CHICAGO (CBS) — For the second day in a row, Illinois has reported more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 statewide, as new cases have increased by 18% over the past week.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,190 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases on Thursday, as well as 35 new deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 1,229,898 cases, including 21,171 deaths.

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Over the past week, Illinois is averaging 1,973 new cases per day, an 18% increase from the week before, when the state averaged 1,669 new cases per day. During that time, COVID-19 testing is up only 2.4%.

On Wednesday, Gov. JB  Pritzker expressed concern about the recent uptick in cases across Illinois, and said public health officials will be monitoring the data closely to determine whether the recent increase is the result of new COVID variants that spread more easily, or simply a “a blip in the data.”

“There is more activity going on, and I think people maybe are being a little less careful,” Pritzker said. “And I want to remind everybody please keep your distance, please continue to wear your mask, please be respectful of others.”

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The statewide seven-day average case positivity rate stands at 2.7%, up from 2.4% a week ago, and a low of 2.1% on March 13. Even so, the case positivity rate has been below 3% for 39 days in a row, the longest such stretch of the pandemic.

As of Wednesday night, 1,251 coronavirus patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, including 267 in the ICU and 119 on ventilators. Hospitalizations also are up slightly, with an average of 1,201 per day in the past week, up 6.8% from one week ago, when Illinois was averaging 1,125 hospitalizations per day.

Vaccinations also have dropped off slightly during the past week. Illinois is averaging 101,175 doses administered per day over the past week, down 3% from one week ago, when the average was 104,251 doses per day.

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So far, a total of 6,506,865 vaccine doses have been delivered to Illinois, and 5,154,908 shots have been administered statewide. As of Thursday night, 1,921,995 people in Illinois have been fully vaccinated, accounting for 15.09% of the population.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff