Evanston health officials reported 26 new COVID-19 cases today, down from 30 reported yesterday. The city’s death toll increased by one today to 90.

Statewide there were 7,214 new cases today, compared to 7,216 yesterday, for a new total of 856,118.

The state reported 103 deaths today, compared to 115 yesterday, for a new total of 14,394.

The state reported 92,256 COVID-19 tests today, compared to 63,648 yesterday.

State officials and health experts rejoiced today at Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s news conference on the start of distribution of the first coronavirus vaccine.

It’s “the beginning of the end of the pandemic,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. But officials cautioned that it will be several months yet before everyone can be vaccinated, and it remains important to follow the disease mitigation steps — like wearing masks — that they’ve been urging for months.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported tests of 821 Evanston residents today, compared to 604 yesterday. It found 20 positive cases for a daily positive rate of 2.4%.

The state now says Evanston has had a total of 2,797 cases, while Evanston’s health department counts 2,731 cases.

Chicago reported 1,691 new cases today for a total of 185,883. Its coronavirus death toll increased by 43 today to 3,805.

Suburban Cook County reported 1,367 more cases today for a total of 169,584 and 45 more deaths for a total of 3,312.

Those who died in Cook County today included a man in his 20s, one woman and two men in their 40s, three women and three men in their 50s, 11 women and 14 men in their 60s, nine women and seven men in their 70s, five women and 12 men in their 80s and 11 women and nine man in their 90s.

As of last night, 4,951 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,070 patients were in the ICU and 621 of those were on ventilators.

The latest COVID-19 charts for Evanston and Illinois

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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