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CHICAGO — COVID-19 hospitalizations across Illinois have now topped more than 7,000 cases, a first-time stat for the state amid record-high illnesses.

Illinois reported Thursday more than 44,000 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The state also averages more than 27,000 new cases each day.  

As hospitalizations reach new highs, state health officials say more than 1,000 Covid patients are in intensive care. 

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Less than 10% of ICU beds are available in suburban Cook County. In Will and Kankakee counties, just 5% of ICU beds remain available. 

In the far southern tip of Illinois, only two of 81 ICU beds are open in a region that covers 20 counties. 

According to state health officials, another 104 people died due to COVID-19 – the highest daily death count in more than a year. 

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The average positivity rate now stands above 14%, as more than 31% of people over the age of five remain not fully vaccinated.