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For the first time since Tier 3 mitigations took effect last month, Region 6’s seven-day positivity rate is in single digits.

It fell Monday from 10.5 to 9.2 percent, the biggest single-day drop since Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced enhanced restrictions, including the closing of indoor dining, statewide.

Champaign County’s rate also fell — from 7.6 to 6.8 percent — while Piatt County’s run of having the lowest rate in the East Central Illinois region ended after nine days.

Crawford County now has the region’s lowest rate — 2.6 percent — after Dec. 11 testing was factored in (3,764 tests, 25 cases, a 0.7 percent daily rate).

The metrics the state uses to determine a region’s rate cover a seven-day period that ended three days ago (figures posted Monday are through Dec. 11).

Region 6’s metrics exclude data from the UI campus’ saliva testing (if UI tests were included, the region’s rate would be 5.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent overnight).

A look at the Region 6 rates since Nov. 1 (with three-day lags):

  • Nov. 1: 10.0 percent
  • Nov. 2: 10.0 percent
  • Nov. 3: 10.2 percent
  • Nov. 4: 10.2 percent
  • Nov. 5: 10.8 percent
  • Nov. 6: 11.3 percent
  • Nov. 7: 11.9 percent
  • Nov. 8: 12.2 percent
  • Nov. 9: 12.7 percent
  • Nov. 10: 13.0 percent
  • Nov. 11: 13.5 percent
  • Nov. 12: 13.6 percent
  • Nov. 13: 14.0 percent
  • Nov. 14: 14.0 percent
  • Nov. 15: 14.0 percent
  • Nov. 16: 14.3 percent
  • Nov. 17: 14.6 percent
  • Nov. 18: 14.5 percent
  • Nov. 19: 14.0 percent
  • Nov. 20: 13.7 percent
  • Nov. 21: 13.4 percent
  • Nov. 22: 13.1 percent
  • Nov. 23: 12.7 percent
  • Nov. 24: 12.1 percent
  • Nov. 25: 11.9 percent
  • Nov. 26: 12.0 percent
  • Nov. 27: 11.7 percent
  • Nov. 28: 11.9 percent
  • Nov. 29: 12.0 percent
  • Nov. 30: 12.1 percent
  • Dec. 1: 12.4 percent
  • Dec. 2: 12.5 percent
  • Dec. 3: 12.1 percent
  • Dec. 4: 12.2 percent
  • Dec. 5: 11.9 percent
  • Dec. 6: 12.0 percent
  • Dec. 7: 11.7 percent
  • Dec. 8: 11.2 percent
  • Dec. 9: 10.8 percent
  • Dec. 10: 10.5 percent
  • Dec. 11: 9.2 percent
Monday county positivity

Below is a look at the rolling seven-day rates of the 21 counties that make up Region 6, and how those rates compare to the previous day:

  • Fayette: 21.5 percent (+3.5)
  • Effingham: 18.5 percent (-1.3)
  • Cumberland: 17.3 percent (-0.2)
  • Richland: 15.6 percent (+0.5)
  • Lawrence: 15.2 percent (-3.2)
  • Clay: 14.8 percent (-0.6)
  • Jasper: 14.6 percent (+0.1)
  • Clark: 13.3 percent (+1.7)
  • Ford: 12.7 percent (-1.6)
  • Moultrie: 12.0 percent (-2.6)
  • Douglas: 10.7 percent (-0.8)
  • Vermilion: 10.1 percent (-1.5)
  • Shelby: 9.8 percent (+2.3)
  • Edgar: 9.7 percent (+0.4)
  • Iroquois: 9.6 percent (+0.2)
  • Coles: 8.7 percent (+0.8)
  • DeWitt: 8.3 percent (-0.1)
  • Champaign: 6.8 percent (-0.8)
  • Macon: 6.6 percent (-0.8)
  • Piatt: 5.6 percent (-0.3)
  • Crawford: 2.6 percent (-6.3)

If the UI’s saliva testing results were included in the state’s count, Champaign County’s seven-day rate would be 1.9 percent, down from 2.0 percent from the day prior.


