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Latest COVID-19 surge in Illinois surpasses late-summer wave

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The late fall surge in coronavirus cases in Illinois has surpassed the peak of the late-summer wave just as the holidays approach.

State health officials on Tuesday reported 4,589 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, bringing the average number of daily cases over the past week to 4,618.

The last surge peaked at 4,440 cases per day during the week ending Sept. 4. The seven-day average dipped as low as 2,069 cases per day in late October before starting to climb once again.

Widely available vaccines should help prevent a repeat of the largest and deadliest surge of the pandemic last fall, when cases peaked at 12,384 per day in mid-November and coronavirus-related deaths peaked at 155 per day in early December.

This year, the fall surge is starting later and rising more gradually, and comes as federal health officials in recent weeks have approved vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 and booster doses for anyone 18 and older.

Along with the number of cases, the number of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals statewide also is on the rise again, though at an average of 1,755 patients per day over the past week, the state is still below the last peak of 2,303 patients per day in early September.

State data continues to show that the unvaccinated are much more likely to end up in the hospital with COVID-19 than those who’ve been fully inoculated.

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