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More than 250,000 Will County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Will County saw another milestone this past week, eclipsing 250,000 residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state public health data.

As of Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that a little more than 259,000 residents in Will County have been fully vaccinated, representing about 37% of the population.

Vaccinations in Will County have slowed substantially over the last month with close to 4,700 shots being administered per day in the county, compared to about 7,900 per day just a month ago.

This month, the Will County Health Department has discussed its efforts to reach more residents who have yet to be vaccinated, including announcing the hiring of a vaccine equity manager.

County health department spokesman Steve Brandy said the department and other providers have also been planning clinics at several schools in Will County now that the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for use in children as young as 12 years old. He said the county may be continuing to travel to schools for vaccinations as late as the fall when even younger children might be able to be vaccinated.

Shelley Luka (left) and Thomas Swierczyna do vaccine draws on Thursday, April 1, 2021, in Joliet, Ill. Another mass vaccination site was opened in Joliet on Thursday, with help from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the National Guard.

Shelley Luka (left) and Thomas Swierczyna do vaccine draws on Thursday, April 1, 2021, in Joliet, Ill. Another mass vaccination site was opened in Joliet on Thursday, with help from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the National Guard. (Geoff Stellfox – gstellfox@shawmedia.com/)

While public health officials continue to vaccinate more residents, the transmission of the novel coronavirus in the county continues to decline.

As of last Tuesday, Will County’s rolling average test positivity rate stood at 3.3%, down from about 4.1% just a week earlier.

The average positivity rate in the South Suburban Region, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, was 3.2% as of last Tuesday.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the region’s hospitals also continues to decline, with about 77 patients in the hospital as of Thursday. Just a week before, there had been about 90 patients in the region’s hospitals.

AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet

AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet (Alex Ortiz/)

Earlier this week, the Will County Health Department also reported the 1,000th death attributed to COVID-19 since the pandemic started. The disease has disproportionately affected older residents as 70% of those who’ve died in Will County were age 70 and up, according to health department data.

The county has also reported more than 76,000 confirmed or probably cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020.

The Will County Health Department and other providers continue to hold vaccination clinics. For more on where to find the nearest clinic, visit willcountyhealth.org.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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