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Positivity rate falls again with 3,194 latest Illinois COVID-19 cases

Members of the Illinois National Guard and workers help set up the county’s sixth large-scale community vaccination site in Matteson, Tuesday afternoon, April 13, 2021. The Matteson mass vaccination site is slated to open to eligible members of the public at 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 14.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Public health officials on Saturday announced 3,194 new COVID-19 cases, lowering Illinois’ testing positivity rate to 4.1% and offering a potential sign of optimism that the state is easing down from its latest surge in infections.

The positivity rate, which indicates how rapidly the virus is spreading, is still up sharply compared to the all-time low of 2.1% the state reached last month, while an average of more than 3,200 residents have tested positive each day over the past week — nearly double Illinois’ case rate in early March.

But the statewide positivity rate has now fallen or held steady for five consecutive days after a full month of troubling upticks.

Chicago’s regional positivity rate has fallen slightly over the past few days to 5.6%, and it’s dipped to 5.5% in suburban Cook County.

Despite any incremental progress, it’s still “a critical time in this pandemic,” according to Dr. Kiran Joshi, senior medical officer and co-leader of the Cook County Department of Public Health.

“We’re very concerned about the potential for another surge,” Joshi said at a vaccination event hosted by the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove. “There is some hope in that we’ve seen cases level off over the last week, but I do want to point out that this rise in cases has been fueled by individuals who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, so we urge young people in particular to go out and get vaccinated, continue to wear your mask, to wash your hands, to keep your distance and to be careful with crowds.”

Read the full story from Mitchell Armentrout here.


News

9:12 a.m. Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops 3 million

RIO DE JANEIRO — The global death toll from the coronavirus topped a staggering 3 million people Saturday amid repeated setbacks in the worldwide vaccination campaign and a deepening crisis in places such as Brazil, India and France.

The number of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the population of Kyiv, Ukraine; Caracas, Venezuela; or metropolitan Lisbon, Portugal. It is bigger than Chicago (2.7 million) and equivalent to Philadelphia and Dallas combined.

And the true number is believed to be significantly higher because of possible government concealment and the many cases overlooked in the early stages of the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.

When the world back in January passed the bleak threshold of 2 million deaths, immunization drives had just started in Europe and the United States. Today, they are underway in more than 190 countries, though progress in bringing the virus under control varies widely.

While the campaigns in the U.S. and Britain have hit their stride and people and businesses there are beginning to contemplate life after the pandemic, other places, mostly poorer countries but some rich ones as well, are lagging behind in putting shots in arms and have imposed new lockdowns and other restrictions as virus cases soar.

Worldwide, deaths are on the rise again, running at around 12,000 per day on average, and new cases are climbing too, eclipsing 700,000 a day.

“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic, where we have proven control measures,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, one of the World Health Organization’s leaders on COVID-19.

Read the full story here.


New Cases & Vaccination Numbers

  • Public health officials on Saturday announced 3,194 new COVID-19 cases, lowering Illinois’ testing positivity rate to 4.1%.
  • The state reported its fourth most productive vaccination day yet with 160,014 doses administered Friday.
  • Nearly 8 million shots have gone into arms overall, with about 3.3 million residents fully vaccinated — nearly 26% of the population.



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