CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois is continuing to see a decline in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, as the statewide infection rate has dropped to its lowest point since mid-July.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday announced 21,787 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus in the past week, including 239 additional deaths.

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It’s the third week in a row the weekly case count has dropped in Illinois, with the state averaging 3,112 new cases per day in the past seven days, a 28% decline from three weeks ago.

The state’s average infection rate has dropped for four weeks in a row, with the statewide average case positivity rate down to 2.7%. During this most recent surge, the infection rate peaked at 5.3% five weeks ago. The rate is now the lowest the state has reported since July 16.

Statewide hospitalizations also continue to decline. Illinois is averaging 1,957 hospitalizations per day over the past week, down 15% from two weeks ago.

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Deaths are also down slightly from last week. Illinois averaged 34 deaths per day this week, a 17% drop from last week.

Meantime, the state’s vaccination rate has dropped slightly over the past couple weeks, averaging 19,371 doses administered per day over the past week, a 5% drop from two weeks ago.

Public health officials said 79.2% of eligible Illinois residents (anyone age 12 and up) have had at least one dose of the vaccine so far, and 61.8% have been fully vaccinated.

 

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff