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COVID-19 vaccinations continue to increase, along with new cases, officials say
The State Journal-Register - 4/9/2021
Apr. 10—Daily hospital admissions and the number of people newly diagnosed with COVID-19 in Illinois continue to rise along with the percentage of the population vaccinated, state public health officials said Friday.
Those trends are taking place because people who are not fully vaccinated apparently are failing to take precautions to wear masks in public, use social distancing and avoid crowds indoors as vaccinations expand, according to experts.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 4,004 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, including 21 additional deaths.
As of Thursday night, 1,808 people in Illinois with COVID-19 were hospitalized, including 369 in intensive-care units and 163 on ventilators.
The statewide seven-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 4.8%.
In Sangamon County, 51 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths were reported. Twenty county residents with COVID-19 remained hospitalized. A total of 228 county residents have died, and 17,321 have tested positive.
In Menard County, six new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths were reported. A total of 1,164 county residents have tested positive, and seven have died.
Statewide, almost 6.9 million doses of COVID-19 have been administered, and 2.6 million people have received either the required two-dose or one-dose regimen to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease.
In Sangamon County, almost 30% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
The Sangamon County Department of Public Health has COVID-19 vaccination appointments available for people 16 and older at the mass-vaccination site it operates with the Illinois National Guard in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and at the department's drive-through site at 2833 South Grand Ave. E., Springfield.
Appointments can be made for shots at both sites by going online at scdph.org. Appointments also can be made by calling (217) 210-8801 for the state fairgrounds site and (217) 321-2606 for the department's drive-through site.
For people who live in Menard County and the rural areas of Sangamon County, free, scheduled rides are available to the vaccination sites through Sangamon/Menard Area Regional Transit, a service operated by Sangamon County government. Rides can be scheduled by calling (217) 679-5009.
At least 25 rides to vaccine sites have been provided so far, Sangamon County spokesman Jeff Wilhite said.
Janice McCoy, 65, of Divernon, received a ride from the SMART service on Friday to get her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the state fairgrounds site.
She said the transportation service is a "godsend" and a potential lifesaver for her because she would be at high risk of medical complications from COVID-19. She said she has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure and chronic bronchitis.
McCoy said the ride service is easy to schedule and available to take passengers to medical visits, shopping and other locations in Sangamon or Menard counties.
Even though she will be considered fully vaccinated in two weeks, she said she will continue masking and social distancing to avoid potentially transmitting COVID-19 to others. Doctors believe that being fully vaccinated reduces but may not eliminate the possibility of catching the virus and passing it on to someone else.
After Friday's vaccination, she said, "I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders."
She is looking forward to gathering with her three adult children and five grandchildren this Fourth of July after going more than a year without being able to spend much time with relatives.
She said she encourages anyone eligible to get vaccinated even though some people may feel achy, tired, feverish or deal with other mild reactions afterward.
"When you consider all the alternatives, I'd rather be a little uncomfortable for a day or two than be hooked up to an intubator," she said.
Contact Dean Olsen: firstname.lastname@example.org; (217) 836-1068; twitter.com/DeanOlsenSJR.
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