COVID-19 UPDATE: Kane Records 4,296 Cases, 5 Deaths Over MLK Weekend, But Data Suggests Omicron Is Waning

COVID-19 UPDATE: Kane Records 4,296 Cases, 5 Deaths Over MLK Weekend, But Data Suggests Omicron Is Waning

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4:15PM TUESDAY

OVERVIEW: COVID Cases Trending Down; Free Rapid Tests Available Now; Pfizer’s Paxlovid Effective Vs. Omicron

It is still early and the data may have been slowed by the MLK holiday weekend, but for the first time in weeks, Centers for Disease Control data shows the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases dropped today — a sign that the Omicron surge may have peaked in the U.S.

Some Americans are able to order free rapid coronavirus tests from a federal website beginning Tuesday, ahead of the site’s official launch Wednesday. The website, covidtests.gov, is operating at limited capacity Tuesday to ensure a smooth launch Wednesday, a White House official said.

The worst of the coronavirus pandemic — deaths, hospitalizations and lockdowns — could be over this year if huge inequities in vaccinations and medicines are addressed quickly, the head of emergencies at the World Health Organization said Tuesday, ABC News reports.

Pfizer on Tuesday shared results from three lab studies that suggest its antiviral Paxlovid is effective against the Omicron variant, CNN reports.

 

KANE COUNTY: 4,296 New Cases, 5 Deaths Over Long Weekend; Test Positivity Dropping Fast

It was a devastating long weekend in Kane County, with 4,296 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths — but it also was the weekend when the Omicron surge might be showing signs of coming down rapidly.

Kane County’s totals to date are 107,382 positive cases and 989 deaths.

According to data posted on the Illinois Department of Public Health website, Kane County’s seven-day rolling average of test positivity dropped dramatically — to 19.0%.

That’s still a very high number, but it was 22.8% when the IDPH last reported data on Friday.

More positive news comes from the Region 8 data, which is detailed below.

 

STATE OF ILLINOIS: 93,343 New Cases, 251 Deaths Over MLK Weekend; ICU Beds Rebounding

Like Kane County, the state of Illinois suffered some high case counts and COVID-19 deaths over the Martin Luther King long weekend.

During that three-day period, the state recorded 93,343 new cases and 251 additional deaths.

The state totals are 2,682,983 positive cases and 29,350 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.

The biggest concerns among health experts during the Omicron surge has been the filling of hospitals and Intensive Care Unit beds. Data is suggesting a turn for the better in that department.

In Illinois Region 8, which includes Kane and DuPage counties, the number of available ICU beds increased and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients decreased for the first time since the Omicron surge.

According to the IDPH, there are now 52 available ICU beds in Region 8 — up from 31 available ICU beds on Friday. It should be noted that the 52 beds represent about 12% of the total number of Region 8 ICU beds, and that’s still well below the state threshold of 20%, but the numbers are trending in the right direction.

Meanwhile, the Region 8 test positivity rate dropped to 16.9% — also trending well from the 20.1% rolling average on Friday.

 

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State of Illinois COVID-19 Data