Illinois reports 6,839 COVID-19 cases, 126 deaths as post-holiday rise is less severe than many other states

Coronavirus Watch

CHICAGO — Illinois continues to see a rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases reported on average, although a post-holiday increase in infections still ranks behind most other states.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 6,839 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases as well as 126 additional deaths Tuesday.

After dropping for weeks, Illinois’ 7-day average of new Covid cases has continued to rise since December 29 to reach about 6,266 as of Tuesday.

This rate of increase still lags far behind states which have been worst-hit by a post-holiday surge over the past week, according to CDC data. Illinois ranks in the bottom half of states in new cases when population is taken into account, with 47.9 cases per 100,000 residents.

Neighboring Indiana is among the states which have reported relatively more cases (70.8 per 100K residents), although both are far below Arizona (112.1), California (95.8) and Tennessee (93).

Indiana continues to see a slow increase in its positivity rate, cases and coronavirus-related hospitalizations as well, with state health officials reporting 3,477 new COVID-19 infections and 142 additional deaths Tuesday.

Chicago has seen a slow rise in infections since the Christmas holiday, with a 7-day case average of about 942 new infections and a test positivity rate of 10.3% as of December 30.

Illinois health officials also said 87,083 new tests have been reported over the past 24 hours. This is a rise over previous days, as the number of reported tests in Illinois has been relatively low since the Christmas holidays. That’s likely due to factors including reporting delays, restricted hours at testing facilities and a drop in people seeking tests on holidays.

The weekly average of tests reported by the state has remained around 70,000 a day since dropping from more than 90,000 after the Christmas holidays, but the average rose slightly to 73,430 as of Tuesday.

Results from rapid saliva-based tests continue to be considered as probable cases, with those tests making up about 22% of the Tuesday’s total.

As testing has increased, the IDPH said 8.5% of tests performed from December 29 – January 4 confirmed a new case of COVID-19, a slight decrease from the previous day’s case positivity rate.

Hospitalizations in Illinois have continued to trend down since late November, with IDPH reporting 3,905 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday night, including 800 in intensive care and 457 on ventilators.

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