Illinois Reports 30,386 New COVID Cases Thursday | Chicago News

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Illinois continues to set records with new COVID cases.

State public health officials are announcing 30,386 cases, surpassing the old record of about 21,000 cases. And the state reports 87 additional deaths.

5,689 are hospitalized with COVID. And COVID patients occupy 34% of the state’s intensive care beds.

“We see many breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, but these are almost always mild, sometimes even asymptomatic,” said Dr. Allison Bartlett, associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Chicago Medicine. “In reality, what we’re seeing is unvaccinated people getting a lot sicker when they get the omicron.”

With this surge, Bartlett said it’s still not a good time to gather in large groups over the New Year’s weekend. However, if you plan to gather, take precautions, such as trying to keep the smaller group, do quick tests before gathering and try to wear a mask as much as possible.

And the combination of the outbreak and the holidays has left people scrambling to find COVID tests. If appointments or walk-ins for a PCR test aren’t available, Bartlett said home testing can be an added layer of safety, but not exactly perfect. She said it was due to variables like someone not rubbing their nose long enough or where someone was in the disease course.

“I would really like to have a magical way for us all to be tested, because it’s a big deal,” Bartlett said.

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