CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois reported 6,839 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as well as 126 additional deaths, as the state’s positivity rate dropped slightly for the first time in a week.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a total of 991,719 coronavirus cases, including 16,959 deaths.

As of Tuesday, the statewide seven-day average case positivity rate stands at 8.5%, a slight drop from Monday’s average of 8.6%. The state’s positivity rate had been climbing steadily since Dec. 26, when it was at 6.8% before the latest decrease.

However, it’s unclear if the decline in the positivity rate is simply a factor of increased testing after a lull over the holiday weekend. IDPH reported 87,083 coronavirus tests on Tuesday, after averaging 70,530 daily tests over the previous seven days.

As of Monday night, 3,905 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Illinois, including 800 in the ICU and 457 on ventilators. COVID hospitalizations in Illinois have now been below 4,000 for five days in a row. Hospitalizations haven’t been that low since early November, although they’re still more than double the average of 1,500 per day at the start of October, when the fall surge began.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff