The head of the Illinois Department of Public Health is stepping down after three years at the helm of the agency and more than two years leading the state through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker called Ezike’s work “heroic” during the pandemic and said she was someone who “did not seek greatness, but found it anyway.”
“Being the state’s top doc during a global pandemic has been challenging to say the least, but it’s been an amazing journey to work with so many great public health professionals and leaders from all sectors,” Ezike said. “The dedicated men and women of IDPH, will continue their mission-driven work to protect the health and safety of all Illinois residents.”
Amaal Tokars, one of Ezike’s deputies, will serve as the agency’s head in the interim while the governor looks for a permanent replacement.
The news comes as IDPH officials announced a continued decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
State health officials today reported 958 COVID-19 patients were being treated in hospitals statewide, down 28% from a week ago.
Of those hospitalized, 179 are in intensive care, down 23.8% from a week ago, according to IDPH records.
IDPH officials are also reporting 40 more Illinois residents have died of COVID-19, another 1,841 infections have been diagnosed as well.
That brings the state’s death toll from the virus to 32,803, while 3,033,061 cases of the respiratory disease have been recorded.
The state’s seven-day case positivity rate is down to 1.8%. At this time last year, it was at 2.4%.
Case positivity is the percentage of test results that yield a new case. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.
Another 12,236 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered statewide, according to IDPH figures.
Vaccine providers in Illinois have now administered 21,118,650 doses since December 2020.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 67.5% of Illinois’ 12.7 million residents are now fully vaccinated. Of those fully vaccinated, 49.1% have received a booster.
Source: The Daily Chronicle