COVID-19 In Illinois: Average Infection Rate Falls To Lowest Point Since Late March; Vaccinations Still Lagging From April Peak

CHICAGO (CBS) — As Illinois prepares to enter its next reopening phase this weekend, the state’s average infection rate has reached its lowest point in nearly seven weeks, even as daily vaccinations still trail far behind the peak seen in April.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,795 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, as well as 26 more deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 1,359,748 cases, including 22,285 deaths.

Illinois is averaging 2,058 new cases per day so far in May, a 34% decline from the same time in April.

The statewide seven-day average COVID-19 case positivity rate is down to 2.7%, the lowest it’s been since March 25.

As of Tuesday night, a total of 1,899 coronavirus patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, including 466 in the ICU and 246 on ventilators.

Statewide hospitalizations are down the past couple weeks, though the decline still lags behind the drop in new cases. Illinois is averaging 1,963 hospitalizations per day so far in May, down 6% from mid-April, but still up 16% from the start of April.

Meantime, the state’s vaccination rate dipped slightly as of Tuesday night, after climbing for the previous four days. Illinois is now averaging 80,591 vaccinations per day over the past week, down 39% from the state’s peak exactly one month ago.

IDPH said a total of 10,110,969 vaccine doses have been administered statewide since December. A total of 4,607,114 people in Illinois have now been fully vaccinated as of Tuesday night, accounting for 36.16% of the population.

Illinois is on track to enter the on Friday, allowing for greater capacity limits at businesses, museums, zoos, and spectator events. If key COVID-19 metrics remain stable after moving into the Bridge Phase, .