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Illinois Reports More Than 2,000 New COVID Cases For First Time Since Early May; Highest Infection Rate Since Mid-April

CHICAGO (CBS) -- With nearly half of Illinois residents still not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, new COVID-19 cases have been rising steadily for the past month, with the state on Wednesday reporting more than 2,000 new cases for the first time in nearly three months.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 2,082 new coronavirus cases statewide, the most reported in a single day since May 7, when the state reported 3,321 new cases.

Illinois is averaging 1,587 new cases per day over the past week, up more than fivefold from one month ago, when the state was averaging 248 new cases per day.

The increase in new cases comes as testing for COVID-19 has remained relatively flat over the past month.

The statewide case positivity rate is up to 4%, the highest it's been since April 19, during a minor surge of the pandemic.

The latest case numbers reported by IDPH are similar to what the state was reporting during the first wave of the pandemic in late April and early May of 2020, although testing for the virus was much lower in the early days of the pandemic, and the latest metrics are still well below what was seen during the fall surge in November and December, when Illinois had multiple days with 10,000 new cases or more.

Last year, the state's average positivity rate reached as high as 20% during the first wave of the pandemic, and about 13% during the fall surge.

Vaccination rates have dropped off significantly in recent months. Illinois is averaging 17,982 doses per day over the past week, compared to 43,219 a month ago, a 58% drop. Illinois' daily vaccination rate peaked at 131,624 doses per day in mid-April, meaning vaccinations have dropped off 86% from the peak.

As of Wednesday, 50.55% of the state's population has been fully vaccinated, according to IDPH.

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