No post-holiday COVID-19 surge in Illinois but deaths remain high as state reports 7,123 cases, 146 lives lost

WATCH ABOVE: Illinois Governor JB Pritkzer and health officials give a regular update on COVID-19 in Illinois Wednesday

CHICAGO — Predictions of a “surge on a surge” of coronavirus cases caused by Thanksgiving travel may be coming true in some parts of the U.S., but Illinois has seen a drop in new infections on average even as the state reports more lives lost than at any other point of the pandemic.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,123 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, as well as 146 additional deaths.

This brings Illinois’ 7-day average of cases to 8,310 a day, near where it was about a month ago as the state was seeing a surge in infections.

While new Covid cases are currently spiking in some southern and coastal states, infection rates have continued to drop in Illinois and across the Midwest.

With 146 additional COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday, Illinois averaged about 141 deaths a day over the past week. While that represents a decline, the state is still averaging about 20% more deaths than the highest point seen in the spring.

According to the CDC, Illinois now ranks 8th in the nation in the number of COVID-19 deaths reported per 100K residents over the past seven days.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Illinois continue to decline, with the IDPH reporting 4,793 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday night, including 1,045 in intensive care and 590 on ventilators.

Hospitals around the country and Illinois are continuing to administer COVID-19 vaccines to their workers as part of the initial wave of doses which are reserved for healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

Speaking Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker said Illinois will be receiving about half as many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in future deliveries than previously promised by the federal government.

Health officials said Tuesday that doses already received by the state are being shipped to local health departments and deliveries will continue to take place over the coming week.

They did not release specific plans for deliveries, citing security concerns, while some suburban hospital officials said there has been confusion with the process.

While many Midwestern states are seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases, health officials in Indiana reported 6,283 new COVID-19 cases and 125 deaths Wednesday, while the state’s test positivity rate came in at 12.5% as of December 9.

Indiana continues to see a surge in hospitalizations as well, with 3,192 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday.