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New COVID-19 Infections In Illinois Have Doubled In July; But Cases Still Far Below Worst Days Of The Pandemic

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois' average daily caseload of new COVID-19 cases has more than doubled so far this month, though infections still remain far below where they were just two months ago, even as vaccinations continue to drop off.

The state averaged 636 new coronavirus cases per day over the past week, a 116 percent increase over the daily case average reported on July 1.

The statewide seven-day average case positivity rate also has more than doubled this month, rising from 0.9% at the start of July to 1.9% as of Friday.

However, infections are still much lower than during the brief surge in cases Illinois saw this spring, when the state was reporting more than 2,000 cases per day in much of April and May, and the positivity rate rose to more than 4%.

The latest metrics are also nowhere close to the numbers Illinois saw during the first wave of the pandemic more than a year ago, or during the fall surge. Infection rates climbed as high as 20% last year, and the state reported a record of more than 15,000 cases in a single day in November.

COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Illinois have remained relatively stable for the past month.

Meantime, Illinois is still struggling to get shots to people who remain unvaccinated, as the state is averaging only 21,217 vaccinations per day over the past week, less than half the vaccination rate at the start of July, and less than 20% of the peak for vaccinations in April.

In all, 49.8% of the state's population has been fully vaccinated as of Friday.

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