COVID-19 positivity rate remains at record low as Chicago, Illinois reopen

Illinois’ COVID-19 infection rate remained at a record low Friday as the state reopened after 15 months of restrictions.

With most social distancing and capacity limits lifted for the first time since March of last year, state health officials Friday reported 401 new coronavirus cases and an additional 22 deaths — 11 of which were in the Chicago area.

The new cases were detected among 39,661 tests processed by the Illinois Department of Public Health within the last 24 hours, officials said Friday. The seven-day positivity rate remained at 1% — the lowest it’s been since experts started tracking that metric in May 2020.

Though most COVID-19 restrictions ended Friday as the state entered Phase 5 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, masks will still be required in schools, health care settings, public transit and some businesses.

Nearly 69% of adults in the state have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 52% of people 18 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the IDPH. Despite the progress, Illinois is still a long way from reaching the threshold for herd immunity, which experts estimate would require at least 80% of the population to be vaccinated.

A total of 11,863,456 vaccines have been administered in Illinois, state health officials reported Friday.

A total of 1,387,029 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Illinois, including 23,035 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases by day

Graphic by Jesse Howe and Caroline Hurley | Sun-Times

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

Graph not displaying properly? Click here.

Chicago Sun-Times – All