By Craig Wall and ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team – Read more below.
As four more Illinois counties moved into Phase 4 of reopening, lawmakers were told they are now eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois health officials reported 3,314 new COVID-19 cases and 69 deaths Wednesday and restrictions have now been rolled back to Phase 4 for the entire Chicago area.
As of Tuesday night, 2,469 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 520 patients were in the ICU and 270 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Jan. 27-Feb. 2 is 4.5%.
The test positivity rate is a metric the state began providing in late October. It is calculated by using the total number of positive tests over the total number of tests. This is the metric being used to by state health officials to make decisions about mitigations.
A total of 1,583,425 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago, with an additional 496,100 doses allocated to federal government partners for long-term care facilities, bringing the total number delivered in Illinois to 2,079,525.
IDPH reports that a total of 1,094,135 vaccine doses have been administered, including 175,900 at long-term facilities. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered is 45,787.
The IDPH says that vaccine distribution numbers are reported in real-time and vaccine administration numbers lag by as much as 72 hours.
“We surpassed our single-day record for vaccinations yesterday and reached 65,200 vaccinations,” said Governor JB Pritzker Thursday.
The federal government is promising states they will be getting a 20% increase in their vaccine doses. While touring a new mass vaccination site opening in Champaign, Pritzker announced an additional 97,000 doses will now be reallocated for those eligible in Phase 1B after federal authorities determined they would not be needed to vaccinate people in long term care facilities.
“As it turns out, they counted every bed and not every person. As you know, there are facilities that aren’t fully. In addition, there, they assumed that every person that would be offered including staff would take the vaccine, that also has not been the case,” Governor Pritzker said.
Now lawmakers have been added to the 1B eligibility group, which is drawing some criticism. During January’s lame duck session, three people connected to the Illinois House contracted COVID-19, including the Speaker’s chief of staff. Pritzker announced Thursday that lawmakers will be added to those eligible to be vaccinated now, though he plans to wait.
“We need the state of Illinois, its legislature and its government to function,” the governor said. “We had seven months or so, even longer, without any legislation really going through. There were no meetings of the General Assembly from May all the way through to the lame duck session.”
Lawmakers want to be safe with big challenges ahead.
“Balancing the budget is going to be difficult. Balancing the budget in a pandemic is going to be even more difficult,” said State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign).
Region 8 (DuPage, Kane) and Region 9 (Lake, McHenry) moved back into Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan Thursday, joining the rest of the Chicago area. Nearly the entire state is now in Phase 4 except for Region4, covering the downstate MetroEast area, which remains in Phase 3.
The Phase 4 guidelines mean indoor dining and drinking are now permitted for parties of up to 10 people. All tables should be 6 feet apart, but barriers can be installed to help safely separate seating. Museums are capped at 25 percent capacity. Also, seated theaters, cinemas, and performing art centers can welcome back up to 50 customers.
There is a real sense of excitement in the four suburban counties.
“Reopening into Phase 4 is a bump for the economy. It’s welcome for us, being in the business, but for customers as well,” said Anthony Vai, co-owner of Vai’s Italian Inspired Kitchen and Bar in Naperville. “A lot of people looking to get out, looking to get back to normalcy.”
Elmhurst Brewing was planning to celebrate their third anniversary virtually, but now they’ll be able to host a real party instead.
“We’re getting closer to back to full business, so that’s pretty exciting for us,” said Peter Dolan, co-owner of Elmhurst Brewing. “Our entire business model is predicated on people coming in, dining, having a good time, enjoying their food and enjoying our beer. And we’re very excited to get closer back to that original plan.”
For meetings and social events, there is a limit of 50 people 50% of room capacity, whichever is lesser. Multiple groups can meet at the same facility if they are socially distanced and in separate rooms. For more information on guidlelines, visit the state’s website.
The deaths reported Wednesday include:
– Adams County: 1 female 70s
– Boone County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 80s
– Bureau County: 1male 70s
– Champaign County: 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
– Cook County: 1 male 20s, 1 female 30s, 1 male 50s, 3 females 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 6 males 70s, 4 females 80s, 3 males 80s, 2 females 90s, 2 males 90s, 1 female 100+
– DuPage County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
– Effingham County: 1 male 80s
– Henry County: 1 male 70s
– Jefferson County: 1 male 70s
– Kane County: 1 male 40s, 1 male 50s
– Kankakee County: 2 females 70s
– Knox County: 1 female 80s
– Lake County: 1 female 30s, 1 male 40s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s
– Macon County: 1 female 90s
– McHenry County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 90s
– Monroe County: 1 female 70s
– Montgomery County: 1 female 80s, 2 females 90s, 1 male 90s
– Peoria County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s
– Sangamon County: 1 female 90s
– St. Clair County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s
– Vermillion County: 1 male 90s
– Will County: 2 males 80s, 1 male 90s
– Winnebago County:1 female 70s, 1 female 90s