CHAMPAIGN COUNTY: 67 new cases, 922 now active

Of 5,960 new COVID-19 tests, 67 came back positive Monday in Champaign County, pushing the pandemic total to 12,503.

Active cases in the county were down by 58, to 922. Recovered cases were up by 125, to 11,506.

The C-U Pubic Health District was monitoring 1,497 active quarantined close contacts of positive cases, 72 fewer than on Saturday.

Here’s an updated rundown of county ZIP codes with active cases followed by their total number of cases, according to C-U Public Health data:

  • 61820/Champaign: 180 active (down 18), 3,985 total (up nine)
  • 61821/Champaign: 139 active (down nine), 1,501 total (up 10)
  • 61822/Champaign: 99 active (down eight), 1,181 total (up 11)
  • 61802/Urbana: 93 active (up three), 974 total (up 11)
  • 61801/Urbana: 83 active (up seven), 1,121 total (up eight)
  • 61866/Rantoul: 69 active (down 12), 1,063 total (up two)
  • 61853/Mahomet: 69 active (down three), 660 total (up four)
  • 61873/St. Joseph: 53 active (down one), 380 total (up six)
  • 61874/Savoy: 33 active (down eight), 397 total (up three)
  • 61880/Tolono: 22 active (down one), 282 total (unchanged)
  • 61847/Gifford: 22 active (up one), 123 total (up two)
  • 61843/Fisher: 17 active (down five), 136 total (up one)
  • 61862/Penfield: 9 active (down one), 49 total (unchanged)
  • 61859/Ogden: 7 active (unchanged), 61 total (unchanged)
  • 61863/Pesotum: 5 active (down one), 51 total (unchanged)
  • 61864/Philo: 3 active (unchanged), 88 total (unchanged)
  • 61877/Sidney: 3 active (unchanged), 81 total (unchanged)
  • 61849/Homer: 3 active (unchanged), 72 total (unchanged)
  • 61872/Sadorus: 3 active (unchanged), 25 total (unchanged)
  • 61878/Thomasboro: 2 active (unchanged), 64 total (unchanged)
  • 60949/Ludlow: 2 active (unchanged), 32 total (unchanged)
  • 61840/Dewey: 2 active (unchanged), 31 total (unchanged)
  • 61851/Ivesdale: 2 active (down one), 16 total (unchanged)
  • 61852/Longview: 1 active (unchanged), 3 total (unchanged)
  • 61871/Royal: 0 active (down one), 31 total (unchanged)
  • 61845/Foosland: 0 active (down two), 29 total (unchanged)
  • 61875/Seymour: 0 active (down one), 28 total (unchanged)
  • 61816/Broadlands: 0 active (down one), 26 total (unchanged)
  • 61810/Allerton: 0 active (unchanged), 1 total (unchanged)
Monday county active

The county’s pandemic totals, according to CUPHD:

  • 1,176,337 tests
  • 12,503 confirmed cases
  • 75 fatalities
  • 14 county residents hospitalized
  • 16,759 close contacts quarantined
  • 1,735 close contacts that became positive

DOUGLAS COUNTY: Man in 90s becomes 22nd fatality

A man in his 90s became the 22nd Douglas County resident to lose their life to COVID-19, the health department announced early Monday evening.

The county also reported 15 new cases, giving it 1,685 for the pandemic.

How the new cases break down by age:

  • A 9-year-old girl
  • An 11-year-oid boy
  • Teens aged 14, 16 and 17
  • A woman and man in their 20s
  • A man in his 30s
  • Two women in their 40s
  • Two men in their 50s
  • A woman in her 60s
  • Two women in their 80s

Monday Vermilion

VERMILION COUNTY: December death toll now at 18

A man in his 60s became the 18th Vermilion County resident to lose their life to COVID-19, health Administrator Doug Toole said.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends,” Toole said.

The death is Vermilion’s 54th of the pandemic.

Other county numbers of note:

— The number of Vermilion residents hospitalized with COVID-19 now stands at 33, down nine from Sunday.

