September 16, 2021

Illinois sees large increase in COVID-19 variant cases; nears 30% fully vaccinated

IDPH reports 2,035 new cases, 24 additional deaths, COVID-19 test positivity rate of 3.5%

Illinois saw an increase in cases of COVID-19 variants identified within the state with 762 new cases reported since Thursday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. This brings the total variant cases found in the state to 2,542 from the 1,780 cases reported Thursday.

The majority of variant cases are the B.1.1.7 variant, commonly called the United Kingdom variant, with 1,705 confirmed cases as of Sunday. The total number of cases of the B.1.427/429 variant, commonly called the California variant, has more than doubled since Thursday with 285 confirmed cases.

There are 524 cases of the P.1 variant, commonly called the Brazilian variant; and 28 confirmed cases of the B.1.351 variant, commonly called the South African variant.

The IDPH reported 2,035 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 24 additional deaths Sunday, and a total of 8,810,463 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered.

The seven-day rolling average of Illinois’ positivity rate remained the same at 3.5%. The state received the results of 61,299 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Sunday afternoon.

Illinois has seen 1,321,033 total cases of the virus, and 21,826 people have died. The state has conducted a total of 22,269,555 tests since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Saturday, Illinois had 2,032 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 477 were in intensive care units, and 247 were on ventilators.

To see definitions of key terms used in our COVID-19 updates, read this article titled, “Feeling lost in keeping up with the news?”

Vaccine update: As of Sunday, IDPH reported a total of 10,913,325 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 8,810,463 vaccines administered.

As of the time this story was published, 3,769,787 of the population of Illinois have been fully vaccinated, or 29.59%. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people.

There can be as much as a 72-hour delay in reporting from healthcare providers on vaccines administered.

In northern Illinois, here is the percentage of the population fully vaccinated by county:

Cook: 30.77%

Lake: 26.50%

McHenry: 25.77%

DuPage: 32.81%

Kane: 25.97%

Will: 26.46%

Kendall: 27.07%

La Salle: 24.13%

Grundy: 27.50%

DeKalb: 24.33%

Ogle: 27.12%

Lee: 28.54%

Whiteside: 26.51%

Bureau: 26.47%

Bridge update: According to Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan announced March 18, the state needs 70% of Illinois residents ages 65 and older to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before it can advance to the state’s “bridge plan” that will open up capacity limits on all businesses. The state’s bridge plan remains on pause because of a continued rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

As of Sunday, 78.23% of those 65 and older had received one dose of the vaccine, according to the state’s dashboard.

Also, according to the state’s dashboard, 52.36% of Illinois residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Regional update: Currently, all 11 of the state’s health regions are in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan.

For regions experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19, Tier 1 mitigations may be applied in either of these two scenarios:

  • If a region’s test positivity rate is greater than or equal to 8% for three consecutive days (measured with the 7-day rolling average).
  • If a region experiences both a sustained increase in test positivity rate (measured with the 7-day rolling average for 7 of 10 days) and hospital capacity is threatened, which is measured by either:
    • A sustained increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital (measured with the 7-day average for 7 of 10 days), or
    • Staffed ICU bed availability falls below 20% for three consecutive days (measured with the 7-day rolling average).

Regional data from the IDPH remains on a three-day lag.

Confused about the different tiers and phases of the governor’s COVID-19 response? Read how a region can advance through the tiers and into Phase 4 here.

The North Suburban region (McHenry and Lake counties) has seen 92 consecutive days below 8% for its COVID-19 test positivity rate. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 4.1%. Currently, 30% of ICU beds are available.

The region has never dropped below the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability since tracking began.

Within this region, McHenry County’s seven-day positivity rate average decreased to 8%. Lake County, which does about two-thirds of the testing in the region, is reporting a rolling average of 3.1%.

Hospitalizations increased six out of the past 10 days in this region.

The West Suburban region (DuPage and Kane counties) has seen 95 consecutive days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 5.7%. Currently, 23% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, Kane County’s seven-day positivity average decreased to 7% and DuPage County’s decreased to 5.1%.

Hospitalizations increased eight out of the past 10 days in this region.

The South Suburban region (Will and Kankakee counties) has seen 97 consecutive days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate dropped to 5.4%. Currently, 21% of ICU beds are available.

Hospitalizations have increased six out of the past 10 days in this region.

The North region (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago counties) has maintained a positivity rate below 8% for 100 days. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 5.9%.

Currently, 15% of ICU beds are available. Saturday is the 13th straight day this region is under 20% ICU capacity.

Within this region, DeKalb County’s positivity rate decreased to 6.6%, Lee County’s rate remained the same at 1.9%, and Whiteside County’s dropped to 4.7%.

Hospitalizations increased six out of the past 10 days in this region.

The North-Central region (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, and Woodford counties) has seen 101 days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 5.8%.

Within this region, La Salle County’s seven-day positivity rate remained at 4.8%.

Currently, only 16% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations increased for six out of the past 10 days.

Chicago has seen 95 consecutive days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 5%.

Currently, 20% of ICU beds are available.

Suburban Cook County has seen 95 days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 4.9%.

Currently, 20% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations increased six out of the past 10 days in this region.

To see how other regions across the state are doing, see the full IDPH dashboard here.

Newly reported deaths include:

- Adams County: 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s

- Champaign County: 1 male 60s

- Cook County: 1 female 20s, 2 females 50s, 4 males 50s, 2 males 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 2 females 90s

- Crawford County: 1 male 80s

- Kane County: 1 male 70s

- La Salle County: 1 female 60s

- Peoria County: 1 female 50s

- Tazewell County: 1 male 50s

Kelli Duncan

Kelli Duncan

Kelli Duncan is a reporter for the Northwest Herald covering county government as well as the communities of Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo and Harvard. She has previously covered local politics, immigration and feature stories.