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First omicron subvariant case detected in Illinois

2 Feb 2022 5:35 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

The first case of a new subvariant of omicron has been detected in Illinois, though officials said it remains too early to know how it will impact the state’s declining COVID-19 metrics. [Health News Illinois 2.2.2022]

BA.2, a sub-lineage of the omicron variant, was detected by Northwestern Medicine’s Center for Pathogen Genomics and Microbial Evolution in an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 18.

“Now the question is whether the new subvariant will extend the tail of cases infected with omicron,” Ramon Lorenzo-Redondo, the bioinformatics director at the center, said in a statement.

He said case numbers have plateaued in countries where the new variant is more prevalent, though it remains to be seen whether Illinois or the United States will follow the same trend. Early studies suggest BA.2 could be more easily transmissible than the original omicron strain, although they haven’t found it causes different symptoms or more severe disease. 

Meanwhile, Illinois COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped below 4,000 for the first time since mid-December.

As of Sunday, 3,870 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, down 78 from Saturday and down 1,368 from the prior week.

Of the patients in the hospital, 684 were in intensive care units, down 22 from Saturday and down 221 from the prior week. There were 406 patients on ventilators, the same as Saturday and down 135 from the prior week.

There were 6,664 new COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths reported on Monday.

The new cases bring the state total to 2,920,971, while the death toll increased to 30,913.

The seven-day average for new cases on Tuesday was 11,873, down 13,179 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths is 108, down 12 from the prior week.

The seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests is 7.2 percent. The seven-day statewide test positivity using the number of COVID-19 positive tests over total tests is 9.1 percent.

Eighty percent of eligible Illinoisans ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 70.3 percent are fully vaccinated.

 Illinois vaccinators have administered 20,520,124 COVID-19 vaccines, per state data, including 3,876,831 booster doses. The seven-day average of doses administered is 34,851.  


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