Vaccination spike comes at deadline for some state workers
Daily COVID-19 vaccinations jumped to 70,688 Tuesday, coinciding with a deadline for certain state workers to get their first shot.
That total is more than double the average daily COVID-19 inoculations for October, which is 33,258, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data Wednesday. The seven-day average for vaccinations is 41,413.
State employees in the veterans' affairs, corrections, juvenile justice and human services departments who work in congregate settings, such as prisons and psychiatric hospitals, were required to have their first COVID-19 shots by Tuesday. Their second must come by Nov. 30.
The mandate was extended several times by Gov. J.B. Pritzker as negotiations with various unions continued. So far, six agreements have been reached with nearly 10,000 workers.
But more than 10,300 security employees at the corrections and juvenile justice departments represented by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 31 do not have a deal yet, and the dispute has gone to arbitration.
Meanwhile, 1,900 nonsecurity workers have asked the Illinois Labor Relations Board for a review, AFSCME officials said.
Daily shot totals haven't hit the 70,000s since May, when the monthly average was 64,114.
The vaccinations per day average dropped in June to 39,975 and went even lower to 20,526 in July, a decrease public health experts attributed to the fact most adult Illinoisans who wanted a COVID-19 shot had received one.
In August, daily inoculation averages ticked up to 30,909 as schools and colleges reopened and vaccine mandates were announced by the public and private sectors. In September, the numbers declined to 20,988 a day on average.
Also on Wednesday, the state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases dipped to 1.8% based on a seven-day average. That's the lowest the rate has been since July 14, 2021.
New cases of COVID-19 numbered 2,013 Wednesday with 26 more deaths, the IDPH said.
Illinois hospitals were treating 1,229 COVID-19 patients Tuesday night.
So far, 7,235,077 people have been fully vaccinated, nearly 56.8% of Illinois' 12.7 million population.
Total cases statewide stand at 1,690,274, and 25,707 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.
Labs processed 107,969 virus tests in the last 24 hours.