SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday that the state had recorded 201,428 new cases of COVID-19 over the previous week, a 57% increase over the previous week. Meanwhile, the weekly number of deaths rose 15%, to 444, as the omicron variant of the virus continues to spread.
Those cases were confirmed out of more than 1.3 million laboratory tests performed over the previous week, which brought the preliminary statewide case positivity rate to 15.2%.
Those case counts are the highest of any since the pandemic began, according to IDPH data, although the death rate is well below the pandemic peak of a year ago. On Thursday alone, the state recorded more than 44,000 new cases, the highest single-day case count since the pandemic began.
That brings the total number of cases since the pandemic began to just under 2.4 million, including 28,361 deaths.
According to the Centers for Disease Control COVID Tracker, as of Monday, Saline County had 1,553.79 positive COVID cases per 100,000 tests, and a positivity rate of 22.69 -- considerably higher than the state average.
Forty-nine percent of Saline County residents older than 5 years of age are fully vaccinated, the site says. When you add a booster shot, the total drops to 42.1%. Other Saline County numbers:
• Percent of fully vaccinated population with a booster dose among those 18 and older: 43.9%
• Percent of fully vaccinated population with a booster dose for age 50 or older: 54.3%
• Percent of fully vaccinated population with a booster dose ages 65 or older: 62.8%.
The rising case rate in Illinois has prompted the General Assembly to cancel all of its scheduled session days next week, according to spokespeople for Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch, although committees in both chambers will continue to meet remotely.
As of late Thursday night, IDPH reported 7,096 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, including 1,123 patients in intensive care units and 639 on ventilators. Those cases account for 38% of all staffed ICU beds available and 11.5% of all staffed ventilators.
IDPH continues to advise people that vaccines are the strongest defense against the virus. As of Thursday night, more than 19.5 million vaccinations had been administered. Over the past week, 294,687 doses were administered, for an average of 42,098 per day.
Currently, 73% of the state's total population has received at least one dose of vaccine, while 64% are fully vaccinated and 40% have received a booster shot.