— The number of confirmed cases in Vermilion County grew by 21 Monday, to 4,250.

— With 60 residents released from isolation, Vermilion now has 295 active cases.

How the new cases break down by age:

  • Two residents in their 80s
  • Four in their 70s
  • Five in their 60s
  • Five in their 50s
  • Three in their 30s
  • One in their 20s
  • One teen

Monday Ford

FORD COUNTY: 26th fatality, 51 new cases

A woman in her 80s became the 26th Ford County resident to lose their life to COVID-19.

The county health department said the death was not associated with an outbreak at a long-term care facility, as has been the case previously in the pandemic.

In its first update since Friday, the county also announced 51 new cases, pushing the pandemic total past the 1,000 mark.

Of the 1,005 cases, 609 are classified as confirmed, with 396 others probable.


PIATT COUNTY: 18 new cases over three days

The number of confirmed cases in Piatt County rose by 18 Monday, when DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department Administrator reported three days’ worth of cases.

Piatt’s total now stands at 940. Here’s a breakdown of the new cases by day and town:

SUNDAY

  • Monticello: 2 cases
  • Cerro Gordo: 1 case
  • White Heath: 1 case

SATURDAY

  • Monticello: 5 cases
  • Bement: 1 case

FRIDAY

  • Bement: 2 cases
  • Hammond: 2 cases
  • Monticello: 2 cases
  • Mansfield: 1 case
  • White Heath: 1 case

Monday Carle

CARLE: 23 of 88 COVID patients hospitalized in Urbana in ICU

Twenty-three of the 88 COVID-positive patients at Carle’s hospital in Urbana are in intensive care, according to data updated Monday by Carle Health.

In all, 134 patients with COVID are hospitalized in Carle facilities, with 32 of those in ICU.

Carle’s BroMenn Medical Center in Bloomington has 33 COVID-positive patients (seven in ICU) while Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney has 10 (two in ICU).

Also reporting COVID patients, none of them in ICU: Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center (two) and Carle Eureka Hospital (one).

Here’s an overview of the daily totals for Carle’s Urbana and Bloomington hospitals since Nov. 18, when Carle first began publicly reporting data:

URBANA

  • Wednesday, Nov. 18: 69 patients, 6 in ICU
  • Thursday, Nov. 19: 70 patients, 7 in ICU
  • Friday, Nov. 20: 67 patients, 10 in ICU
  • Saturday, Nov. 21: 59 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Sunday, Nov. 22: 69 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Monday, Nov. 23: 74 patients, 13 in ICU
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24: 68 patients, 14 in ICU
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25: 70 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Thursday, Nov. 26: 71 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Friday, Nov. 27: 74 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Saturday, Nov. 28: 75 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Sunday, Nov. 29: 70 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Monday, Nov. 30: 69 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Tuesday, Dec. 1: 69 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Wednesday, Dec. 2: 61 patients, 8 in ICU
  • Thursday, Dec. 3: 62 patients, 9 in ICU
  • Friday, Dec. 4: 66 patients, 10 in ICU
  • Saturday, Dec. 5: 62 patients, 12 in ICU
  • Sunday, Dec. 6: 67 patients, 13 in ICU
  • Monday, Dec. 7: 66 patients, 13 in ICU
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8: 70 patients, 15 in ICU
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9: 66 patients, 13 in ICU
  • Thursday, Dec. 10: 82 patients, 22 in ICU
  • Friday, Dec. 11: 87 patients, 22 in ICU
  • Saturday, Dec. 12: 94 patients, 25 in ICU
  • Sunday, Dec. 13: 94 patients, 22 in ICU
  • Monday, Dec. 14: 88 patients, 23 in ICU

