COVID-19, Local, Park Forest, Regional News, Science

Area Deaths Subsiding: Latest COVID-19 Numbers

Fear of Coronavirus an issue in cardiology
(Heart clipart by Brian Goff)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The number of deaths in Cook County has begun to subside from November and December when they almost peaked to spring levels. That having been said, all of the towns eNews Park Forest tracks saw increases in cases and deaths save one: South Chicago Heights still has no recorded deaths from the virus according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Cook County overall has seen 9,729 people die from coronavirus so far, with the virus claiming 4,725 in Chicago alone.

The combined number of deaths for the 32 towns we track stands at 1,033 as of this writing.

Park Forest had held steady at 21 deaths for several weeks when we last tallied. Sadly, that number rose to 29 dead. Overall cases in the Village since the pandemic began increased from 1,487 in December to 1,932 currently. There were 10 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Cook County section of Park Forest just last week.

Spring 2020 COVID-19 surge in Cook County
The initial spring 2020 COVID-19 surge in Cook County brought a number of deaths. (CCDPH)

Will County has had 65,092 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 894 deaths. The Will County portion of Park Forest has seen 37 cases of the virus. Deaths in Illinois currently stand at 20,536.

We have no news currently on what variants may have made their way into the area. Wearing masks and social distancing even if you’re vaccinated are both still critical. People who have been vaccinated may still spread the virus.

The IDPH announced Tuesday that Illinois is slated to receive 83,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, with vast majority being sent to mass vaccination sites.

The number of COVID-19 Cook County deaths tapered in the summer of 2020
The number of COVID-19 Cook County deaths tapered in the summer of 2020. (CCDPH)

There is also good news from the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that you may have small dinner parties if all guests have been vaccinated:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said in a press conference Monday that if you — and all your guests — are vaccinated, a dinner gathering should be relatively safe.

“Small gatherings in the home, I think you can clearly feel the relative risk is so low you wouldn’t have to wear the mask,” Fauci said. “You could have a good social gathering in the home.”

Cook County winter 2020-2021 surge in COVID-19 deaths
Cook County saw a second surge in COVID-19 deaths this winter. Those numbers are currently subsiding. (CCDPH)

Area hospitals are currently near ICU capacity: Franciscan Health Olympia Fields has 1% of beds open, Silver Cross 9%, Advocate Christ Hospital 13%, Ingalls Memorial has 8%, while Advocate South Suburban has 30% of ICU beds open.

The latest number of SARS-CoV-2 cases for 32 communities follow:

Municipality COVID-19 Cases Most Recent Population Figures Rate per 100,000 Population*
Beecher 753 7,779 9,679.91
Calumet City 3,237 37,042 8,738.73
Chicago Heights 3,378 30,276 11,157.35
Cicero 12,376 83,889 14,752.83
Country Club Hills 1,385 16,541 8,373.13
Crestwood 1,054 10,950 9,625.57
Crete 1,383 8,117 17,038.31
Dolton 1,745 23,153 7,536.82
East Hazel Crest 102 1,543 6,610.50
Flossmoor 685 9,464 7,237.95
Ford Heights 136 2,763 4,922.19
Frankfort 3,132 19,178 16,331.21
Glenwood 791 8,969 8,819.27
Harvey 2,070 25,282 8,187.64
Hazel Crest 1,140 14,100 8,085.11
Homewood 1,460 19,323 7,555.76
Lansing 2,995 28,331 10,571.46
Lynwood 733 9,007 8,138.11
Markham 973 12,508 7,779.02
Matteson 1,737 19,009 9,137.78
Monee 682 9,400 7,255.32
Oak Forest 2,634 27,962 9,419.93
Olympia Fields 294 4,988 5,894.15
Orland Park 5,505 56,582 9,729.24
Park Forest 1,932 21,429 9,015.82
Richton Park 1,031 13,646 7,555.33
Sauk Village 662 10,506 6,301.16
South Chicago Heights 304 4,139 7,344.77
South Holland 2,124 22,030 9,641.40
Steger 784 9,331 8,402.10
Tinley Park 4,538 49,235 9,217.02
University Park 511 6,958 7,344.06
Combined 61,513 615,651 9991.54
*Numbers per 100,000 based on most recent population from US or derived via formula using rate per 100,000 population and COVID-19 cases as reported by Cook County.

The total deceased by town follow:

Municipality Total Deceased Most Recent Population Figures
Rate per 100,000 Population*
Beecher 16 7,779 205.68
Calumet City 21 37,042 56.69
Chicago Heights 65 30,276 214.69
Cicero 191 83,889 227.68
Country Club Hills 52 16,541 314.37
Crestwood 42 10,950 383.56
Crete 13 8,117 160.16
Dolton 31 23,153 133.89
East Hazel Crest 3 1,543 194.43
Flossmoor 14 9,464 147.93
Ford Heights 2 2,763 72.39
Frankfort 11 19,178 57.36
Glenwood 15 8,969 167.24
Harvey 52 25,282 205.68
Hazel Crest 46 14,100 326.24
Homewood 51 19,323 263.93
Lansing 17 28,331 60.00
Lynwood 5 9,007 55.51
Markham 27 12,508 215.86
Matteson 48 19,009 252.51
Monee 11 9,400 117.02
Oak Forest 28 27,962 100.14
Olympia Fields 10 4,988 200.48
Orland Park 93 56,582 164.36
Park Forest 29 21,429 135.33
Richton Park 24 13,646 175.88
Sauk Village 4 10,506 38.07
South Chicago Heights 0 4,139 0.00
South Holland 59 22,030 267.82
Steger 5 9,331 53.58
Tinley Park 54 49,235 109.68
University Park 10 6,958 143.72
Combined 1,033 615,651 167.79
*Numbers per 100,000 based on most recent population from US or derived via formulat using rate per 100,000 population and COVID-19 cases as reported by Cook County.

COVID-19 at Ludeman Center

According to the state of Illinois, as of March 2, 2021, Ludeman Center in Park Forest has 283 residents who tested positive for COVID-19. Of these, 274 have recovered. A total of 229 staff members at Ludeman have tested positive. Of these, 221 recovered and returned to work.

Ludeman Center currently employs 928 people and has 333 residents according to the latest figures supplied by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Projections Lower at IHME

Illinois is projected to see 24,686 deaths by June 1, 2021. When we last tallied, this projection stood at 24,575 deaths by April 1, 2021, nearly a year since Cook County began tracking these virus-related deaths. This marks the first time the projection of deaths for Illinois have leveled off a bit, showing easing scenarios due to vaccine distribution. The United States as a whole still lost over half-a-million people by that date if nothing changes, in line with projections. These figures according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington. However, the IHME now predicts 574,062 COVID-related deaths by June 1, 2021. When we last tallied, this projection stood at 538,893 COVID-related deaths by April 1 in the United States.

We’re Not “There” Yet

The dangers of the spread of COVID-19 remain multiple and complex, as Dr. Timothy Angelotti, MD Ph.D., told eNews Park Forest, “The problem is it’s not about death, it’s not about the healthy people or the people that get very little illness from this. It’s about the surge that can happen in a hospital setting when you have a whole bunch of people get infected.

“Our biggest fear, and that’s what people don’t appreciate, that if you want a hospital full of people who are full of COVID then keep doing what we’re doing. Then all other medical care will go by the wayside until we get control of this. Do you want us to cancel elective surgeries again?”

This remains a possibility until vaccinations and potential booster shots are complete.

Dr. Angelotti is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine (ICU) at the Stanford University Medical Center. His Ph.D. is in pharmacology, and our entire interview with Dr. Angelotti is forthcoming.

Our complete interview with Dr. Angelotti follows. It’s worth watching if the reader, for whatever reason, believes COVID-19 to be a hoax.

Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

We have no data on how many people are suffering lingering effects of COVID nor does anyone know yet if some conditions those have since recovering will become chronic.

