Illinois COVID-19 cases up nearly 200% in two weeks

Illinois is averaging almost 200% more new COVID-19 cases a day than just two weeks ago.

New figures released Monday by the Illinois Department of Public Health show the state is averaging 811 new cases a day during the past week, compared to a seven-day rolling average of 285 new daily cases for the week ending July 5 -- a 185% increase during that time.

Illinois’ seven-day new case rolling average hasn’t been above 800 since May 31.

That’s still a far cry from this past winter’s infection surge, when the state was averaging more than 12,000 new cases a day.

Monday’s figures from IDPH also show hospitalizations continue to rise throughout the state, with hospitals now treating 537 COVID-19 patients, 107 of whom are in intensive care. Two weeks ago, hospitals were treating 380 COVID-19 patients. That translates to a 41% increase since then.

“Unvaccinated Americans account for virtually all recent COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths,” Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said during a Friday press briefing. “Each COVID-19 death is tragic. And those happening now are even more tragic because they are preventable.”

IDPH figures show 52,137 more COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered since Friday, with 20 more deaths and 2,817 new cases diagnosed during that time as well.

The state’s seven-day case positivity rate has risen to 2.4% -- the highest level since mid-May. Case positivity shows the percentage of new cases derived from a batch of test results. Health officials use the figure to track the level of a virus’ spread throughout a particular population. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.

IDPH figures now show 12,969,499 doses of the vaccine have been administered since it was made available in December. Records show 55.6% of the state’s vaccine-eligible population of residents 12 and older are now fully vaccinated.

The state’s death toll from the respiratory disease now stands at 23,377, while 1,402,763 Illinois residents have been infected.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also released recommendations that all children wear masks during the upcoming school year, a stricter stance than has been taken by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.