After showing signs of increasing in mid-October, the number of new daily COVID cases in Illinois has apparently leveled off in recent days and even declined over the past week.
According to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, cases began to rise in mid-October, with more than 2,000 new cases reported daily, but that number has since leveled off.
As of Wednesday, the state averaged 1,952 new cases per day, which is a slight decrease from last week.
The state averages nine COVID deaths per day, according to the latest IDPH data.
Overall, more than 3.8 million COVID cases have been reported in the state since the pandemic began. Officials say there have been 35,269 deaths associated with the virus, with another 4,763 deaths currently classified as “probable” COVID deaths.
Chicago-area doctors are reporting a rapid rise in respiratory illnesses, including RSV, among children, putting hospitals on high alert as beds fill up earlier than usual and cases spike. moving than many expected during cold and flu season.
Even with cases remaining largely stable in the state, several counties have seen their numbers increase enough for the CDC to consider them at a “high level of transmission” of the virus. These include Stephenson and Ogle counties in northern Illinois, Pike County in far western Illinois, and Ford and Vermillion counties in eastern Illinois.
Residents of these five counties are advised to wear masks in indoor spaces due to the higher level of transmission of the virus.
Nationally, the BA.5 variant is still the dominant strain in the United States, according to CDC estimates, but it now accounts for less than 50% of estimated cases. BQ.1 is now at 14% and BQ.1.1 at 13.1%. Both are descendants of BA.5.
BA.4.6., descendant of BA.4, is responsible for nearly 10% of cases.
In the Midwest, which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, BA.5 is still dominant at 54.7%, while BQ.1 is responsible for about 10 .3% of cases. BQ.1.1 is responsible for 13.1%.
Illinois saw a spike in COVID vaccinations when new bivalent boosters were approved by the CDC and FDA, but that number has since fallen slightly. A total of nearly 24.8 million vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois, with approximately 74.5% of state residents age 5 and older now fully vaccinated against the virus.
The state has an average of 28,771 new vaccine doses administered per day.
Public health officials have expressed concerns about a potential increase in cases as new variants begin to circulate in the United States. Other respiratory illnesses, including RSV, have also seen case numbers rise sharply in recent weeks, with officials urging residents to get their COVID and flu shots as soon as possible.