BLOOMINGTON

  • Wednesday, Nov. 18: 21 patients, 3 in ICU
  • Thursday, Nov. 19: 22 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Friday, Nov. 20: 22 patients, 5 in ICU
  • Saturday, Nov. 21: 24 patients, 5 in ICU
  • Sunday, Nov. 22: 28 patients, 5 in ICU
  • Monday, Nov. 23: 28 patients, 5 in ICU
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24: 25 patients, 3 in ICU
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25: 24 patients, 2 in ICU
  • Thursday, Nov. 26: 26 patients, 2 in ICU
  • Friday, Nov. 27: 28 patients, 3 in ICU
  • Saturday, Nov. 28: 26 patients, 3 in ICU
  • Sunday, Nov. 29: 24 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Monday, Nov. 30: 27 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Tuesday, Dec. 1: 30 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Wednesday, Dec. 2: 26 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Thursday, Dec. 3: 23 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Friday, Dec. 4: 23 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Saturday, Dec. 5: 15 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Sunday, Dec. 6: 15 patients, 3 in ICU
  • Monday, Dec. 7: 17 patients, 3 in ICU
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8: 20 patients, 4 in ICU
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9: 18 patients, 5 in ICU
  • Thursday, Dec. 10: 23 patients, 5 in ICU
  • Friday, Dec. 11: 21 patients, 3 in ICU
  • Saturday, Dec. 12: 23 patients, 5 in ICU
  • Sunday, Dec. 13: 27 patients, 6 in ICU
  • Monday, Dec. 14: 33 patients, 7 in ICU

Since March, 734 COVID-positive patients have been discharged from Carle facilities and 149 hospitalized patients have died.

Also Monday, the C-U Public Health District reported that 14 Champaign County residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 — unchanged from the weekend.


STATE: 7,214 new cases, 103 fatalities

Of 92,256 tests statewide, 7,214 came back positive Monday, a rate of 7.8 percent.

That pushed the state’s seven-day positivity rate down, from 9.1 to 8.7 percent.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported another 103 lives lost to COVID-19:

  • Boone County: 1 male 80s
  • Cook County: 1 male 20s, 1 female 40s, 2 males 40s, 3 females 50s, 3 males 50s, 11 females 60s, 14 males 60s, 9 females 70s, 7 males 70s, 5 females 80s, 12 males 80s, 11 females 90s, 9 males 90s
  • Fayette County: 1 female 80s
  • Jackson County: 1 male 60s
  • Kane County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Lake County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
  • LaSalle County: 1 female 80s
  • Mason County: 1 male 60s
  • McHenry County: 1 female 90s
  • Monroe County: 1 male 70s
  • St. Clair County: 1 male 70s
  • Wabash County: 1 female 80s
  • Will County: 1 female 70s

Monday Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzker was among those on hand Monday to see the first vaccine doses arrive.

 

PRITKZER: 'Today marks a momentous occasion — not just this year, but in American history'

Reports Jerry Nowicki, bureau chief of our Springfield-based news partner, Capitol News Illinois:

The first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration arrived in Illinois Monday, but officials said there’s still a need for social distancing, face coverings and other mitigations as a full rollout could take months.

While Gov. J.B. Pritzker hailed distribution of the vaccine, manufactured by the drug company Pfizer, as the “beginning of the end” of the pandemic, many questions are still unanswerable as to the timeline of distribution for future shipments and that of a second potential vaccine.

“Today marks only the beginning of the national vaccination rollout,” Pritzker said at his daily briefing Monday in Chicago. “This week the very first recipients of the very first phase will receive their first of two doses of this COVID-19 vaccine. To put it in perspective, in total, Illinois will be receiving about 109,000 doses this week. Nationally, there are approximately 24 million people who the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) classifies as Phase 1A. Our destination is clear, but the road ahead will be long.”

Phase 1A of vaccine distribution includes health care workers and long-term care facility residents. Future recipients will be based on recommendations of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP.

Pritzker and health officials said the vaccine has been developed at an “incredible pace,” but it has gone through the regulatory process “in a transparent manner under arguably the most public scrutiny of any vaccine candidate in human history.”

The CDC recommended the vaccine for all Americans 16 years of age and over. Those who have had severe allergic reactions to vaccines in the past should consult with their doctor about receiving the vaccine, per the recommendations.

“The CDC has also recommended that pregnant women have a discussion with their doctor weighing the risk of taking the vaccine, or waiting for more data on vaccine safety,” Pritzker said, noting there is no data as to how the vaccine would affect pregnant women.

