CHICAGO (CBS) — With a statewide indoor mask mandate set to go into effect on Monday, Illinois public health officials on Friday reported the highest daily COVID-19 caseload since January, although new cases are not rising as sharply as they were a few weeks ago.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 25,636 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Friday, including 4,942 new cases on Friday alone, the most in a single day since Jan. 23. when the vaccine was not yet widely available.READ MORE: Police Searching For Driver Wanted In Deadly Hit And Run Near Jefferson Park CTA Station
While new cases are still increasing across Illinois, they are not rising as quickly as they were at the beginning of August. The state’s average daily caseload has gone up less than 4% over the past week, compared to a 43% increase in new cases from the last week of July to the first week of August.
Meantime, the state’s seven-day average case positivity rate dropped slightly over the past week, from 5.3% to 5.2%. However, that infection rate is still higher than it was at any point during a slight surge of the pandemic in April and May.READ MORE: 8-Year-Old Boy Shot, Killed While Playing On Front Porch In Markham
Statewide hospitalizations have been above 2,000 for five days in a row in Illinois, but the rise in hospitalizations also has slowed compared to the past few weeks. Illinois is averaging 2,114 hospitalizations per day over the past week, up 12% from a week ago, while hospitalizations rose by 35% from the last week of July to the first week of August.
While vaccinations had been rising steadily for most of August in Illinois, they have dropped off in the past week. Illinois is averaging 24,056 doses per day over the past week, a 28% dropoff from a week ago.
Public health officials have said the latest surge in COVID cases is driven largely by people who have not yet been fully vaccinated, and by the more contagious delta variant.MORE NEWS: Vandal Caught On Camera Trashing Trader Todd's Bar In Lakeview, Leaving Racist And Threatening Graffiti
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said last week that 95% of all new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago are of the delta variant. She also said fewer than half a percent of people who have been fully vaccinated have been diagnosed with COVID after getting their shots.