The CDC reports that it “is actively working to learn more about the whole range of short- and long-term health effects associated with COVID-19. As the pandemic unfolds, we are learning that many organs besides the lungs are affected by COVID-19 and there are many ways the infection can affect someone’s health.”

“One of the health effects that CDC is closely watching and working to understand relates to COVID-19 and the heart,” the CDC says. “Heart conditions associated with COVID-19 include inflammation and damage to the heart muscle itself, known as myocarditis, or inflammation of the covering of the heart, known as pericarditis. These conditions can occur by themselves or in combination. Heart damage may be an important part of severe disease and death from COVID-19, especially in older people with underlying illness. Heart damage like this might also explain some frequently reported long-term symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, and heart palpitations.”

The CDC stresses that the “risk of heart damage may not be limited to older and middle-aged adults. For example, young adults with COVID-19, including athletes, can also suffer from myocarditis. Severe heart damage has occurred in young, healthy people, but is rare. There may be more cases of mild effects of COVID-19 on the heart that can be diagnosed with special imaging tests, including in younger people with mild or minimal symptoms; however, the long-term significance of these mild effects on the heart are unknown. CDC will continue to assess and provide updates as new data emerge.”

Current Numbers for Neighboring Towns

As of this writing, Steger has 784 cases, Flossmoor 685, and Richton Park 1,031. Olympia Fields is at 294, Sauk Village is at 662, Glenwood 791, Tinley Park 4,538, and South Chicago Heights has 304.

Harvey has 2,070 cases, Country Club Hills has 1,385 cases, Orland Park 5,505, Lynwood 733, Lansing 2,995, Homewood 1,460, South Holland 2,124, Markham 973, and Crete 1,383.

Ford Heights now has 136 cases, and Calumet City has 3,237.

State of Illinois: Most Recent Update

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 1,577 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 47 additional deaths.

IDPH anticipates that the state of Illinois will receive 83,000 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by Wednesday. Unlike the currently available Pfizer and Moderna doses, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot and can be stored at much higher temperatures.  Like Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 100% effective in protecting recipients against death and hospitalization.

The vast majority of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – more than 90% – will be distributed to mass vaccination sites throughout the state.  The remaining doses will be shipped to other providers across the state.

These doses are in addition to the approximate 288,000 doses the federal government allocated to Illinois this week.  This total does not include doses for the city of Chicago, which will receive its own allocation.

“As Dr. Fauci and many medical experts have pointed out time and again, we are so fortunate to have three effective vaccines that are proven to fully protect against death and hospitalization,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “The new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be distributed for use at mass vaccination sites across the state, so that we are maximizing their capacity and getting as many eligible Illinoisans vaccinated as possible so that we can win the race against the new virus variants and end this pandemic.”

The newly reported deaths include the following:

  • Alexander County: 1 female 70s
  • Clay County: 1 male 70s
  • Cook County: 2 teens, 2 males 50s, 2 males 60s, 4 females 70s, 8 males 70s, 2 females 80s, 4 males 80s, 4 females 90s, 3 males 90s
  • DuPage County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
  • Jefferson County: 1 male 40s
  • Jersey County: 1 male 60s
  • Kane County: 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
  • Lake County: 1 male 90s
  • McLean County: 1 female 90s
  • St. Clair County: 1 male 50s
  • Union County: 1 male 70s
  • Vermilion County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s
  • Wayne County: 1 male 70s
  • Will County: 1 female 70s

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,189,416 cases, including 20,583 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 56,181 specimens for a total of 18,234,668.  As of last night, 1,231 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 281 patients were in the ICU and 148 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from February 23–March 1, 2021 is 2.4%.  The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from February 23–March 1, 2021 is 2.8%.

A total of doses of 3,186,385 vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago.  In addition, approximately 443,700 doses total have been allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for long-term care facilities.  This brings the total Illinois doses to 3,630,085.  A total of 2,817,892 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight, including 324,827 for long-term care facilities.  The 7-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 80,416 doses; the highest 7-day rolling average to date.  Yesterday, 61,061 doses were administered in Illinois.

*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered.  For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected].

Total vaccinations in the United States: