CHICAGO (CBS) — Despite a slight uptick in new COVID-19 cases and deaths over the past day, Illinois’ average infection rate continued its nearly three-week decline on Tuesday, reaching its lowest point since mid-October.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,667 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, as well as 87 more deaths.

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Both are slight increases over Monday’s case counts, but the statewide 7-day average case positivity rate dropped again, falling to 4.6%, the lowest it’s been since Oct. 14. During the second surge of the pandemic in October and November, the state’s case positivity rate peaked at 13.2% on Nov. 13, and other than a nearly two-week rise after Christmas, has dropped steadily ever since.

Thanks to the recent declines in positivity rates statewide, limited indoor dining is now allowed at restaurants and bars in all but one region of Illinois; with Lake, McHenry, DuPage, and Kane counties the latest to ease restrictions on bars and restaurants as of Tuesday. Only the Metro East area near St. Louis is still in Tier 2 of the state’s regional virus mitigation plan, and still waiting to meet the benchmarks to roll back to Tier 1 and allow the return of indoor dining and bar service.

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Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 1,108,430 coronavirus cases, including 18,883 deaths.

As of Monday night, 3,001 COVID patients were hospitalized in Illinois, including 608 in the ICU and 320 on ventilators. Those figures also are up slightly from the day before, but still far below the peak of the fall surge, when Illinois reported 6,175 hospitalizations on Nov. 20. There also were as many as 1,224 coronavirus patients in the ICU in Illinois and 723 virus patients on ventilators in late November.

So far, a total of 1,764,675 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed to Illinois; including 1,227,625 doses delivered to hospitals and other healthcare providers, and 537,050 doses for long-term care facilities. The Illinois Department of Public Health said a total of 719,995 vaccines have been administered statewide, including 110,403 for long-term care facilities. Illinois is averaging 30,180 doses administered per day over the past week.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff