Will County reaches 900 COVID-19 deaths, over 100,000 vaccines administered

Region’s test positivity has continued to tick down to 4%

More than 900 people from Will County have died due to COVID-19.

The Will County Health Department reported the grim milestone Friday as the pandemic has continued to take lives nearly every day, disproportionately those over the age of 65.

Also, more than 65,000 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Will County, according to the health department.

Still there have been other positive signs of improving conditions.

Will County recently eclipsed 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine shots administered, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Just under 3,000 people on average are receiving a shot every day in the county.

In total, more than 29,000 people have been fully vaccinated which accounts for just under 4.3% of Will County’s overall population.

Vaccine supply continues to be an issue in Will County and around the state. A clinic at Joliet West High School was unable to vaccinate residents this past week due to a lack of doses.

The Will County Health Department joined other Chicago-area counties in not expanding eligibility under Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan, citing a lack of supply. Gov. JB Pritzker announced the expansion earlier this month.

Still, state and federal officials have said they expect to see improving vaccination numbers in the coming weeks with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine expected to be approved for emergency use. Unlike the vaccines already on the market, J&J’s vaccine requires only one shot.

Will County’s rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate also continued to tick down this past week and was 4.2% as of Feb. 23, the lowest rate since last July.

The South Suburban Region, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, also saw its positivity rate drop to 4.1%.

Hospital intensive care unit bed capacity remains at adequate levels as well in the region with 25% of beds available as of Thursday, according to the IDPH.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and testing resources in Will County, go to willcountyhealth.org.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.