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COVID-19 In Illinois: Slight Uptick In New Cases, But Positivity Rate Drops 5th Day In A Row

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Public health officials reported 9,469 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois on Tuesday, as well as 125 additional deaths.

It was the second day in a row the Illinois Department of Public Health reported fewer than 10,000 new cases, after announcing 8,322 new cases on Monday. Illinois hadn't gone two consecutive days with daily caseload that low since Nov. 4 and 5. It's also the first increase in new cases after four days in a row of declines.

Illinois is averaging 10,891 new cases per day over the past week, down from an average of 12,381 daily cases the previous week, but more than five times higher than the 2,052 cases per day during the first seven days of October.

The new cases reported Tuesday came as IDPH also reported 97,323 new coronavirus tests. The state's seven-day average case positivity rate now stands at 10.4%, the fifth day in a row it has gone down. That metric is down from as high as 13.2% on Nov. 13, but still nearly triple the 3.5% average case positivity rate at the start of October.

Tuesday was also the seventh time in the past two weeks Illinois has reported more than 100 deaths from the virus, after not reporting that many deaths between early June and early November.

Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 674,089 cases, including 11,677 deaths.

As of Monday night, 6,134 coronavirus patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, down slightly from one day earlier, when there were 6,171 hospitalizations. Until this past weekend, the state's hospitalization numbers had been climbing steadily for about a month before seeing a slight drop from Friday night to Saturday night, although the total has now gone back up again.

Hospitalizations from the virus are still far higher than early October, and well above the peak of the first surge of the pandemic, when hosptializations topped out at 5,037 patients on April 28.

Illinois is averaging 6,093 coronavirus hospitalizations per day over the last week, more than four times the average of about 1,500 per day at the start of October. During the first wave of the pandemic, the state peaked at an average of 4,822 hospitalizations per day in early May.

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