Illinois COVID Update Today: IL Reports 2,022 New Coronavirus Cases, 44 Deaths; state expand 1B vaccine eligibility

CHICAGO (WLS) – Illinois COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan expands eligibility for Phase 1B on Thursday, but Chicago-area health departments are delaying expansion until sufficient doses are available.

The expansion comes as the Illinois Department of Public Health reported new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 44 deaths on Wednesday 2022.

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Several county health departments say it could be weeks before they can expand vaccine eligibility to people under 65 with underlying conditions, despite state assurances that supply will soon increase substantially.

Governor JB Pritzker said federal deliveries to Illinois will increase to 100,000 daily doses by mid-March, nearly double what the state currently administers.

“I encourage all of our local health departments, especially those that are not yet in pace with expansion, to act as quickly as possible to expand our reach in light of the ever-increasing federal supply,” Pritzker said.

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But in Lake County, less than a third of people 65 and older have been vaccinated.

The county adheres to CDC guidelines that say 60 to 70 percent of people in a current phase should be vaccinated before expansion, unless supply exceeds demand.

“We are seeing high demand and I can tell you that every day I receive emails from people 65 and older who are clamoring for their vaccination,” said Mark Pfister, executive director of the Lake County Health Department.

In fact, on the eve of the state’s 1B expansion, no area county health department has announced when that move will happen.

“Really looking at what the situation will look like in the next four to six weeks and then making a decision about how and when to expand to the next group,” said Chris Hoff, DuPage County Health Department.

In Chicago, it could be late March.

“I don’t want to create expectations that we just can’t meet, particularly when we still have to focus on our seniors,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

There may still be some providers, including pharmacies, in our area that expand eligibility, but they have to get the vaccine directly from the state or federal government, rather than from those counties.

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The IDPH reports a total of 1,179,342 COVID-19 cases, including 20,374 deaths.
As of Tuesday night, 1,511 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of these, 338 patients were in the ICU and 172 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators.

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In the last 24 hours, labs have reported that they have analyzed 82,976 specimens for a total of 17,804,537 since the pandemic began.

The preliminary positivity of the seven-day state test from February 17 to 23 is 2.8%.

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A total of 2,584,125 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago, with an additional 445,200 doses allocated to federal government partners for long-term care facilities, bringing the total number delivered in Illinois to 3,029,325.

The IDPH said that vaccine distribution numbers are reported in real time and vaccine administration numbers are delayed by up to 72 hours.

The IDPH reports that a total of 2,310,929 doses of vaccines have been administered, including 291,273 in long-term facilities. The seven-day moving average of vaccinations administered is 58,141.

The deaths reported Wednesday include:

-Cook County: 1 woman 60, 3 men 60, 4 women 70, 3 men 70, 2 women 80, 1 man 80, 1 woman 90, 1 man 90
-DuPage County: 1 male age 60
-Ford County: 1 man 80 years old
-Henderson County: 1 male 60, 1 female 70, 2 female 80, 1 male 80, 1 female 90

-Johnson County: 1 male, 70 years old
-Kane County: 1 60-year-old woman
-Kendall County: 1 female age 70
-Lake County: 1 male 70, 1 male 80
-LaSalle County: 2 women from the 90s
-Macoupin County: 1 60-year-old man
-McHenry County: 2 men in their 80s
-Monroe County: 1 woman age 70
-Saline County: 1 woman 70 years old
-Stephenson County: 1 80-year-old man, 1 90-year-old woman
-Union County: 2 men in their 60s
-Will County: 1 woman 70 years old
Winnebago County: 1 60-year-old man, 80-year-old man, 1 90-year-old woman

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