IHA Daily Briefing: Feb. 16

Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Drug ODs, Deaths Up During Pandemic
More Vaccine 2nd Doses than 1st Doses for Several Weeks
Additional Illinois Vaccination Data Released
IDPH Updates COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
COVID-19 Situational Update Webinar Wednesday
State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
Briefly Noted

Drug ODs, Deaths Up During Pandemic
Recently released data and reports show dramatic increases in drug overdoses and deaths just prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, 81,003 people died from drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending last June. That’s a nearly 20% increase over the prior 12-month period, and the highest number of fatal overdoses recorded in the U.S. in a single year.

In a study published in the Feb. 3 JAMA Psychiatry, CDC researchers reviewed nearly 190 million ED visits and found that visit rates for mental health conditions, suicide attempts, all drug and opioid overdoses, intimate partner violence, and child abuse and neglect were higher in mid-March through October 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the same period in 2019. Weekly counts of all drug overdoses were up to 45% higher in 2020 than in 2019, with opioid overdoses up about 29%.

|A new CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report issued on Friday found that from 2013 to 2019, the age-adjusted rate of deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone increased 1,040%, and for psychostimulants increased 317%. During 2018-2019, the largest relative increase in synthetic opioid-involved death rates occurred in the West (67.9%). In 12 states, mostly in the West and Midwest, 40% or more of overdose deaths involved psychostimulants, with the Midwest seeing a 36% increase in psychostimulant overdose deaths during 2018-2019.


More Vaccine 2nd Doses than 1st Doses for Several Weeks
On Saturday, the Illinois Dept. of Public health (IDPH) announced that beginning this week, local health departments and other COVID-19 vaccine providers will begin to receive a larger share of second doses to accommodate a greater number of second doses coming due. With federal shipments of the vaccine to Illinois remaining limited, this will mean providers will receive a smaller share of first doses. Based on federal projections of vaccine shipments, IDPH anticipates these allocations will hold steady for the next several weeks, before allocations of first doses can increase in March.

IDPH says it has communicated extensively with local health departments and other providers to prepare for this shift in allocations and ensure those due for second doses can receive them in a timely manner. This has included webinars, individual planning calls, and a rapid electronic notification to all vaccine providers.


Additional Illinois Vaccination Data Released
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health has added considerable data on its COVID-19 vaccination data administration portal to include demographic (race/age/gender) and more detailed geographic (county) information.

As of today, the state has received more than 2.4 million vaccine doses (including 445,200 doses for the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for long-term care facilities) and administered more than 1.8 million doses (including 251,373 for long-term care facilities). More than 430,000 people (nearly 3.4% of the state’s population) have been fully vaccinated. Of those receiving at least one dose, 66.5% were White, 7.6% Hispanic or Latino, 7.4% Black, and 5.1% Asian; 39.2% were 65 or older and 60.8% were between 16 and 64; 62.8% were female and 36.3% male. Adams County leads all counties with the highest percentage of its population at nearly 11.2%; Alexander County has the lowest percentage at 0.36%.


IDPH Updates COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) has updated its COVID-19 vaccination plan (V. 6.0, Feb. 11). The most recent changes, listed on pages 4-5, include:

  • Phase 1b Part 2, page 17   
  • Links to updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) toolkits throughout the plan   
  • Links to updated CDC training for vaccinators   
  • Link for the digital redistribution form for vaccine   
  • Reference to the Dept. of Human Services memo for caretakers in Section 4, page 15   
  • Language about EMS expanded scopes of practice   
  • Language about creating waiting lists to prevent vaccine waste and considerations for severe weather

COVID-19 Situational Update Webinar Wednesday
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health will host a COVID-19 Situational Update webinar this Wednesday (Feb. 17) at 11 a.m. to provide the latest information on the Coronavirus Disease outbreak and Illinois preparedness efforts.  Register here (password: situpdate).


State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) announced today 1,348 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases (lowest level since Sept. 9) and 32 deaths.

The total number of cases in the state is 1,164,922 with a total of 20,034 deaths. IDPH says that in the past 24 hours, 46,630 test specimens have been processed, with a positivity rate of 2.9%. The preliminary 7-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests from Feb. 9-15 is 2.8%, and the seven-day test positivity rate is 3.4%.

Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours decreased from 1,789 patients to 1,726 patients (lowest level since Oct. 5). Of that figure, 385 patients were in the ICU, with 179 patients on ventilators.

A total of doses of 2,029,675 vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago. In addition, approximately 445,200 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 2,474,875. A total of 1,863,562 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight, including 251,373 for long-term care facilities. The 7-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 63,772 doses. Yesterday, 40,354 doses were administered. Weather will most likely contribute to reduced vaccinations over the next several days.

Today’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures showed more than 27.5 million confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (a daily increase of more than 56,000 cases), with 485,070 deaths (a daily increase of 1,217).

Today’s WHO Coronavirus Disease Dashboard showed more than 108.8 million COVID-19 cases globally (a daily increase of more than 192,000 cases), with more than 2.4 million deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) continues to lead the world with more than 48.4 million cases and more than 1.14 million deaths.


Briefly Noted
Governor J.B. Pritzker will deliver his combined State of the State/Budget address virtually on Wednesday (Feb. 17) at noon. The address will be live streamed at www.illinois.gov/livevideo and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GovPritzker and Twitter at https://twitter.com/govpritzker.