By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — The first day of the new year brought in a slightly lower number of COVID cases but the number of coronavirus-related deaths continues to rise.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,201 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, including 157 additional deaths. That’s the most number of deaths since December 30 when IDPH reported 178 deaths.

On Thursday, the state’s health department reported 8,009 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 133 additional deaths.

As of Friday, the state is reporting a total of 970,590 COVID cases, including 16,647 coronavirus-related deaths. Since Thursday night, 4,093 people were hospitalized hospital in Illinois with COVID-19. Of that number, 837 people were in the ICU and 496 with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

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