While the nationwide daily toll of deaths from COVID-19 has reached new highs, Illinois has been faring somewhat better than average.

Deaths here have declined in recent weeks, although they remain far above the levels seen over the summer. By contrast, Arizona and Alabama have averaged more than two deaths per 100,000 residents every day over the past seven days, according to a tally maintained by the New York Times.

The comparable number for Illinois is 0.88 daily deaths per 100,000 residents — putting Illinois near the middle of states in the pace of coronavirus deaths.

At his news conference this afternoon, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said it appears Illinois has managed to escape the surge that had been predicted to follow the end-of-year holidays.

The governor also announced an easing of coronavirus restrictions in some sections of the state — but those changes don’t apply here.

Evanston health officials reported 21 new COVID-19 cases today, down from 36 yesterday. The city’s death toll remained unchanged today at 100.

Statewide there were 6,642 new cases today, compared to 6,652 yesterday, for a new total of 1,059,324.

The state today reported that a total of 447,347 vaccine doses had been administered as of yesterday, still less than half the 995,000 doses distributed to the state by the federal government, and 0.80% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated.

The state reported 121 COVID-19 deaths today, compared to 88 yesterday, for a new total of 18,049.

The state reported 107,156 COVID-19 tests today, compared to 118,036 yesterday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported tests of 1,901 Evanston residents today, compared to 2,192 yesterday. The IDPH found 25 positive cases here for a daily positive rate of 1.3%.

The state now says Evanston has had a total of 3,492 cases, while Evanston’s health department counts 3,425 cases.

Chicago reported 1,266 new COVID-19 cases today for a total of 222,965 and 18 new deaths, for a total of 4,410.

Suburban Cook county reported 1,346 new cases today for a total of 206,305 and 26 more deaths for a total of 4,017.

The IDPH reported that the deaths in Cook County included a man in his 30s, a woman and two men in their 50s, three women and six man in their 60s, three women and four men in their 70s, seven women and 10 men in their 80s and three women and six men in their 90s.

As of last night, 3,446 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 712 patients were in the ICU and 386 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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