Illinois sees new surge in COVID-19 cases. Here’s how it compares to this time last year

·2 min read

Illinois is seeing another surge in coronavirus cases just before the holidays.

In the late summer and early fall, COVID-19 cases in Illinois were rising, reaching a peak on Sept. 4, when the seven-day average was 4,440 new cases per day. On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, the seven-day average was 4,628 new cases per day, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

While the number of new cases has been increasing over the last month, this latest peak is still well below the number of new cases Illinois was experiencing last year.

Exactly one year ago, on Nov. 24, 2020, the seven-day average was 9,469 new cases per day, and that was after the state’s overall peak on Nov. 16, 2020, with a seven-day average of 12,384 new cases per day.

Vaccines are widely available, which is curbing deaths and hospitalizations.

In southwest Illinois, hospitalizations have increased for nine days straight, up to 67 as of Tuesday. This week last year, Region 4 hospitalizations peaked at 233.

Region 4 includes St. Clair, Madison, Bond, Clinton, Monroe, Randolph and Washington Counties.

Even with the recent increase in hospitalizations, Region 4’s ICU bed availability has consistently been above the 20% threshold during that time.

The seven-day average for COVID-19 deaths in Illinois was 26 as of Tuesday. A year ago, it was 138, according to data from IDPH. After Thanksgiving last year, the mortality rate climbed, peaking at a seven-day average of 181 deaths on Dec. 11.

At the end of October, the vaccine was authorized for children as young as 5 years old.

According to state officials, 71.4% of Illinoisians over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated; for those over the age of 65, one of the most vulnerable populations, the rate of people who are fully vaccinated jumps to 86.1%.

Booster doses are available to anyone 18 years and older.

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