Illinois marks two-year anniversary of first COVID-19 case

More than 30,000 people in Illinois have died from COVID-19 since 2020
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:41 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) – The Illinois Department of Public Health urges more people to get vaccinations and boosters as the state marks the two-year anniversary of its first reported COVID-19 case.

“We were not imagining that two years later we would still be battling the virus with this ferocity,” said IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

This month, Illinois reached its largest total of cases and hospitalizations since January 24, 2020, with much of the increase blamed on the Omicron variant.

Dr. Ezike says she is cautiously optimistic that the totals will decrease as quickly as they rose. She added that health leaders have learned so much in the past two years and can respond accordingly..

Illinois COVID-19 milestones:

  • January 24, 2020 – First confirmed case in a Chicago resident who had just returned from Wuhan, China.
  • January 30, 2020 – Second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Illinois reported in a man in his 60s and the spouse of the first confirmed case in Illinois.  This was the first person-to-person spread of the virus in the United States.
  • February 11, 2020 – Illinois becomes the first state able to perform testing.
  • March 17, 2020 – Health experts announce the first COVID-19 death in Illinois.
  • December 15, 2020 – First COVID-19 vaccines administered in Illinois.

“As COVID-19 evolves, so too will our recommendations and guidance. Our goal remains the same – to protect the health and safety of all Illinois residents as we explore how we will coexist with COVID-19.”

To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to

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