CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois is seeing a rise in new COVID-19 cases over the past week, even as Gov. JB Pritzker said yesterday that “rapidly we’re moving toward the next phase” of the state’s reopening plan.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,832 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as well as 13 additional deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 1,224,915 cases, including 21,116 deaths.

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Over the past week, Illinois is averaging 1,829 new cases per day, up from 1,583 cases per day the week before, a 15.6% increase. Testing for the virus is only up 3.3% during that same span.

The state’s seven-day average case positivity rate stands at 2.5%, up only slightly from one week ago when it was 2.3%. That rate reached as low as 2.1% on March 13, and has been below 3% for 37 days in a row, the longest such stretch of the pandemic.

As of Monday night, a total of 1,270 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Illinois, including 272 in the ICU and 117 on ventilators. It’s the first time in more than two weeks that Illinois has reported more than 1,200 daily hospitalizations from COVID-19.

Coronavirus hospitalizations have ticked up slightly over the past week, with an average of 1,165 people hospitalized per day, compared to 1,127 hospitalized per day during the previous week, a 3.3% increase.

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“Even as we’re getting more and more vaccine doses, we cannot let our guard down, especially with these virulent new strains circulating,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “We’ve come so far and are so close to a more normal time, but we’re already seeing some concerning plateaus and even increases in hospitalizations and cases. We’re not out of the woods yet so continue to wear your masks, avoid large crowds, and keep six feet of distance.”

While more than 800,000 doses of vaccines have been delivered to Illinois over the past week, the number of shots given out appear to be down slightly. IDPH said the state is averaging 91,000 doses administered per day over the past seven days, compared to an average of 102,564 doses per day one week ago. However, IDPH said it is working with the federal government on discrepancies in some vaccine administration data, which might have resulted in the number of doses actually administered having been underreported.

Last week, Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new “bridge phase” in the state’s reopening plan, which will allow for a gradual increase in capacity limits for businesses and public gatherings as vaccinations continue to climb.

In order to begin that new bridge phase, at least 70% of Illinois residents age 65 and older must have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while maintaining a 20% or lower ICU bed availability rate, and holding steady on COVID-19 and COVID-like illness hospital admissions, mortality rate, and case rate over a 28-day monitoring period.

Pritzker said Monday that about 64% of the senior population in Illinois has been vaccinated so far, and the state is adding about 1% of that population every day.

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“So rapidly we’re moving toward the next phase,” Pritzker said.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff