Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Breakthrough COVID Cases Are 2% of State’s Deaths This Year

Just over 2% of COVID-19 deaths in Illinois so far this year have been among fully vaccinated residents, known as “breakthrough” cases, according to state health officials.

Meanwhile, western and southern areas of the state are seeing increases in positivity rates and coronavirus-related hospitalizations in recent weeks. a

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Cook County to Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy, Delta Variant

Cook County officials are scheduled to deliver an update on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy as well as regional trends, the delta variant and more.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha, Cook County Department of Public Health Co-lead Dr. Kiran Joshi, Cook County Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Claudia Fegan and Project Swish Founder McKinley Nelson are expected to speak at 10:30 a.m. at Provident Hospital. The news conference can be watched live in the video player above.

2% of COVID Deaths in Illinois This Year Have Been Fully Vaccinated Residents

Just over 2% of COVID-19 deaths in Illinois so far this year have been among fully vaccinated residents, known as “breakthrough” cases, according to state health officials.

A total of 151 people in Illinois have died due to COVID-19 or complications after being fully vaccinated, according to data updated Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health. That figure equates to 2.2% of COVID-19 deaths in the state since Jan. 1, officials said.

At least 563 fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized in Illinois, IDPH said. The state only reports breakthrough infections among those who have been hospitalized or died, IDPH said.

A person is considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The state does not publicize the number of residents who tested positive after being fully vaccinated but did not die or require hospitalization in order to “help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance,” IDPH’s website reads.

Illinois’ top doctor said Tuesday that breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated residents are a “unicorn” as she again urged those who have not yet gotten vaccinated to do so.

“These vaccines are truly effective,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “You know, everyone has heard of a case or two of someone who had a breakthrough infection or breakthrough hospitalization, but it is, that is so far the unicorn, that you need to focus on the people who are not vaccinated, they’re the ones filling up the hospital as COVID patients.”


COVID by the Numbers: Illinois Region Sees Positivity Rate Quadruple in Last Month

Areas of western and southern Illinois are seeing increases in positivity rates and coronavirus-related hospitalizations in recent weeks, continuing a recent trend that’s seeing COVID metrics slowly on the rise in many areas.

In Region 4, located near St. Louis in southwestern Illinois, the positivity rate has more than quadrupled in the last month, rising from 1.8% on June 11 to 7.5% on July 10, according to metrics from IDPH.

A recent trend of increases in COVID hospitalizations has eased in recent days, with the number of hospitalizations remaining steady or decreasing on four of the previous five days, and ICU bed availability has also steadied after a decline earlier this month, with 31% of the region’s ICU beds currently available.

Region 3, located in western Illinois and comprised of an area that includes Springfield, is also seeing elevated positivity rates, with that number now at 5%. Hospitalizations have increased on eight of the last 10 days in the region, with ICU bed availability at 29%.

Chicago Travel Advisory: City Adds 2 States Back to List as COVID Cases Rise

Chicago updated its travel advisory Tuesday, adding two states back to the list advising anyone entering the city to test negative for COVID-19 or quarantine upon arrival, as the U.S. 

Missouri and Arkansas were both added to the travel advisory after several weeks with no states on the list, the Chicago Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Recent increases in COVID metrics in the states pushed both over the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people to get onto the list.

“We are doing very well right now here in Chicago but across the whole U.S., you know, cases actually are up a little bit, right, they’re up 5 to 10% across the whole country,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Facebook Live broadcast last Tuesday.

Arwady’s comments came exactly one week after Chicago turned its emergency coronavirus travel order into an advisory after no states were on the list requiring travel restrictions for the third consecutive update.

CDPH announced on June 29 that in more than a month, no state had reached the 15 cases per day per 100,000 residents threshold, which would be the “orange” tier in which unvaccinated travelers are required to quarantine or provide a negative COVID test upon arrival in the city.

The last time a state had reached the orange tier was May 18, the department said, and all U.S. states and territories remained in the less restrictive “yellow” tier of the travel order.

The travel order shifted to an advisory as a result, but it will continue to be reevaluated every other Tuesday and the city said the emergency guidelines can be reinstated at any time “if significant surges are seen in any state.”

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