CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois reported 6,642 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and 117 additional deaths, as the state’s average infection rate dropped slightly for the fourth day in a row.

Since the start of the pandemic, The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a total of 1,040,168 coronavirus cases, including 17,743 deaths.

The statewide seven-day average case positivity rate now stands at 7.5%, and has been trending down for the past four days. During the second surge of the virus that started in the fall, the state’s case positivity rate peaked at 13.2%, and dropped as low as 6.8% on Dec. 26, before climbing back up to 8.5% as of Friday.

As of Monday night, 3,553 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Illinois, including 757 in the ICU and 409 on ventilators. COVID hospitalizations in Illinois have now been below 4,000 for 12 days in a row.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois peaked 6,175 on Nov. 20, although there are still far more COVID-19 patients in the hospital now than at the start of the fall surge in early October, when the state was averaging about 1,500 hospitalizations per day.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff