Illinois coronavirus update today: IL reports 2,210 new cases, 12 new deaths; new vaccine boosters available in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois reported 2,210 new COVID cases and 12 new deaths as of Friday.

The entire Chicago area is seeing some of the lowest transmission rates from the COVID community since the pandemic began. Cook County and all surrounding counties are all in the low transmission green group. The last time it was that low was earlier this year, in May.

The Illinois Dept. of Public Health says that “daily deaths reported at weekends and early in the week may be low” and “those deaths are recorded in the following days.”

There have been at least 3,751,275 total COVID cases and at least 34,947 related deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

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As of Thursday evening, 1,069 patients in Illinois are reported to have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Of these, 147 patients were in intensive care and 40 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilation.

The daily number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is 19.5.

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As of Thursday, a total of 23,653,407 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois and 65.66% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 24,840.

Local doctors clarify Biden’s remarks that “the pandemic is over.”

Local doctors weigh in after President Biden said the COVID-19 pandemic is over. They agree that we are past the emergency phase, but they have a warning about this fall and winter.

“The pandemic is not over, and neither should our efforts be, we need to keep the virus under control,” said Dr. Alfredo Mena Lora, specialist in infectious diseases at the UIC/St. Anthony Hospital.

Infectious disease doctors were quick to clarify President Biden’s remarks during a “60 Minutes” interview in which Biden said while COVID remains a concern, “the pandemic is over.”

“I think that was an out of context comment that was taken out of context,” said Dr. Robert Murphy, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Northwestern University.

Doctors say while the “emergency” phase of the pandemic may be over due to vaccines and treatments, cases remain high enough around the world where the virus continues to meet the definition of a pandemic.

“There are many infections every day, what is not here is the consequences of these infections,” Mena Lora said. “Hospitals aren’t where they were a year ago and that’s a great thing.”

And doctors say hospital admissions will continue to stay low as people get the new Omicron-specific vaccine. Some worry Biden’s comments could put people off getting another chance.

“We’re going in the right direction, but this is not the time to give up,” Murphy said. “You give up now and then we go backwards.”

Doctors are reminding people last summer when cases had been falling, some declaring victory until the delta and omicron waves hit, making last winter the worst of the pandemic.

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