The governor was joined by Dr. Michael Olson, a member of the state’s independent vaccine review board, which analyzed trial data regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness and side effects.

Olson, an assistant professor of medical microbiology at Southern Illinois University's School of Medicine, said the review board included experts in immunology, epidemiology and infectious disease among others.

“We have independently reviewed the available scientific data supporting the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. “We are in full agreement with the FDA authorization and CDC recommendation of the vaccine.”

The two-dose vaccine had an effectiveness rate of 95 percent among a study of 30,000 volunteers.

“Typically, local side effects were mild for redness in the arm,” he said. “Other side effects that were more systemic involved fatigue and headache, and those are most common in the younger subset of the population that was vaccinated, and they were a little bit stronger upon receiving the second dose.”

Olson said not all would have those side effects, which constitute an immune response to the vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine — unlike the seasonal flu shot — does not contain the virus or viral material. Rather, it is an mRNA, or messenger RNA vaccine, which creates a piece of genetic code that instructs the cells to create proteins which trigger an immune response. The immune response produces antibodies that work to prevent infection, according to the CDC. Per the CDC, the mRNA “never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept,” and the body breaks down mRNA soon after the material triggers the necessary immune reaction.

“Long-term side effects are unknown at this point in time, given the length of time that is available to study the vaccine. The report was very careful to state that we have watched this for two months post-second vaccination and so the data at this point in time reflects what is currently known,” he said.

Olson said the vaccine development was expedited because research has long been underway for mRNA vaccines in flu studies and other studies, which had yielded promising results.

“But then there became a large need and demand, an influx of money, they were able to use trial sites that were already existing, and last but not least, there were volunteers and a pandemic going on,” he said.

The effectiveness of the vaccine could be judged because those in the study who were given a placebo came down with COVID-19 at a higher rate than those who were given the actual vaccine.

“So a question we often get is that ‘will you get the vaccine?’” he said. “And as an advisory committee, or as a workgroup, we would say, ‘Yes we will.’ And we will get that when it's our turn.”

He added recipients cannot be infected with COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine and cannot spread the virus because they have received the vaccine. It is not known if a vaccinated person can spread the virus if they are exposed to it in the community.

“This vaccine only provides a very small subset, or a small piece of one protein or just a part of the virus. And so as your body responds to it, there's no way for a new virus to form, there's no way for that to be passed on,” he said.

He said it is not yet clear how long the vaccine will be able to protect the recipient, as trials have only been ongoing for two months post-second dose.

The state announced earlier Monday approximately 43,000 doses of the vaccine were delivered to the state’s Strategic National Stockpile. Chicago also received a direct shipment from the federal government, while health departments in Cook, Lake, Madison and St. Clair counties will receive shipments this week as well, according to the governor’s office.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike said the state will track each dose of the vaccine in an existing state immunization registry, which vaccine providers must update in a timely manner.

“To be part of this vaccination effort for COVID, you have to have registered with that, signed off on all the agreements that you will follow ACIP guidance, that you will follow IDPH guidance, that you will log every single dose that's given and give all the information on every recipient – name, address, date of birth, ethnicity data —all of that information has to be put in for every single person within 24 hours and uploaded into our system,” she said.

The system will allow the state to target the vaccine to underserved communities, according to Ezike.

“At the state level we will be able to see who has been immunized and which parts of the state where there's more uptake of the immunization, which areas that maybe don't have enough uptake,” she said, noting they can target education or outreach efforts based on the information.

Another vaccine, manufactured by the drug company Moderna, has also been submitted for FDA Emergency Use Authorization, but Pritzker said it is unclear how many of those doses would be received once it is authorized. Pritzker said he was hopeful the Moderna vaccine could be approved by next week.

“Starting next week with the potential FDA approval of the Moderna vaccine, Illinois will begin reserving portions of our weekly shipments for residents and staff of Illinois long-term care facilities,” Pritzker said. “The federal government is directing and managing that distribution, and those vaccinations through federal contracts with CVS and Walgreens.”

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