Note: Any news conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot or other officials will be streamed in the video player above.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that state health officials are encouraging anyone who traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to get tested for coronavirus between five and seven days after returning home.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s top doctor says the city could see the first doses of coronavirus vaccines within the month.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across the state of Illinois today (Dec. 2):
Gov. Pritzker Says He Will Get COVID Vaccine Once One is Approved
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he plans to get the coronavirus vaccine once one is approved.
The governor said he would “absolutely” get the vaccine to help ease any possible concerns but “not jumping ahead of someone more at risk.”
Pritzker said decisions on who get the vaccine and when will be determined by the FDA, but noted that a vaccine advisory team will also be analyzing trial data to determine if the vaccines are safe.
“There are competing views where some want to be at the front and some don’t want to at all,” Pritzker said.
Pritzker said the state is expecting more than 100,000 doses, according to early estimations, for its initial shipment.
The CDC said the first doses should go to healthcare workers who care for COVID-19 patients and those working in nursing homes when a vaccine becomes publicly available.
The “first mass air shipment” of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Friday as airlines and pharmaceutical companies continued to prepare for large-scale distribution.
Hospital Stay Lengths Decrease in Second Wave of COVID-19: Illinois’ Top Doctor
Compared to the spring, patients have remained in the hospital for a shorter period of time in the second wave of the coronavirus, according to Illinois’ top doctor.
During a daily coronavirus briefing Wednesday, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said patients, on average, stay in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven to nine days as opposed to nine to eleven days in the first wave.
“There is some good news,” Ezike said. “You have a much better chance of surviving COVID in hospitals as opposed to wave one.”
She added that though the average has dropped, some patients’ stays can last up to weeks or months at a time. Ezike said hospital stays for patients in long term care facilities also shrunk by “a day or two.”
Much of the reason for the shorter hospital stays has to do with increased medical research and more tools such as utilizing proning, Remdesivir and antibodies, according to Ezike.
Illinois Reports Highest Coronavirus Deaths in Single Day With 238 Deaths and 9,757 New Cases
Illinois health officials on Wednesday reported the highest number of coronavirus deaths in a single day since the pandemic began with 238 fatalities, as well as 9,757 new cases.
The one-day death toll was the largest ever reported in a 24-hour period, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The 238 deaths brought the statewide death toll to 12,639 since the pandemic began. The previous record was set on May 13, when 192 deaths were reported.
The 9,757 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus lifted the total number of cases to 748,603, officials said. IDPH noted that some data reported was delayed from the past holiday weekend but did not specify which data was delayed.
A total of 85,507 tests were conducted in the previous 24 hours, IDPH said. That number was down from more than 116,000 conducted the day before, which was the first time in five days that it was back in the six-figure range after a slowdown over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when daily testing numbers were in the 60,000 to 80,000 range.
In all, the state has performed 10,699,586 tests since the pandemic began, officials said.
The state’s average rolling positivity rate on all tests conducted increased again to 10.6% on Wednesday, up from 10.4% Tuesday which was an increase from 10.2% the day before. In the last seven days, the average positivity rate for individuals tested for the virus stands at 12.5%, which was an increase from 12.2% on Tuesday.
A total of 5,764 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide as of Tuesday night, officials said. Of those patients, 1,190 were using ICU beds, authorities say, and 714 were on ventilators.
Here’s What Gov. Pritzker Has Said About Another Stay-at-Home Order for Illinois
As health officials across the U.S. brace for a potential surge in coronavirus cases following the Thanksgiving holiday, might Illinois see another statewide stay-at-home order? Here’s a look at what Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said most recently on the topic.
He last discussed the possibility on Monday, saying in his daily briefing on the pandemic that he has always kept another stay-at-home in his consideration, but that his…