois is making progress according to the guidance of the CDC to expand our eligible population as supply allows, moving closer to the point where the vaccine is widely available to all who want it. In the meantime, I encourage all Illinois residents to wear our masks and follow mitigations to that more neighbors are healthy and alive when it is their turn in the vaccination line. “

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The governor said his office is working with local health departments on the expansion and that areas that have already vaccinated the majority of their residents eligible for Phase 1B can expand access by Feb.25.

High-risk categories covered in the expansion include:

-Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
-Heart problems
-Immunosuppressed status of a solid organ transplant

-The pregnancy
-Lung disease
-Sickle-cell anaemia

This expansion could nearly double the number of people currently eligible for the vaccine at a time when supplies are low, but the governor expressed optimism that federal government deliveries will increase significantly in the coming weeks.

“My administration will work with all local public health departments to include these highest-risk individuals in their community immunization plans in the coming weeks,” Pritzker said.

The move could add another 2.5 million people to Phase 1B at a time when demand far exceeds supply.

Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwardy reacted to the announcement with caution.

“If we add more people to 1B now, all we do is make things difficult for people who are already eligible to get that vaccine,” Dr. Arwady said.

In Chicago, officials did not plan to include people under 65 with underlying conditions until late March at the earliest, and that group represented another 900,000 people in Chicago alone.

“We will certainly have more discussions with the state,” Dr. Arwady said. “If they have any assurance that there will be an additional vaccine, and they could direct it to Chicago, that would be very helpful in terms of us being able to move more quickly.”

Chicago has been receiving its own vaccine shipments from the federal government, separate from the state. And Dr. Arwady has said she doesn’t expect those federal deliveries to increase significantly until at least early March.

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In the last 24 hours, laboratories have reported 82,885 samples for a total of 16,822,385.

As of Tuesday night, 2,082 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of these, 464 patients were in the ICU and 232 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators.

The preliminary positivity of the seven-day state test as of February 9 is 4.0%.

A total of 1,724,325 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago, with an additional 428,100 doses allocated to federal government partners for long-term care facilities, bringing the total number delivered in Illinois to 2,152,425.

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IDPH reports that a total of 1,480,079 doses of vaccines have been administered, including 223,790 in long-term facilities. The seven-day moving average of vaccinations administered is 55,135.

The IDPH says that vaccine distribution numbers are reported in real time and vaccine administration numbers have a delay of up to 72 hours.

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The deaths reported Wednesday include:

– Adams County: 1 female age 70, 1 male age 70
– Bond County: 1 90s woman
– Carroll County: 1 female age 70
– Champaign County: 1 female age 70
– Cook County: 1 40-year-old man, 2 60-year-old women, 2 70-year-old women, 4 70-year-old men, 3 80-year-old women, 4 80-year-old men
– DeKalb County: 1 male 80 years old
– DuPage County: 1 woman age 70. 2 males 70
– Franklin County: 1 female age 70
– Grundy County: 1 male 80 years old
– Hamilton County: 1 woman 80 years old
– Jefferson County: 1 male 70 years old
– Kane County: 1 male 60, 1 male 70
– LaSalle County: 1 80-year-old female, 1 80-year-old male
– Lee County: 1 male 70 years old
– Macon County: 1 male 50 years old
– Massac County: 1 80-year-old woman
– McHenry County: 1 90’s woman
– McLean County: 1 female age 60, 1 female age 80
– Ogle County: 1 female age 70, 1 male age 70
– Peoria County: 1 male age 70, 1 male age 80
– St Clair County: 1 male 70, 1 female 80, 1 female 90
– Stephenson County: 1 male 80 years old
– Vermilion County: 1 male 80 years old
– Will County: 1 60-year-old female
– Winnebago County: 1 female 40, 1 female 50, 1 male 70, 1 female 90

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